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Analysis – Five things learned from Malmo 1-2 Chelsea

AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea FC - Premier League Maurizio Sarri
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Kovacic vs Barkley

Chelsea FC v Everton FC - Premier League Kovacic Barkley
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 11: Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea is substituted for Ross Barkley of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on November 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It’s become something of a running joke how Sarri consistently swaps Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic in his midfield.

The truth of the matter is, though, that both are yet to make a compelling case for being first choice. Barkley added to his cause here with a scrambled finish to put Chelsea in front. Under challenging circumstances, he did well to finish.

Yet, he nearly ruined that by giving away possession late on to put Chelsea under pressure.

Kovacic also put in a solid display in midfield. However, it was him giving possession away cheaply in midfield that led to the Malmo goal.

For every step forward, each player seems to take another backwards. Until one can prove they are worthy to Sarri, it’s likely this regular change will keep occurring.