Ross Barkley missed a late penalty as Chelsea lost its UEFA Champions League opener 1-0 to Valencia on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge.
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Rodrigo scored the lone goal, and Valencia will be thrilled to collect all three points in London.
Christian Pulisic was an unused sub for Chelsea, who out-attempted Valencia 22-8 on the day.
Three things we learned
1. Pulisic down the pecking order: The American star didn’t start, and wasn’t the first name called when Mason Mount was injured. Granted Pedro played a little deeper, but not a good week for the Hershey-born Pulisic
3. Penalty drama: VAR gave Chelsea a chance to level from the spot, but Ross Barkley stepped ahead of Willian and missed the chance. The Brazilian looked aggrieved before and after the miss, and Barkley looked mighty confident right until the moment he missed his shot. Sort yourself out!
Man of the Match: Willian — No wonder he was angry to see Barkley demand the penalty, as a Willian goal would’ve been a fitting result for his clever and industrious day at the office.
Valencia keeper Jasper Cillesen made two stops early, denying Tammy Abraham to concede a corner before collecting a Marcos Alonso header on the ensuing set piece.
Would it be Christian Pulisic time when Mason Mount left the match with injury following a challenge from former Arsenal man Francis Coquelin? Nope. Pedro was called upon to fill the void.
Mason Mount comes off injured for Chelsea. Coquelin caught him with a very high challenge. Pedro comes on for Mount. #USMNT’s Christian Pulisic is on the bench, but not called upon. In theory, Pulisic is down to 4th choice winger at #CFC, plus Callum Hudson-Odoi to come back.
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) September 17, 2019
It was a sleepy second half, with Pedro conceding a free kick to Valencia that didn’t amount to anything exciting.
Those who stuck around were rewarded with late drama, as Valencia took the lead through a Rodrigo flick off a free kick.