On the whistle report: Burnley 0, Chelsea 4
After being on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at champions Manchester City last week, Burnley suffered more of the same at home to Chelsea.
After a promising start from the Clarets, the Blues took a firm grip of the game and never really relented, running out comprehensive victors, as a frustrating start to the season for Sean Dyche’s side continued.
It’s not backed up by any stats, other than results, but the feel remains that this isn’t the Burnley side we’ve seen previously under Dyche, that never knows when it’s beaten, that fights to the death.
Something is missing, whether the team were undercooked in pre-season due to the Europa League, the exertions of Europe or the failure to strengthen the starting XI.
Burnley actually made a very positive, aggressive start, showing good intent, penning Chelsea in.
They zipped the ball about with pace and purpose, but Chelsea had the first sight of goal, Joe Hart reacting superbly to tip Alvaro Morata’s header over, after Barkley hit his shot into ground.
Hart was going the wrong way and had to readjust, just stretching out his left hand to flick the ball away.
At the other end, Â£71m keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga wasn’t quite as assured, as he made a hash of Matt Lowton’s hanging cross, and Robbie Brady dragged a volley beyond the far post.
Chelsea remained a threat on the break, and Willian had a low drive stopped by Hart.
A lovely give and go between Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Lowton allowed the Iceland winger to get his body in front of Marcos Alonso and pull a low ball across, which Sam Vokes flicked just wide of the near post.
Again Chelsea responded in dangerous fashion as Willian curled an effort against the far post, and midway through the half, a devastating through ball from Ross Barkley allowed Morata to advance and slot the ball inside the post for 1-0.
Within a minute, James Tarkowski headed over a Brady corner, but that would be Burnley’s only riposte in the remainder of the half, as Chelsea took command.
Willian has a shot deflected for a corner off Tarkowski. before Rueben Loftus-Cheek replaced the injured Pedro.
Morata should have done better after bamboozling Ben Mee with a delightful turn, only to fire wide of the near post, before Hart got out quickly to block a volley from the former Real Madrid and Juventus man from Jorginho’s ball over the top.
Tarkowski timed a tackle superbly to deny Morata aa he looked to strike for goal, and the Spaniard went to ground again after an unnecessary melee in the box, with both players booked.
The half ended in distasteful fashion as Willian was booked for diving over Lowton, in a manner sure to irk Dyche.
Jeff Hendrick picked up a booking at the start of the second half after catching Antonio Rudiger late, but it was a sign of Burnley’s urgency, as they looked to press the visitors back in search of an equaliser.
Chelsea’s threat remained, and Morata couldn’t keep his header down as Willian whistled over a cross, before, seconds later N’Golo Kante fed Barkley, and he drilled a 25-yarder inside the post.
Just on the hour, Chris Wood replaced Vokes, before Brady was booked for chasing back and hauling down Loftus-Cheek.
And it was all over when Willian wasn’t closed down and found the far corner.
Gudmundsson was bizarrely booked after being imposed by Alonso, before ironic cheers from sections of the home support as Ashley Barnes came on for Hendrick.
Jack Cork hurt himself in fouling Barkley, with Ashley Westwood coming on - after Matej Vydra had been readied, but Chelsea substitute Olivier Giroud pulled an effort wide from Willian’s pull back, while Hart touched Giroud’s header onto the bar in injury time.
it was four from the corner, however, as Loftus-Cheek finished off a loose ball, and Giroud’s volley few just over at the death.
Four it finished, and even taking into account the quality of the opponents, we are used to seeing Burnley make the super power clubs work harder for their goals and points.