Giroud inspires dominant Chelsea first half
Whilst Burnley remained unchanged from their fifth successive victory, Chelsea made six alterations, including the return of the disgruntled Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko, whilst Olivier Giroud partnered Alvaro Morata up front.
Giroud looked spritely early on, buoyed by his double at the weekend. A clumsy challenge by Kevin Long on the Frenchman in the penalty area produced a nervy moment for the hosts but the defender appeared to get enough of the ball and the protests of the visitors were waved away.
The first chance of note came when Giroud flicked on a long ball to play through Morata who was kept out by the foot of Nick Pope from an angle.
Chelsea continued to build pressure and it was not long before they broke the deadlock. Gary Cahill had been trying long diagonal balls throughout the opening 30 minutes and when he got one right it worked impeccably. Victor Moses took the lofted ball down with a deft touch before shrugging off Stephen Ward and clipping the ball across the box. Pope could only tip the ball onto Long who got his body in completely the wrong position before bundling the ball into his own goal. A soft goal for the hosts to concede in a manner not often associated with the Clarets
Giroud continued to make it challenging for the Burnley players to pick him up and when he dropped between the lines he was able to slip through Morata again. Fortunately for the home side, Pope was quickly off his line to thwart the Spaniard.
Another spell of Chelsea pressure resulted in N'golo Kante joining in an attack and firing just over from the edge of the box before the break. In truth, it was a lacklustre opening 45 minutes from the hosts whilst Chelsea looked rejuvenated, optimised by the energy shown by Antonio Conte on the sidelines, a somewhat unfamiliar sight in recent weeks.
Moses responds five minutes after Barnes equaliser
Burnley looked more assured on the ball after half-time but Chelsea should have doubled their lead within ten minutes. Kante cut out a Matt Lowton ball forward and his resulting pass through to Morata gave the striker the whole of the Burnley half to run into. However, faced just by Pope, Morata slotted his effort wide when he should have made the score 2-0.
The Clarets had still offered very little up until the hour mark with Thibaut Courtois almost a spectator...yet spectate is all he could do as Burnley equalised with a huge slice of luck. Johann Berg Gudmundsson burst forward before firing a shot off Ashley Barnes, diverting the ball in the opposite direction and past Courtois for an unlikely equaliser.
Yet Chelsea responded with a much need injection of tempo. After Emerson saw his strike beaten away by Pope, the ball was recycled back to the left wing-back. The Brazilian's cross missed everyone in the middle and fell to Moses who was able to smash the ball past Pope, just five minutes after conceding.
Burnley responded by throwing on Sam Vokes and the Welsh striker almost scored with his first touch. Vokes wriggled away from the Chelsea defence but could only head Gudmundsson's corner straight at Courtois.
Yet Burnley offered very little in the remaining moments, as they had done throughout the entire contest, and Chelsea were able to stroll home with ease as substitute Eden Hazard dominated the tempo of the game. Conte's side are now just five points off the top four.