Mateo Kovacic & Ross Barkley

Bizarre Kovacic/Barkley stat emerges after Chelsea’s drubbing at Man City

A statistic surrounding the frequency with which Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri replaces either Ross Barkley or Mateo Kovacic with the other has been turning heads online over the last 24 hours.

Man City 6-0 Chelsea

Chelsea travelled to the Etihad to take on champions Manchester City yesterday evening, in a Premier League clash.

The Blues headed into proceedings hoping to reclaim their spot in the English top-flight’s top-4, after being leapfrogged by Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.

However, when all was said and done at the Etihad, not only did Maurizio Sarri’s men fail to take back their Champions League berth, but the capital giants also saw their goal-difference take an absolute beating.

A scintillating opening 25 minutes from City left Chelsea shell-shocked, as the hosts raced out to a 4-0 lead.

Raheem Sterling opened the game’s scoring, before Ilkay Gundogan added to Sergio Aguero’s brace to kill the fixture as a contest within the opening half-hour.

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring his team’s fifth goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

And things only got worse for Chelsea following the interval, with Aguero having secured his hat-trick before Sterling added some gloss to the scoreline 10 minutes from time.

Barkley vs Kovacic

In the aftermath of the club’s heaviest defeat in 28 years, Blues’ boss Maurizio Sarri has unsurprisingly been singled out for heavy criticism.

The Italian tactician was frankly shown up by counterpart Pep Guardiola in every aspect of the game yesterday evening, with Sarri’s at times baffling decision-making having only served to further-highlight the chasm in quality between his side and Manchester City.

And one particular decision which Sarri made at the Etihad has since given rise to a remarkable statistic.

The stat has come to light after the Chelsea boss opted to replace Ross Barkley with Mateo Kovacic during the second-half of his side’s hammering in Manchester:

Image via the Daily Mail

Needless to say, fans of the Blues have not been impressed with their manager’s insistence on flip-flopping between his midfield options:

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