Chelsea 1, Burnley 1: Chris Boden’s thoughts on another magnificent result at Stamford Bridge
Sean Dyche was asked ahead of the game whether results against the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool were the most memorable of his time in charge.
Dyche, while not wanting to play them down, said: “I think they’re fan results.
“For me, I prefer winning promotions, but they’re definitely huge results for the supporters.
“As one-offs for the fans they’re great, especially when you’re classed as one of the smaller clubs.
“I think then, it does become a badge of honour for the fans.”
While Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea was very much enjoyed by the vocal 1,137 Clarets present at Stamford Bridge, and those at home, Dyche will have been full of pride for his players - and some of his key decisions.
After last week’s first Premier League win of the season, which saw Burnley back to something like their best, this was the afternoon where the side’s famed strong jaw was pushed to the limit, and emerged intact.
The Blues had 70% possession, 25 shots on goal, but emerged with only four on target and just one goal.
While Thomas Tuchel bemoaned his team’s finishing, and, what he felt was a “very lucky” Burnley, you don’t pick up points against the champions of Europe though sheer luck.
And, in Dyche’s case, you don’t repeatedly pick up results at Stamford Bridge - three draws and a win now in seven visits - without knowing exactly what you’re doing.
You might need a little bit of the run of the green along the way, which the Clarets, for once, got, with Thiago Silva hitting the outside of the post early in the second half.
But, as Tuchel added: "I have proved from the data we have now that we had a fantastic match.
"It was a fantastic effort so I am super happy.”
If Chelsea have a fantastic match, you have to be doing something special to pick up any sort of result.
The Blues had the answer to everything Burnley offered in the first half.
Tuchel praised the bravery of Burnley’s “high, intensive pressing” before the game.
And when the Clarets pressed, Chelsea were only too happy to go over the press and look long for the pace of Kai Havertz.
When Burnley stood off, wary of that threat, they used the space available to devastating effect, getting the ball wide time and again and stretching the Clarets.
Burnley needed Nick Pope to continue his rich vein of form - in a performance that should make Gareth Southgate sit up and take notice - with some fine stops from Callum Hudson-Odoi, twice, Havertz and a deflected Reece James cross in particular.
And his teammates also looked like the resilient Burnley we have become accustomed to under Dyche.
They put their heart and soul into the game, making block after block, winning headers, making interceptions and timing tackles, showing supreme levels of concentration, constantly shuffling from side to side to close gaps.
They may have conceded to a free header for Havertz just after the half hour, but they continued to stay in the game, as Chelsea failed to kill them off.
And when they needed a moment or two of attacking quality, they provided that as well.
Havertz said afterwards that “Burnley are not a team that wants to play football. But yeah, they had one chance and scored a goal.”
However, you could sense the Clarets growing into the game in that sense, showing more ambition, with Dyche deserving credit for some brave substitutions.
He withdrew Chris Wood, replacing the Kiwi with Jay Rodriguez, and then he brought Matej Vydra on - not for Maxwel Cornet, as suspected, but for Johann Berg Gudmundsson, as Dyche retained two wide men and two strikers.
Burnley’s fitness seemed to tell as they enjoyed their only real spell of pressure in the game, stepping onto Chelsea, with Rodriguez flicking an Ashley Westwood corner wide of the near post, before Cornet overran a promising situation.
Taylor then wasted a glorious crossing opportunity, but the big moment came as Taylor found Matt Lowton, and from his touch, Westwood whipped in a superb ball to the far post, for Rodriguez, who showed the presence of mind to head across goal for Vydra to finish.
And while Chelsea ended the game camped in Burnley territory, contrary to Havertz’ claim of Burnley having one chance, it was the Clarets who then had the opportunities to win it, with Vydra lifting a huge opening wide from Pope’s goal kick, while Rodriguez headed for the corner rather than drive forward having been played in by Vydra.
Vydra’s equaliser, remarkably, was the first from a Burnley sub since February 2020 at Southampton, and was reward for Dyche’s attacking intent.
Cue all the weeping and wailing from Tuchel, whose antics, and that of his staff, drew the ire of the Burnley bench on more than one occasion, surrounding the fourth official and entering the playing area at times.
You had all the usual ‘I hope Burnley get relegated’ nonsense on social media, which is when you know the Clarets are back to what they do best, upsetting the apple cart and annoying the entitled supporters of some of the big-hitters.
And Burnley could go into the international break feeling much better about themselves after four points from two games.
They have now lost only once in six league games - at champions Manchester City.
More wins will obviously be welcome when we resume, but performances are starting to turn into points, and Dyche has rarely had a more competitive squad to select from, even though there remains areas to address come January.