Chelsea 2-2 Burnley: Blues held at the Bridge
Jeff Hendrick celebrates the opener via Getty Images

Chelsea 2-2 Burnley: Blues held at the Bridge

Chelsea were held 2-2 at home by a stubborn Burnley side in the Premier League

Matthew Wojciow
Chelsea FCKepa, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho, Kante (Kovacic 45), Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi (Pedro 40), Higuain (Giroud 76), Hazard
burnley-fcHeaton, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Wood, Barnes
SCORE0-1, min 7, Hendrick,1-1, min 11, Kante, 2-1, min 13, Higuain, 2-2 min 23, Barnes

Chelsea dropped vital points in the race for Champions League football next season as they were held 2-2 by Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

A thrilling opening 25 minutes saw a real back and forth in the scoring. Burnley opened the scoring through Jeff Hendrick before a quickfire double from Gonzalo Higuain and N'Golo Kante, gave the blues the lead before Ashley Barnes levelled. 

Story of the game

Chelsea came out flying for this game and had a quick flurry of chances in the opening moments but Burnley were able to scramble the ball to safety. 

The Blues almost took the lead in the sixth minute, when Higuain, was put through and he flicked it past Tom Heaton but Ben Mee managed to get back to prevent the Argentine from opening the scoring. 

It was Burnley who opened the scoring with what was their first clear cut chance. A corner whipped in from the right was poorly cleared by Cesar Azpilicueta and it fell to Hendrick on the edge of the box and he vollyed it past Kepa.

That did not last long though, Ruben Loftus-Cheek slid in Eden Hazard down the left and after some clever work, the Belgian cut it back.  Kante met the cut back and with the help of a deflection it finds its way past Heaton. 

Chelsea were in front just minutes later. Some clever play between Azplicueta and Higuain allowed the Argentine space in the box and he emphatically smashed it past Heaton.  

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It was almost three in the 20th minute. Ruben Loftus-Cheek found himself with acres of space and time at the edge of the Burnley box and left off a peach of an effort but it went just wide of the post. 

Burnley got themselves level in the 23rd minute. A superbly worked free-kick was ended by Barnes who volloyed it past Kepa. 

After Burnley's equaliser, Chelsea really started to turn the screw on the Clarets backline but for the time being they were holding firm. 

Burnley's firm rearguard was holding up well to the Chelsea onslaught as the first half neared completion. 

The first chance of the second half fell to Higuain, as the ball was put across the box but the Argentine did not really test Heaton. 

Chelsea were really putting pressure on that Burnley defence and Emerson went close with a thunderous effort from around 25 yards out which whistled past the post. 

Burnley really struggled to get out of their own half as the game went on. 

Chelsea kept peppering the Burnley goal with half chances but nothing reallyt worries keeper Heaton. 

The introduction of Olivier Giroud did switch up the focus but it did play into Burnley's hands as their strengths are in the air. 

There were some unsavoury scenes at the end of the game as Mateo Kovacic and a couple Burnley players were involved in a tussle, which also saw Chelsea Boss Maurizio Sarri forced to watch the last moments in the tunnel.

Burnley though did survive the Chelsea pressure to come away from the Bridge with a point

Takeaways from the match 

Chelsea's top for chances are hanging by a string

Chelsea do move into the top 4 for 48 hours at least and are level on points with 3rd place Tottenham Hotspur. Chelsea though will see this as two points dropped rather than a point gained. The Blues have a tricky fixture away to Manchester United at the weekend and if results go against them, they could be six points behind Spurs and five behind Arsenal with just three games left to play. Could Chelsea's best route into Europe's top table be through winning the Europa League.

Burnley's press is superb to watch

Burnley's style of play is not very glamorous but it can be really effective against a side like Chelsea. They apply pressure at the right times whilst also making sure there is enough cover behind. Granted Burnely have massively underperformed in comparison to last season, however Dyche has got his team believing in his philosphy and playing well as a unit. 

Eden Hazard is mesmerising to watch at times

By far and away Chelsea's stand out performer this season, as shown by him picking up Chelsea's Player of the Season prior to kick off, Eden Hazard can be an absolute joy to watch. His dribbling ability is up there with the best in the world and the way he set up Kante's goal was sublime. The real question though is can the Blues keep hold of the Belgian Wizard in the summer. 

Man of the Match

Ben Mee

This was a hard choice between any of the Burnley backline and Eden Hazard on the Chelsea side. Today it goes to Ben Mee. Neither goal was really down to poor defending and at all other times in the match, the Clarets' defence stood firm and repelled what Chelsea threw at them.

Mee was the better of the two Burnely centre-backs but there was really not much in it. He not only defended well but his calmness when in possession of the football did help Burnley transition into attack very well. A superb display and a well-deserved man of the match award.