Although the Blues looked solid for the first half an hour, the central pairing of James and Barkley didn’t really work out as Tuchel would have intended.
There seemed to be no real balance to Chelsea’s midfield pairing; who put up minimal resistance during Zenit’s first half goals, with Barkley guilty of some sloppy play in the build-up to Zenit’s second goal.
It was a different story for James, who appeared to be all on his own in the middle for Chelsea at times.
He had the most touches (37) of any Blues player in the first half and he was constantly eager to get on the ball, completing all but one of the 34 passes he attempted. But he was left exposed on more than one occasion by Barkley, who doesn’t look a natural fit next in that deeper role.
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