Chelsea pay Champions League penalty as Barkley misses late spot-kick

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Ross Barkley fluffed a late penalty as Frank Lampard suffered defeat on his Champions League debut as Chelsea manager.

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.

Barkley could not convert from the spot at the death
Barkley could not convert from the spot at the death (Nick Potts/PA)

But they did not play like a team on the verge of mutiny and had too much nous for Lampard’s beginners, four of whom were making their Champions League debuts.

Lampard, who played 102 Champions League matches for Chelsea and captained them to their 2012 triumph, was perfectly placed to impart his experience of playing at this level to his youngsters – but it could still be a steep learning curve this season.

Tammy Abraham, fresh from his hat-trick at Wolves, was denied a maiden Champions League goal when his near-post flick was blocked by Valencia keeper Jasper Cillessen.

Lampard greets Mount as the youngster comes off injured
Lampard greets Mount as the youngster comes off injured (Nick Potts/PA)

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.

Abraham went close again with a far-post header from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross and Willian’s powerful run through the middle only produced a shot which flew wide.

Willian, Chelsea’s biggest threat in the first half, almost fashioned a spectacular opener when he controlled Mateo Kovacic’s crossfield pass on his chest, but his first-time shot flew over.

At times Willian dazzled for the Blues
At times Willian dazzled for the Blues (Nick Potts/PA)

Marcos Alonso took the game to Valencia early in the second half, drilling in a free-kick which Cillessen tipped behind before heading the resulting corner over.

But in the 74th minute they fell behind, Rodrigo giving the Chelsea defence the slip as he raced onto Daniel Parejo’s chipped free-kick and swept the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Referee Cuneyt Cakir checks the pitch side camera to check a VAR decision
Referee Cuneyt Cakir consults the pitchside camera to check a VAR decision (Nick Potts/PA)

After an interminable VAR delay a spot-kick was finally given but Barkley, on as a substitute just seven minutes earlier, took responsibility only to crash his effort against the frame of the goal.

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