Full-time: Chelsea 2 Burnley 2

Just when you thought you'd recovered from the emotional masterpiece crafted by Manchester City and Spurs in the Champions League, the Clarets served up an Easter Monday special against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Burnley's Jeff Hendrick celebrates scoring his side's first goalBurnley's Jeff Hendrick celebrates scoring his side's first goal
Burnley's Jeff Hendrick celebrates scoring his side's first goal

Burnley's penultimate away game of the Premier League campaign didn't quite emulate the breathless beginning at the Etihad - where there was four goals in the first 11 minutes - but as many goals in 16 first half minutes certainly pushed the drama of that semi-final close.

The visitors became only the third side this season to put two past the Blues on their own patch in the top flight, matching what Arsenal and Manchester United had achieved.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Europa League semi-finalists, as expected, asserted their authority on the fixture early on as Eden Hazard stung the palms of Tom Heaton while Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain was denied by a fine acrobatic clearance on the line from Ben Mee.

Sean Dyche's side went ahead in the eighth minute, the quickest for an away side this term at SW6, when Jeff Hendrick netted his third goal of the campaign.

The hosts had failed to pick up the midfielder on the edge of the area when Dwight McNeil's corner was cleared and the Republic of Ireland international waited for the ball to drop before beating Kepa on the volley.

However, Hendrick's contender for the goal of the season gong didn't have Burnley in front for long as two goals in as many minutes from the hosts put Maurizio Sarri's men in command.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hazard put Matt Lowton on his behind when twisting and turning on the left hand side of the penalty area and the Belgian's pass was coolly swept home by N'Golo Kante in the 12th minute.

The Clarets had barely had chance to reorganise when Higuain put the home side ahead, running on to skipper Cesar Azpilicueta's clever flick and firing in off the underside of the crossbar.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek wasn't far away from extending the lead when his measured right-footed attempt floated just wide of the angle, but it was Burnley who scored the all important fourth goal.

Mee headed Ashley Westwood's set-piece back across goal, Chris Wood helped the ball on and Ashley Barnes steered the ball in to the roof of the net from close range at the far post.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hazard and Higuain had opportunities to restore Chelsea's advantage before the break but both were off target.

The Clarets had to dig their heels in throughout the second half as the Blues bossed possession and territory but they couldn't break their opponent's resolve.

In fact, it was the away side who manufactured the best opening of the half when Barnes threaded the ball through to Wood but the New Zealander fluffed his lines.

Emerson, shooting from left to right, couldn't quite pick out the inside of the far post with a stinging drive from 20 yards out and Heaton beat away Azpilicueta's strike at his near post once Higuain had allowed Loftus-Cheek's cross to run.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Typically, the Clarets put their bodies on the line, throwing everything at Chelsea's attempts to find a winner, and, in the end, deservedly hung on for a point to add to their 3-2 win here at the start of last season.