Chelsea manager Frank Lampard defends Ross Barkley over row with taxi driver

Barkley was escorted to a cashpoint by two police offers having refused to pay

Ross Barkley was involved in an argument with a taxi driver
Ross Barkley was involved in an argument with a taxi driver

Frank Lampard has defended Ross Barkley after the Chelsea midfielder was involved in a late night row with a taxi driver.

The 25-year-old became embroiled in an argument with the driver after spilling chips in the back of the car. He was then escorted to a cashpoint by two police offers having refused to pay.

And Lampard, speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League game against Lille on Wednesday night, insisted Barkley did not “commit a crime”.

“He is travelling, he is with us. In terms of permission, I don’t expect people to ask to be in Liverpool on their day off,” said the Chelsea manager. “That’s not a problem. He hasn’t broken the club code about being out.“He hasn’t committed a crime, but I think he has been naive to be out before a Champions League game.

“He has admitted that. I like Ross, I have had no problems with him and he has admitted he made a mistake. I will take that at face value and move on.”

Lampard also spoke on the international futures of youngsters Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, both of whom may be eligible for England.

“It isn’t my place to decide,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that. It is for their families and themselves to decide.”

Turning his attention to Wednesday evening’s game against Lille, Lampard highlighted the importance of a win, particularly following defeat to Valencia in the opening group game.

“We have to be honest, I didn’t think Valencia was the worst game for us,” he said. “We should have got a result. With Lille they have a lot of threats, speed and quality. It is not the be-all and end-all, we have to see it in the big picture, but it’s a game we have to be ready for.”

The Chelsea boss provided an update on the fitness of N’Golo Kante, too.

“He has trained and got through it okay,” Lampard added. “It’s one that we have to assess. We are positive.

“It doesn’t relate to the Europa League. The fallout of that meant he has had a broken pre-season. He has had a few niggles, some bad luck. Everyone is working to getting him fit.”

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