Chelsea played host to Burnley this afternoon as the Clarets looked to record their first Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge. Unfortunate for Burnley, they will have to wait until next season to capture that elusive victory as Antonio Conte’s side thrashed the Clarets 3-0, further proving their title challenging credentials.
The match started off fairly open with Tom Heaton being called to action plenty in the opening minutes. It wouldn’t be long until Chelsea had a vice grip on possession as Burnley sat back, looking to strike on the counter attack. While that proved effective for Burnley in their 2-0 victory over Liverpool last week, Chelsea were far too composed to get exposed on the counter-attack, slowing Burnley’s play into the midfield where Chelsea truly shined.
Unlike the hosts’ opening fixtures, Chelsea got on the score sheet early through Eden Hazard. Burnley squandered possession in the midfield as Hazard took the ball on a driving run before curling a low shot past Heaton. A brilliant run from the Belgian created the space he needed to open up the scoring. It’s been a completely different start to the season this year from Hazard as his return to top form continues to excite the Blues' faithful.
From then on Chelsea looked as if they could score at any moment if it weren’t for some brilliant defending from Ben Mee. Consistent last ditch tackles denied Hazard and Diego Costa from adding on to the lead.
Willian returned from injury this week and replaced Pedro in the lineup, and his presence was surely felt as he doubled the lead before the half. Brilliant play from Hazard on the left side saw Costa receive the ball who laid it off the Willian. The Brazilian made no mistake as he smashed the ball between Heaton’s legs and into the back of the net.
Burnely nearly pulled one back immediately after a wonderful move saw Scott Arfield through on goal. The resulting shot was rather poor however, dragging the ball wide of the target.
Chelsea see off the Clarets in dominating second half
The second half saw Burnley come out with more possession and better attacking play, getting the ball into dangerous areas. Nothing would amount from it in the end, but it was a refreshing approach to the game from the visitors who had been sitting back for most of the match.
It seemed like a third goal could come at any moment as Chelsea built the pressure on the Burnley goal, but Heaton and his central defense denied Diego Costa time and time again. Even John Terry nearly found the net, nodding just over the crossbar multiple times.
A string of late corners for Burnley brought hope for the Clarets as each ball sent in came closer and closer to finding the net. The most dangerous corner was headed on two times in a heap of players, but Thibaut Courtois did well to track the ball and grasp it with both hands.
As the match came to a close, Chelsea showed killer instinct as Victor Moses tapped one more goal in for good measure. Michy Batshuayi found Pedro out wide, and the Spaniard had all kinds of space as he sent an early cross to the far post. A wonderful run from Moses found him at the end of the cross as his sliding finish beat Heaton.
After the spectacular week Burnley had at the Turf Moor, it was a week to forget for the Clarets at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea easily handled the visitors. Despite some positive play and dangerous chances for Burnley, they were simply outclassed by the Blues. Eden Hazard is continuing to prove he has returned to his very best, and Willian’s goalscoring return pleased Conte as his wild celebrations showed.
Chelsea fans will have no trouble picking out the positives in a match that showed just how much class this side has. With no European football either, Chelsea certainly look like real title contenders.