Supporters of Chelsea have take to social media in numbers this evening to call for Mateo Kovacic to be handed a consistent starting-berth over Ross Barkley.
BATE Borisov 0-1 Chelsea
The Blues travelled to Belarus for a tricky Europa League clash with BATE Borisov a short time ago, with Sarri’s men having headed into proceedings aware that a win would guarantee their place in the next round of the competition.
Chelsea toiled for much of the 90 minutes, though, with the hosts having rattled the woodwork 3 times and missed a couple of gilt-edged chances.
In the end, though, one goal proved enough for the London giants, with Olivier Giroud’s 52nd-minute header having sent Chelsea into the Europa League’s last-32 with 2 games to spare:
May 6 2018: Chelsea vs Liverpool ⚽️
He waited 794 minutes for a goal but Olivier Giroud’s header sends Chelsea into the last 32! 🔵 pic.twitter.com/CpVhV0698R
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 8, 2018
Kovacic > Barkley
However, as previously mentioned, while it was a positive night in terms of result for Chelsea, the performance of the capital outfit left a lot to be desired.
A number of the Blues’ stars looked well below-par over the course of the 90 minutes at the Borisov Arena, with many of Chelsea’s fans having been particularly disappointed with midfielders Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
As such, with Barkley having been handed a starting berth at the expense of Mateo Kovacic on a number of occasions of late, sections of the Blues’ faithful have tonight taken to Twitter to urge the latter to be reinstated to the club’s starting XI week-in, week-out:
These are the performances that cement by statement. Barkley and RLC are nowhere near Kovacic’s level
— Marco Borrelli ☠️🎈🇮🇹 (@MarcoBorrelli13) November 8, 2018
And this is why we should be buying Kovacic permanently next summer. The guy literally creates chance after the chance and makes things look easy in tight spaces. Barkley is better as a player who can come off the bench and attack tired legs. #cfc
— ZΛCH (@InsaneEden) November 8, 2018
Fair play to Barkley he has clearly worked hard this season but you’re mad if you think him or Loftus-Cheek are anywhere near Kovacic’s league, he’s on a completely different level
— Lewis Fry (@LewisFry07) November 8, 2018
Barkley can’t ball like Kovacic.
— nicky (@nickycfc) November 8, 2018
So you See why Kovacic is levels ahead of Ruben and Barkley.
Ruben is not showing his tactical/technical skills. At the moment Kovacic>Barkley>Ruben.
— Floki Ron (@floki_ron) November 8, 2018
Clearly missing Kovacic. You cannot play this type of football with someone as slow as Barkley on the ball.
— ♕ (@DerPurist) November 8, 2018
I think the difference between him and Kovacic is things like that. Kovacic is decisive, knows what he’s doing etc. Barkley on the edge of nervous chaos all the time.
— Peter Cooper #FBPE 🇪🇺 (@Coopswords) November 8, 2018