A confidence-sapping 90 minutes on Tuesday was punctuated by Ross Barkley missing an absolute gift of a penalty late on to at least share the points with the resilient visitors. It was hardly the start we envisioned for Chelsea’s return to the Champions League after yet another year of absence, the second in three years, but one little setback isn’t going to change things in the long run.
At least that’s the hope.
Trouble is, next up are Liverpool, who also lost on Tuesday, but only little setback ain’t going to stop the Champions of Europe either, who are, mind you, a perfect 5-from-5 in the Premier League and have already opened up a 5-point lead over their closest title rivals, Manchester City.
But Chelsea do believe in being able to hang with the Reds for the second time already this season, after the 2-2 draw in the Super Cup. And that includes Barkley himself, the Liverpool native who’s found a good home at Chelsea and probably wants nothing more than to make up for his miss with a win over his boyhood club Everton’s biggest rivals.
“Every side is beatable on the day. It just goes down to hard work, putting extra yards in, being clinical as well and a bit of luck.
“The big games bring the best out of all players, as you have seen in the Super Cup final, and how well we performed in that game. We can perform to those levels again on Sunday and hopefully it goes our way.”
Despite collecting barely 50 per cent of the points on offer thus far (8 of 15), Chelsea have as many points as third place Tottenham. In fact, it’s only been Liverpool who haven’t slipped up at least once in the early season. Perhaps it’s their turn then?
“We are joint-third [in the league on points]. We’re not doing badly. We won at the weekend, scoring goals.
“We have got a confident bunch of lads in the team. We have got a big game on Sunday and we are confident we can win the game.”
-Ross Barkley; source: Express
Solid talk. Let’s hope we back it up.