Nick Pope recalls Burnley's 3-2 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and warns: "We want to beat the best players in the best stadiums!"

Nick Pope might have been on the bench when Burnley inflicted the worst possible start on Chelsea's Premier League title defence.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 10:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th November 2021, 8:38 am
Nick Pope celebrates after Maxwel Cornet of Burnley (not pictured) scores their teams third goal during the Premier League match between Burnley and Brentford at Turf Moor on October 30, 2021 in Burnley, England.

But the two-time Clarets' Player of the Year enjoyed the celebrations in 2017 just as much as everybody else as they sprung a surprise at Stamford Bridge.

Sean Dyche's side were in dreamland against the champions as a Sam Vokes brace and a Stephen Ward strike gave the visitors a 3-0 lead at the interval.

Alvaro Morata pulled a goal back in the 69th minute for the 10-man Blues, who had seen ex-Turf favourite Gary Cahill dismissed after quarter-of-an-hour.

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Sam Vokes of Burnley scores his sides third goal past Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge on August 12, 2017 in London, England.

David Luiz then set up a nervy finale when beating Tom Heaton after Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas had also been given his marching orders by Craig Pawson.

"It was very good," said Pope. "Chelsea were fresh off the back of winning the league and we were fresh off the back of one away win in a season. It was a good coupon buster.”

Chelsea find themselves top of the pile again, winning eight of their opening 10 fixtures, while scoring 26 times and conceding just three, as Thomas Tuchel's side hold a three-point advantage over Liverpool.

They're also the reigning European champions after coming out on top in an all-English final at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto against Manchester City.

Stephen Ward of Burnley celebrates scoring his sides second goal with Steven Defour of Burnley during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge on August 12, 2017 in London, England.

However, Burnley — who had Ben Mee, James Tarkowski and Matt Lowton making up three-quarters of their back four that day, as they'll likely do tomorrow [Saturday] — have been the coupon-busters once or twice before when out on the road.

The victory over Chelsea, then governed by Antonio Conte, was just the start as the Clarets, with Pope as their number one, went on to win at the homes of other self-acclaimed "top six" sides, including Old Trafford, the Emirates and Anfield.

Those results have given the group the belief that anything is possible. Pope said: "We’ve won there [at Stamford Bridge], we've won at Anfield, Old Trafford, the Emirates, so it's not something that we're alien to.

"It's something that we've done before and it's something that we enjoy doing. It's a difficult challenge, they're a top team, they won the Champions League, but we've been in the Premier League a few years ourselves now so we know what we're good at and we know what it takes to get a result at these places.

"It's a big challenge, a good challenge and one that we're looking forward to.”

Burnley have thrived on their role as the 'underdog' time and time again. Therefore, picking up results on these kinds of stages might not be such a flight of fancy any longer.

"I think Chelsea have evolved over the last couple of years," he said. "Liverpool and City have been more of the finished article, but Chelsea won the Champions League last year and have evolved into a top, top team in Europe.

"What outweighs the fear and any negative is the positive of what if we get a result?

“That has carried us well when we have got results at those types of places over the last couple of years, that enthusiasm to try and get a result.

“This is why we want to be in the Premier League in the first place, to play against the best players in the best stadiums and we want to beat the best players in the best stadiums.”