Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen has slammed Ross Barkley for his decision to take – and miss – his side’s last-gasp penalty against Valencia.
The England midfielder decided to take the spot-kick despite the presence of regular takers Jorginho and Willian on the pitch.
Barkley then thundered his penalty off the top of the crossbar, meaning Frank Lampard’s managerial bow in the competition got off to the worst possible start.
Lampard insisted Barkley is the designated penalty taker when he is on the pitch, but it was evident there was a clear disagreement between the players after the spot kick was awarded.
“It’s almost disrespectful to your team-mates to do something like what Ross Barkley did this evening,” Gudjohnsen said on BT Sport.
“I’m pretty sure it’s clear who is the penalty taker before the game.
“Just to create all the fuss, the tension between your team-mates and yourself and then go on to miss the penalty, you just put yourself under so much more pressure than actually just taking a penalty.”
Gudjohnsen also said captain Cesar Azpilicueta should have taken control of the situation.
He continued: “If you’re the manager in a situation like this, where you’ve got one, two, three, four players standing over the ball, and there is a question on who is going to take the penalty, don’t you want your captain to step in and say, ‘Listen, it’s been decided before the game who is the penalty taker’?
“Show that authority as the captain to make the decision for everyone who’s on the pitch.”
Chelsea’s defeat means they are now under pressure to get good results against Lille and Ajax.
The Blues travel to Lille in two weeks time in the hope of bouncing back from the defeat.