Comment and Analysis @p_smith86
Ross Barkley's Chelsea debut against Arsenal assessed
Last Updated: 25/01/18 6:13am
Ross Barkley made his Chelsea debut on Wednesday but was unable to prevent them losing their Carabao Cup semi-final to Arsenal 2-1 on aggregate.
The £15m January signing from Everton stepped off the bench to replace the injured Willian on the half hour mark.
Here, we detail how he got on and see what his manager Antonio Conte had to say about his performance…
As it happened
30 min - Barkley looks unsure on the touchline but eventually realises Antonio Conte is calling for him to get ready to go on for Willian, who appears to have a hamstring problem. He takes up an attacking midfield position in support of false nine Hazard.
30 - Barkley's Chelsea career starts with him sent flying by a shove from Laurent Koscielny, who out-muscles him to earn a goal-kick for the home side.
31 - Moments later Barkley gives away a free-kick on the halfway line for a high foot on Jack Wilshere. The Arsenal man gets revenge within a minute, sliding in late to bring Barkley down. Wilshere is booked.
33 - Barkley shows some rustiness, as his slide tackle on Koscielny near Chelsea's corner flag is penalised. Barkley failed to touch the ball.
43 - Barkley runs on to a through ball but his cross back into the box from the byline is cleared.
45+2 - Barkley opts to try to thread a pass rather than shoot from the edge of the box but it is intercepted, Arsenal counter-attack down the other end and Mesut Ozil's deflected shot goes just wide.
46 - Barkley spreads the play, spraying the ball out to Moses.
50 - Works the ball to Hazard and sets off in support for quick counter downfield, but the Belgian is just unable to squeeze a return pass to Barkley, who was well-placed on the edge of the box.
54 - Barkley shows neat footwork in the middle of the park before setting N'Golo Kante away on the break.
69 - Takes the ball with his back to goal in centre circle, shows good strength to hold off his marker before clipping it out to Alonso on the flank.
74 - Barkley spins away from Mohamed Elneny but is brought down by Granit Xhaka in the centre circle.
77 - Barkley beats Monreal to a high ball and then goes past the Spaniard again as he breaks down the right, before playing the ball inside to spark a move which leads to a Chelsea chance.
79 - Draws the foul from Monreal in the centre circle.
82 - Rudiger heads Barkley's whipped corner over the bar.
85 - Barkley loses possession to Shkodran Mustafi on the halfway line.
87 - Moments later Mustafi fouls Barkley 35 yards from the Arsenal goal in the centre of the pitch. But Marcos Alonso sends his free-kick way over the bar.
95 - Barkley's last-gasp corner, with goalkeeper Willy Caballero up looking for an equaliser, fails to beat the first man.
The manager's verdict
Antonio Conte: "He has a lot of space for improvement. He's working with us, he's only been here two weeks. But for sure, today I was forced to make this substitution. At the same time, I think he can improve a lot."
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After a long-term hamstring injury, this was Barkley's first appearance of the season and there was clearly some ring rust on show. Barkley struggled to influence the game - although he was not the only Chelsea attacking midfielder to fail to make a major impact on Wednesday night.
There were a couple of flashes of his potential - some neat footwork in the centre circle and a driving run past Nacho Monreal the highlights - but Conte will hope to draw much more out of the England international as he builds up his match fitness.