Chelsea finally won at home following losses to Bournemouth and Southampton in the Premier League. Frank Lampard’s selection clearly tried to show that he wants more from his midfield with Ross Barkley and Mason Mount playing alongside Jorginho. Chelsea’s left-back is a weak spot and hence Azpilicueta deputised there with Reece James starting on the right. Andreas Christensen retained his place from the win against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. Christian Pulisic is out for a few weeks due to a tendon injury while N’golo Kante has a hamstring issue.
Burnley have a good record at Stamford Bridge and were unbeaten in the last 2 games at the Bridge going into the game and with their threat from set-pieces this was going to be one tough fixture. It started that way when Jeff Hendrick had the ball in the net with a free header following initial Chelsea pressure. However, it was ruled out for a minor offside in the build-up by VAR. Chelsea were handed another boost when a slightly out of balance Willian was taken down by Matthew Lowton inside the Burnley penalty area. Jorginho successfully converted his 4th penalty of the campaign for the Blues.
Although Chelsea had the lead there was little confidence in their play and Burnley kept causing them trouble. They almost equalised when an overcrowded Chelsea goal area saw 3 shots blocked in quick succession following a corner. It was messy defending by the Blues but just enough to keep the Clarets out.
Chelsea’s right made up of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James produced some wonderful moves with Barkley orchestrating from midfield. Just before half-time, the Blues doubled their lead when Tammy Abraham headed in his 13th league goal of the season from a Reece James’ cross.
Even with a 2-0 lead, the job was far from complete for an error-prone Chelsea team. However, the Blues came out with good confidence and soon their football got them flowing. Chelsea got their third goal of the day when 19-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi tapped in Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross to score his first Premier League goal. The youngster full of promise has had a tough year with an Achilles injury he suffered last season but has improved real fast.
Tammy Abraham had a great chance to make it 4-0 but his free header from Mount’s over-the-air pass didn’t even hit the target. Overall, it was a long overdue home win and they deserved it. Ross Barkley and Reece James put in a good show against a very tough and physical Burnely team. Antonio Rudiger and Christensen in defence played a good role to prevent Burnley from getting forward from their long balls. Kepa was vigilant and made a few saves but the clean sheet would really add a lot to his confidence.
Fourth-placed Chelsea remain 5 points clear of Manchester United in fifth. They travel to the North-East next in a week’s time to take on Newcastle United.