Chelsea fans slate Ross Barkley for performance against BATE Borisov in Europa League victory and call for Mateo Kovacic – but what do the stats say?
CHELSEA fans stuck the boot into Ross Barkley for his limp performance against BATE Borisov last night.
The midfielder played the full 90 minutes of Blues’ 1-0 Europa League win but was unable to shine.
Barkley, 24, was picked ahead of Real Madrid loanee Mateo Kovacic to partner Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jorginho in midfield.
Many supporters called for Maurizio Sarri to play the Croat instead – but are they right?
Barkley has scored three goals and set up four in all competitoins this season, compared to Kovacic’s single assist against Liverpool in the Premier League.
Stats also show the England ace has hit the target with 32 per cent of his shots – over double his team-mate’s accuracy – with eight of his 25 attempts hitting the target, compared to just three out of 20.
However, Kovacic has completed 121 more passes and has better accuracy (93.92 per cent) than Barkley (91.53 per cent).
And the former Inter Milan star, also 24, has completed more successful dribbles (23) than Barkley (9), as well as making six more tackles with 16 in total.
Despite Chelsea fans’ moaning, they were the happier of the two sides as they booked their spot in the Europa League last-32, thanks to Olivier Giroud’s first goal under Sarri.
Blues host Barkley’s former team Everton on Sunday and he reckons he will come in for some stick from his old fans.
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Barkley told Sky Sports: “I don’t think it [the reception] will be the best.
There might be a few who might say a few good things.
“I achieved my dream of playing for Everton, from a young age I always dreamed of scoring for Everton.
“In my living room I always used to tell my mum ‘one day I’ll score for Everton’ and when that happened it was unbelievable for me. I tried to achieve success there but sometimes these things happen in football.”