Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has insisted there is “no issue in the dressing room” after Ross Barkley demanded to take the club’s late penalty against Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday night, only to hit the crossbar.
The Blues, trailing to a goal from Valencia winger Rodrigo, were given a lifeline in the closing stages when VAR flagged up a handball in the area.
But Barkley’s spot-kick clipped the crossbar to condemn Lampard and his young side to a 1-0 loss in the Group H opener.
“Ross is a penalty taker and is when he starts games,” Lampard said after the game.
“He took it and missed it. It is a great story to say there is contention between players. If he scores it is not a story. But he took it and missed. That is it.
“The disappointment to all of us is that we didn’t get chance to win the game. There is no issue in the dressing room.”
To make matters worse for Chelsea, fellow rookie Mason Mount then received a painful introduction to Europe when former Arsenal midfielder Frances Coquelin left his studs on the inside of the youngster’s shin.
It was a nasty challenge which only earned Coquelin a yellow card, but after trying to play on Mount’s match came to a premature end after 14 minutes.
“It did affect the game and we know how well he is playing. He looked sharp,” Lampard said of losing Mount.
“It is an ankle injury and hopefully not too bad. It needs to be assessed over the next few days.”