On Sunday, I attended my first Barclays Premier League game of the season, when I travelled to Lancashire to watch Burnley v Chelsea. Burnley had one of their best season’s in their history last season, finishing 7th in the league and securing a spot in the Europa League qualifying rounds. Visitors, Chelsea finished a disappointing 5th last season, narrowly missing out on Champions League football, and had to deal with Europa League. Burnley were drawn against Aberdeen which they managed to scrape through after drawing 1-1 in both legs, before the English side just had enough in extra time. The next round they faced Basaksehir of Turkey which they also narrowly got through. The final qualifying round was where it ended for the Clarets, as they were beaten by Olympiakos of Greece (4-2 on AGG). Chelsea are currently top of their group in their campaign and look set to qualify for the last 16.
Last weekend, Burnley suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat away to last seasons champions, Manchester City. After only being 1-0 down at half time, two quick early second half goals from Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho were followed by two late goals from Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane to make it a day to forget for the Clarets. Chelsea scored a last minute equaliser last Saturday against Manchester United. After taking the lead, Anthony Martial scored a brace to turn the tie on its head but Ross Barkley equalised at the death to steal a point. They followed it up with a routine win against Bate Borisov of Belarus on Thursday evening, where Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored a hat-rick.
Burnley made one change from the defeat in Manchester last week with Aaron Lennon missing out through injury so Johann Gudmundsson took his place on the wing
Mauricio Sarri made numerous changes as expected from Thursday Europa League clash. 8 Changes in total. The whole back 4 was changed from David Zappacosta, Andrea Christensen, Gary Cahill and Emerson to Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger , David Luiz and Marcus Alonso. Their was 3 changes in the midfield with Mateo Kovacic, Cesc Fabregas and Loftus-Cheek dropping out and in came Ross Barkley, Jorginho and the regular starter, N’Golo Kante. The only change up-front for Chelsea was Alvaro Morata replacing Oliver Giroud.
The game got underway at Turf Moor after holding a minutes silence to commemorate 100 years since the first world war, next month plus for the tragic event that happened in Leicester on Saturday evening, which seen 5 life’s taken in a horrible helicopter crash, including Leicester owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Burnley started the best in the match, causing problems down either flank with Robbie Brady and Gudmundsson but the visitors coped with the pressure. After soaking up all the home pressure, Chelsea sprung into life after 11 minutes when N’Golo Kante’s cross found Willian, who set up Ross Barkley on the edge of the box before his half-volley bounced into the ground and off the head of Morata which looked to be going in, but Hart made a great save to tip it over the bar. Willian was causing the Clarets all sort of problems and he came close when he wriggled his way around the box before firing and effort at goal, which was easily saved. The Brazilian continued to impress and was inches away from opening the scoring on the 20th minute mark when he left Matthew Lowton for dead as he broke free and into the box before curling his effort onto the inside of the post. The away side deservedly took on the lead, and what a beautiful goal it was. Kante played in Ross Barkley, who used his feet sublimely to slide in Alvaro Morata and the Spanish striker made no mistake as he poked It past Hart to make it 1-0 Chelsea. Burnley nearly equalised on the 28th minute, when a Robbie Brady corner found the head of the unmarked, James Tarkowski but the defender headered over from a couple of yards out. Morata should of had his second of the afternoon after 37 minutes when a quick free kick was taken by Jorginho, who lofted the ball over the whole Burnley back 4 and found Morata, who’s effort on the volley was superbly saved by Joe Hart at point-blank range. Both Willian and Morata were booked by referee Craig Pawson towards the end of the first half for pathetic attempts at trying to dive for a penalty.
Half Time- Burnley 0-1 Chelsea
The second half got into proceedings and it was all Chelsea. They were a pleasure to watch. On the 56th Minute it should have been 2-0 when, Willian took it past his man before flashing it across the face of goal for Alvaro Morata who snuck in behind Ben Mee, but aimed his header over from close range. The Spaniard could of had a hat-rick so far. A minute later the Blues got their second when Ross Barkley drove at the Clarets defence before unleashing a fine effort into the the far right corner, giving Joe Hart no chance. The away side continued to impress and scored another fantastic goal to make it 3-0 on the 63rd minute, when Willian got his deserved goal. It was a piece of Brazilian brilliance from Willian, when he skipped by Gudmundsson before curling his effort into the far right corner, once again giving Joe Hart in the Burnley net no chance. It should of been 4-0 after 78 minutes, when once again, Willian beat his man before cutting it back to substitute, Oliver Giroud who curled his effort just wide after being in acres of space. The French striker will be frustrated his didn’t get on the scoresheet, when he squandered another fantastic chance in stoppage time. A cross found the head of Giroud, who rose highest and powered his header at goal, but Joe Hart made another unbelievable save to tip it onto the crossbar. However, the away side did have another one in them and made it 4-0 to finish off a perfect days work in Lancashire. The resulting corner from Girouds effort caused a goalmouth scramble before eventually, Marcus Alonso’s backheel deflected off of Chris Wood and straight into the path of Ruben Loftus-Cheek who had the easiest of finishes. Burnley 0-4 Chelsea at Turf Moor.
Hart, Lowton Taylor, Tarkowski, Mee, Cork, Defour, Brady, Gudmundsson, Hendrick, Vokes
Subs- Heaton, Bardlsley, Long, Westwood, Barnes, Wood, Vydra
Arrizabalaga, Alonso, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Pedro, Willian, Morata
Subs- Caballero, Cahill, Zappacosta, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas, Giroud
Referee- Craig Pawson
Assistants- Ian Hussin & Richard West
Fourth Official – Lee Mason
Attendance- 21,430(2,458 Away Fans)
Goals- Morata(22), Barkley(57), Willian(62), Loftus-Cheek(90+2)
Yellow Cards- Morata(43), Tarkowski(43), Willian(45), Hendrick(48), Brady(61), Gudmundsson(64),
Red Cards- 0#