Ross Barkley had been in form in recent games for Chelsea, but Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri opted to feature Ross Barkley in his starting eleven as Barkley was named on the bench.
In Barkley’s stead, Mateo Kovacic was handed a start, while Barkley only came on for the last few minutes of the game against his former club.
When asked about his decision to leave Barkley out of the starting XI, Sarri told Sky Sports: “Well Ross played for 90 minutes in the last match three days ago,”
“We are lucky because we have Kovacic, a great player, fresh for playing today.”
Barkley got an opportunity against his former club when he was introduced on the 81st minute, but Barkley was below par and seemed to be off the pace against the Toffees.
Barkley was also given a hostile reception by the Everton fans, but it was something even he expected.
Barkley revealed before the game that he didn’t think the fans will give him a good reception.
“I don’t think it [the reception] will be the best,” Barkley said in the London Evening Standard.
“I’m not nervous, I’m excited to play against my former club and team-mates – I understand how some of them play, so that could be an advantage for me.
“On the day I might get a few nerves as it will feel a bit strange. I’m looking forward to catching up with some of the staff there who I used to get on really well with.”