Burnley 1-1 Chelsea: Poor performance from Chelsea as Burnley deserve all plaudits.
Chelsea dropped two points with a draw at Burnley this afternoon and being honest simply did not ...
Chelsea dropped two points with a draw at Burnley this afternoon and being honest simply did not deserve to win the game as we did not create enough.
Heading into the game on paper, Chelsea were outright favourites to win the game despite Burnley's excellent record at home. Antonio Conte decided to stick with the same team that started against Arsenal which was a surprise as I personally saw this one as a chance for Cesc Fabregas to start.
We started well, dominating possession, moving the ball around quickly as we looked to move their defenders about to create space and it looked like it was just a matter of time before we could get in on goal.
Within five minutes we created our first chance, Diego Costa dropped deep, collected the ball and played Eden Hazard in on goal only to have his shot saved low down by Heaton. The signs were there for all to see as Burnley struggled to cope with our movement and just four minutes later we made the breakthrough.
Some excellent play down our left hand side found Hazard who swept the ball from left to right and found Moses who skipped past a tackle and surged towards goal. He looks up, passes the ball towards the eighteen yard box for Pedro to take one touch to move the ball passed the defender to then slot the ball into the corner to make it 0-1 Chelsea.
Now at that moment in time Burnley could not live with us, they couldn't cope with our movement in the final third and it looked as though it was only a matter of time before we could unlock the door again but it never happened!
Burnley came back into the game for the remaining twenty-five minutes and took full advantage as Nemanja Matic got his feet in a mess and tripped Joey Barton twenty-five yards out. Up stepped debutant Robbie Brady to hit a fantastic free-kick left footed into the top corner giving Thibaut Courtois no chance.
The remainder of the first half played out like a FA Cup tie with both sides looking to attack but with little created until Thibaut Courtois denied Lowton with his feet when he got in behind our defence when it looked like he would score.
The second half, after a pep talk from Antonio Conte and you would expect Chelsea to come out, get their foot on the ball and dominate again with a high level of intensity but again it never happened. Chelsea did not create a single shot on target in the whole of the second half and created our own problems with some nervy moments at the back.
Credit to Antonio Conte who switched formation to a 4-4-2 to try and attack Burnley. It worked for the most part giving us domination of the ball we created little with it. What was most disappointing for me was that Pedro and Eden Hazard disappeared out of the game. But for twenty minutes at the beginning of the first half, they didn't create anything but spend the remainder of the game trying their flicks and tricks rather than get their bloody foot on the ball and take people on.
Yes we created half chances but that was as good as it got for us and that was really, really disappointing. For that, you have to hold your hands up and credit Burnley for their attitude, for their work-ethic and for their team spirit. They may not be the most glamours team in the league but they know their roles, they know how hard they need to work and they are all prepared to graft for their Manager and supporters. They will still up this year if they continue as they are and good luck to them.
As for Chelsea? We move ten points clear until tomorrow night when a Manchester City win against Bournemouth cuts our lead to eight points.
What a disappointing performance and a massive chance to move twelve points clear missed!