Chelsea’s defence of their Premier League crown got off to the most noticeably awful possible start as they were stunned 3-2 by Burnley at Stamford Bridge. Three first half goals from Burnely was enough to see off a late fightback from Premier League champions Chelsea, who had Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas sent off.
What a frustrating game for the Premier League champions, Antonio Conte makes two changes from last weekend’s Community Shield, handing Premier League debuts to defender Antonio Rudiger and winger Jeremie Boga. while Azpilicueta moves to wing-back to make way for Rudiger, with Victor Moses (ban) and Pedro (ankle) the ones to give way. Eden Hazard also misses out due to injury, while Alvaro Morata is on his bench, in line for his first PL appearance as a substitute.
The ball got away from Cahill as the new Chelsea captain carried it out of defence and he made the mistake of stretching to get it back, clattering dangerously into the Belgian midfielder. Was it a controversial decision ? or did Pawson get it exactly right? but unfortunately the England international was shown the exit way.
Burnley pounced on 10 men Chelsea. Lowton crosses from the right flank and Sam Vokes hooks an untidy half-volley into the bottom corner to make it 1-0. Willian has looked lively for Chelsea but Defour has done well to frustrate his attempts to make things happen, the Belgian putting in a good challenge to dispossess the Brazil international.
In the 31st minute Batshuayi, handed his big chance in this match by Conte, isn’t having much joy, now ploughing a very lone furrow up front and finding himself in the pocket of the Burnley centre-backs, giving Chelsea a quick rethink of Diego Costa’s ruggedness and brutality on opposition
Antonio Conte chose to introduced Morata to the game in the 60th minute, the Spain international replacing a dreary Michy Batshuayi.
It took him under ten minutes to score the goal to give his team a reviving hope Willian twisted an enticing ball into the box from the right, and Morata peeled far from the defenders to glance a header into the corner.
Fabregas was given his walking orders in the wake of getting two yellow cards but, regardless of being lessened to nine men, the champions added a second through David Luiz that at any rate featured a level of craving that was absent before the break.
Tottenham at Wembley is Chelsea’s next task, and they must now face their most detested adversaries without Cahill and Fabregas, and also Eden Hazard, Tiemoue Bakayoko and the ousted Diego Costa. only the brave or the stupid would call them Premier League title top picks.