LONDON – Valencia gatecrashed Frank Lampard's managerial bow in the Champions League by earning a morale-boosting 1-0 win at Chelsea on Tuesday after Ross Barkley spurned a chance to equalise by missing from the penalty spot.
Spain forward Rodrigo Moreno gave the visitors the lead against the run of play in the 74th minute of the Group H game, getting the slightest of touches on a free kick from Dani Parejo to send the ball into the roof of the net.
Chelsea continued to threaten and were awarded a penalty after a VAR review spotted a handball by Valencia defender Daniel Wass, but Barkley sent the resulting spot kick on to the crossbar and over.
Valencia travelled to London reeling from a stinging 5-2 league loss at Barcelona in coach Albert Celades's first game in charge after the much-loved Marcelino was sacked, despite overseeing two top-four finishes and winning the Copa del Rey.
His dismissal bewildered the players, who began a media blackout after the decision, while influential defender Ezequiel Garay fiercely criticised the move in an angry post on social media.