He came, he saw, he hit the crossbar. Ross Barkley waltzed onto the field in the 79th minute. Ten minutes later, the only people dancing were the Valencia fans as Ross Barkley’s penalty kick ping against the crossbar and bounced over. It was a casually taken effort, with the goalkeeper diving out of the way, but the substitute was leaning back a bit too much and the ball just kept rising.
In fairness, it was a dubious penalty at best, one of those that UEFA insist on giving away like free candy. Fikayo Tomori’s header from a corner hit the quite naturally posed and close to his body arm of Daniel Wass. The referee exercised common sense and let the game play on, but VAR wasn’t having it. On review, it had to be given. Rules are rules. But the ball don’t lie, as they say on the playground.
Still, having been gifted the opportunity to equalize and prevent Valencia from walking away with all three points in the Champions League group stage, Barkley’s miss is a glaring mistake. The apparent confusion beforehand, with Jorginho, Abraham, and Willian all taking it in turns to talk to him probably didn’t help.
So whose penalty was it to take? Lampard says it was Barkley’s.
Lampard: “Ross is the penalty taker. He was in preseason, scored a couple. Jorginho & Willian were the takers on the pitch but once Ross comes on, it’s his” #cfc— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) September 17, 2019
To be sure, we noticed that trend as well in preseason, with both Barkley and Abraham taking penalties before Jorginho, who had been one of the designated takers alongside Eden Hazard last season.
Still, it’s not a good look that we not only managed to mess it up, we created a “thing” out of it.
Just something else that needs sorting out then, I suppose.