Chelsea started their League title defense with a three-goals-to-two loss to Burnley at Stamford Bridge.
Playing without the lethal front line of last season – that comprised Eden Harzard, Pedro Rodriguez and wantaway Diego Costa – Chelsea struggled to break down a well-drilled Burnley’s defense. They were furthered weakened when Gary Cahill was red carded for lunging his boot on the leg of Steven Defour in the thirteenth minute of the game.
Chelsea showed more attacking intent in the first ten minutes of the match; they also enjoyed a majority of ball possession. The match took a different complexion after Gary Cahill mindlessly plunged his boot on Defour leg. His dismissal led to the visiting team taking over the dominance of the game with their superior ball possession and tidy passing, as they launched an unceasing waves of attacks against Chelsea.
Sam Vokes scored the first goal of the match in the twenty third minute of the game. A Burnley’s attacking play led to Matthew Lowton crossing the ball into Chelsea’s eighteen yard box and the ball flew to the front of Vokes who then volleyed it into the far corner of the goalpost to put his side ahead.
Chelsea fought back and tried to get an equalizer but found it very difficult to breach Burnley’s defense line manned by ten players. William was the major source of attacking play from the home team; the Brazilian used his pace and trickery to attack the opponent’s half of the pitch but was always crowded upon and dispossessed when he reached the final third.
Stephen Ward scored Burnley’s second goal in the thirty eighth minute of the game. Ward used his chest to drive a pass from Jack Cork into Chelsea’s eighteen yard box, and then fired the ball with so much ferocity that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was unable to prevent it from entering the goalpost.
Chelsea took the game to the opponent whenever they had possession of the ball, but Burnley would hit them with counter-attacks after thwarting the home team’s offensive play into their own half.
Vokes was on hand again to score Burnley’s third goal of the match. A Stephen Defour’s cross from the right flank was headed into the goalpost by an unmarked Vokes, who was able to evade David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger as the ball flew into the front of the goal-mouth.
The second half turned out to be an all-Chelsea affair,they attacked their opponent from the beginning to the end scoring two goals in the process despite having Csec Fabregas sent off for his cynical challenge on Jack Cork.
Chelsea’s second half substitute, Alvaro Morata, scored his side’s first goal in the sixty eighth minute of the game. The Spanish international evaded his markers inside the opponent’s eighteen yard box, latched onto Willian’s cross and beat goalkeeper Tom Heaton with a composed strike.
In spite of Chelsea’s numerical disadvantage, they continued to attack their opponent, who were just content to retreat into their own half and defend as a compact unit.
William was the most inventive Chelsea’s player on the pitch; he would run with the ball into Burnley’s half and distribute passes to his team mates in more advanced positions.
With less than five minute to the end of regular time , and few minutes after Fabregas was sent off the pitch, David Luiz scored the second goal for Chelsea. The hard-tackling defender ran unto an Alvaro Morata’s headers inside Burnley’s eighteen yard box and hit the ball into the net with a low but well-placed shot.
In the eighty ninth minute of the game, Burnley almost scored a fourth goal through Robert Brady. His free kick from outside the eighteen yard hit the goal post and was deflected into the field again.
Burnley held on to their one goal lead to the end of the additional time, earning a well-deserved victory over the league’s defending champion in their first league game of the season.