Sean Dyche believes his Burnley side produced one of the “best 45 minutes” of his time at the club after leading champions Chelsea 3-0 at half time, who had Gary Cahill sent off for a lunge on Steven Defour only 15 minutes in.
The champions did rally in the second-half, scoring twice, either side of a second red card for Chelsea after Cesc Fabregas received a second yellow card for a late tackle on Jack Cork after his first for dissent in the first.
“The shape and organisation was great” according to Dyche
In Dyche’s view, the Clarets were “strong early in the game, while it was 11 v 11”, and he thought his team did really well to “handle the sending off and keep the ball and create chances”. Sam Vokes volleyed Burnley ahead in the 24th minute, and added his second, Burnley’s third, after Stephen Ward thrashed the ball over Thibaut Courtois from a very tight angle on the 40 minute mark.
The Clarets only won one away game all last season, and Dyche knows how difficult it is to perform on the road, let alone score three goals before half time “particularly when you are down at Chelsea”.
Alvaro Morata came off the bench for the Blues and scored to make it 1-3 before Fabregas’ red card, and then the debutant flicked on for David Luiz to fire home from close range to set up a nervy finish. Dyche was impressed with how his men reacted to the star studded change which turned the game, saying the “shape and organisation was great”.
Dyche wants to build on opening performance
“Chelsea have players of such calibre” said Dyche after the match, and believes that “nobody gave Burnley a chance.” Despite a great result, the manager still recognised some errors, citing “two soft goals we gave away” but nevertheless “a very good win is pleasing” for him.
Vokes, now the leading striker after Andre Gray’s departure, said “a lot was made of the away form last season” and the team just “got our heads down and put in a performance.” Not wanting to dwell on the opening game, both Vokes and Dyche expressed desire to build on the performance and produce another fine display at home against West Brom.
Before then though, Dyche will be looking into bringing in new signings after a frustrating window in truth, a frustration shared by opposite number Antonio Conte.
It was the home form that kept the Clarets up last season, and after a confidence boosting performance, they will be looking forward to returning to Turf Moor and giving the home fans a similar performance. For now at least, we can say that Burnley are guaranteed to be in a European competition place by the end of the weekend!