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Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley got a rare start today following an impressive performance for England while on international duty, but the 25-year-old went off injured after picking up a knock in the first half.
Barkley started in midfield alongside Jorginho, but had to be subbed off just before half-time. Ross Barkley was forced off two minutes before half-time and Lampard revealed after the game that the midfielder had suffered a knock to his ankle and couldn’t continue.
Lampard said of the England international: “Ross turned his ankle. It looks a bit nasty at first glance, but the doctor wants to have a look at tomorrow. I have no more on that.”
Kovacic came on to replace Barkley and he had a good game.
Speaking to the media after the match, Lampard was pleased with the result and was particularly pleased with Mateo Kovacic who came on as a substitute for the injured Ross Barkley.
The Chelsea boss said: “First of all, I’ve got to give credit to Newcastle. You can see why they have got results this year.
“In the first half we were a little safe and slow… there was not enough urgency or risk. That was the message at half-time.
“We saw the spirit and energy of the team in the second half. We just need to keep picking up the wins and take nothing for granted.
“We had a problem in the game, but solved it. Kovacic was outstandinge. I am pleased, we have to play like that. We got our way in the end.”