For one of Chelsea’s triumphant side yesterday, victory away at Liverpool may have had even greater significance.
Ross Barkley grew up at the Reds’ big city rivals Everton but until last night’s 2-1 Carabao Cup victory with Chelsea, he had not won at Anfield. He played his part in the entertaining win which put the Blues into Saturday night’s draw for the next round, not least when it was his powerful header that was blocked for Emerson Palmieri to follow up and score the equaliser with just over 10 minutes to go. A wonderful strike from Eden Hazard did the rest.
‘It is a fantastic feeling to come away from Anfield having won,’ Barkley said after the game. ‘It is a hard place to come and to come away having qualified for the next round is fantastic, especially with conceding and having come from behind. It showed fantastic character from the team and it was a great win.
‘It shows the team spirit and all around the place we have got great characters, we have got a great team bond and that showed in this game, coming from behind which not many teams do at Anfield.’
Barkley admitted it is always beneficial for a team to have a player like Hazard it can turn to, the Belgian having come on with his team under heavy pressure in the second half.
‘He is up there with the best in the world,’ praised Barkley. ‘Day to day in training you see what he can do and he produces the goods like he did in this game, he is a fantastic player.’
Barkley, with his injury problems behind him, is certainly enjoying this season and life under Maurizio Sarri, and is relishing the prospect of another go at Liverpool this weekend, this time in front of the home crowd.
‘There is a lot of ball possession and it is fantastic for forward-thinking players,’ said the 24-year-old on our current style of play. ‘Being organised round the back as well and higher up the pitch expressing ourselves, so it is fantastic to play in. We are still learning game by game, we are improving and that is what we need to be doing.
‘Coming from behind and winning [against Liverpool], that will give us a lot of confidence going into the weekend game. Game by game we keep improving and on Saturday we will be going in with the same target, to win.’
- The Carabao Cup round four draw will take place live on Quest, on the EFL’s highlights programme at 9pm on Saturday.