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Burnley kicked off the 2017/18 Premier League season by causing a major upset, defeating champions Chelsea 3-2 at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Sean Dyche named a solid looking line-up, but there was space for just one of the new signings as Jack Cork started in the midfield, while Charlie Taylor and Jon Walters had to make do with a place on the bench. James Tarkowski occupied Michael Keane’s vacated space in the heart of the defence, while Steven Defour got a start in the middle of the park as Sam Vokes led the line.
It was Chelsea who were off to a strong start, but were soon dealt with a blow as captain Gary Cahill was sent off in the 14th minute, for a studs-up challenge on Defour. Burnley capitalised on the numerical advantage and ten minutes later, they were leading against the Champions, as Sam Vokes struck the ball on a half-volley from Matthew Lowton’s cross in the 24th minute.
They went 2-0 up in the 39th minute, after Stephen Ward and Cork combined very well from a short free-kick, with the former going on to finish the move off with a smashing strike. And, then, just like that, the champions were put under further misery as Vokes doubled his tally from the simplest of headers off a Defour cross in the 43rd minute and the Clarets went into the break leading 3-0.
The Blues had their first big chance after the restart, as Marcos Alonso fired a ferocious shot at goal, after some nice work by Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante. But Tom Heaton was up to the task and made a top-class save. They then had a penalty claim denied, after Alonso’s cross appeared to hit the arm of Lowton. Chelsea threw on record-signing Alvaro Morata on the hour-mark, hoping that the Spaniard could add some life to their play.
Heaton produced another great save to deny Alonso again, from a header in the 62nd minute as Chelsea enjoyed a decent spell for the first time in the game. And they smelt a comeback, when Morata got in behind the Burnley defence to glance a header into the net in the 69th minute.
Dyche made two changes for the last 15 minutes, with Walters and Scott Arfield coming on for Defour and Johann Berg-Gudmundsson. Despite being a man down, Conte’s men were controlling things but were delivered another big blow, when Fabregas was sent off as well, for a second yellow card in the 81st minute. As full-time edged close, Chelsea managed to score again through David Luiz, with Morata doing a clever flick to put the Brazilian through, thus grabbing the assist.
Robbie Brady was unlucky to not put the game to bed, as he hit the woodwork from a set-piece just a little outside the box. Alonso had another shot at goal from distance, as Burnley hung on to their lives to cause an upset on the opening gameweek of the season.
Dyche will be pleased with what he saw for most parts of the game, except for the final ten minutes in which the Clarets almost gave away what was supposed to be a comfortable victory.
I love you
— Aziz⛅️ (@MagicalMartial) August 12, 2017
— Nels™ (@Nel_kimz) August 12, 2017
LOVE IT <3 COYC
— Owen longworth (@owen_longworth) August 12, 2017
FFS Burnley I have no nails left 😆😆
— tony strange (@TonyStrange247) August 12, 2017
This Burnley performance puts Arsenal's Community Shield win against Chelsea to shame😂😂😂
— Luke (@PremUpdates1718) August 12, 2017
— Joseph ✝️ (@True2Atlanta) August 12, 2017
— James (@jammyb0i) August 12, 2017
Let's win the league
— Sohaib Ahmed (@sohaiby) August 12, 2017
F**king get in!!!! Lost half a stone pacing around at home. 😜
— The Man With No Name (@gbickers77) August 12, 2017