Midfielder Ross Barkley controversially missed a penalty kick as Chelsea lost 1-0 to Valencia in their opening UEFA Champions League group fixture at Stamford Bridge this evening.
The Blues were losing 1-0 when they were awarded a late penalty. Barkley fought with Willian for the right to take the kick then fired his effort over on a night of tough lessons for Frank Lampard’s men.
Chelsea started brightly and both Tammy Abraham and Marcos Alonso registered early shots on target for the home side before The Blues suffered a blow with Mason Mount picking up an injury.
Jose Gaya headed an effort at Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga before Abraham glanced a header off target as both sides searched for an opening goal.
Willian was lively for The Blues towards the end of the half but he twice sent shots wide of target while his third attempt was well saved by Jasper Cillessen.
The second half saw both Denis Cheryshev and Kevin Gameiro fail to trouble Arrizabalaga with efforts during the first 15 minutes before Alonso saw two shots fly wide. Pedro then went close for Lampard’s side before Valencia opened the scoring 16 minutes from time when Daniel Parejo’s free-kick was volleyed into the net by Rodrigo.
Giroud directed a shot straight at Cillessen as Chelsea chased an equaliser before The Blues were awarded an 85th-minute penalty kick. Barkley battled Willian for the right to take the kick, the England international won the argument but then blazed his shot over the bar.
Alonso and Andreas Christensen had half-chances to level deep in stoppage time but they failed to find the back of the net as Chelsea crashed to defeat.
The Blues return to action on Sunday when Liverpool are the visitors to Stamford Bridge.