Analysis

Ross Barkley’s fantastic free-kick proves Chelsea team-mates right

It will have come as no surprise to his team-mates that Ross Barkley curled home a superb free-kick in last night’s 3-0 win over Malmo at Stamford Bridge.

Malmo defender Rasmus Bengtsson had just been dismissed after being shown a second yellow card for bringing down Emerson Palmieri just outside the penalty area, and it was Barkley who stepped forward to lift his strike up and over the ball and into the top corner of the net, making it 2-0 on the night.

Our Lifting the Lid feature, which we have been running on this website all season, asks members of the squad to provide some snippets of behind-the-scenes information about their team-mates.

Among the questions is one about which player is good at free-kicks which the supporters might not know about, and Barkley’s name has been one of the most regular answers.

Read: Giroud and Hudson-Odoi react to deserved win

Back in September, Marcos Alonso was the first player to highlight Barkley’s abilities from dead balls, and you can watch highlights of last night's game, including Barkley's free-kick, in the video below.
 

Goalkeepers Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero will have faced plenty of Barkley’s free-kicks in training and both players picked him out, with Kepa citing the overall power of his strikes as a big strength.

The other players to have praised Barkley for his ability from free-kicks are Davide Zappacosta, Emerson and Pedro.

Barkley himself will have been delighted to have proved them right last night, and the next time we have a free-kick in a decent position, Willian and Alonso, our regular takers, may just find themselves with some extra competition.
 

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