Live Commentary: Burnley 1-3 Chelsea - as it happened
Relive Chelsea's 3-1 win over newly-promoted Burnley as the title favourites get their Premier League campaign off to an impressive start.
By Barney Corkhill, Assistant Editor Filed: Monday, August 18, 2014 at 19:00 UK
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 08:50 UK
Title favourites Chelsea began the new Premier League season in style this evening, cruising to a 3-1 win over newly-promoted Burnley at Turf Moor.
The hosts took a shock lead after 14 minutes when Scott Arfield fired a volley into the top corner, but debutant Diego Costa soon restored parity with a poacher's finish after Jason Shackell had turned the ball onto his own post.
You can read how an exciting match unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.
7pmGood evening! Well, the opening weekend of the Premier League season is almost over, with Burnley and Chelsea completing proceedings here at Turf Moor tonight. It is a match between expected relegation candidates and title contenders so, on paper, the result should be something of a foregone conclusion. However, we have already seen a few shocks this weekend and Burnley will certainly be up for adding another to the list here tonight. Let's start with a look at the hosts...
7.02pmIt is safe to say that, this time last year, no-one expected Burnley to be mixing it up with the big boys in the Premier League. There were a lot more predictions tipping the Clarets to be relegated from the Championship than there were for them to exit the division the other way, so it was a phenomenal season all told for Sean Dyche's side.
7.04pmEven more impressively, they did it quite comfortably as well. While Leicester City always looked like champions, eventually finishing nine points clear at the top, Burnley were easily the second best side in the league last season. They ended the campaign eight points above Derby County and never looked in danger of missing out on automatic promotion.
7.06pmTheir success was all the more surprising considering their relatively small squad and budget, meaning that Sean Dyche really had to make the most of the tools at his disposal. He relied mostly on a solid defence, with the Clarets boasting the best defensive record in the division last season. They conceded a league-low 37 goals and allowed just 159 shots on target against them - the lowest tally in the division.
7.08pmThey also had a decent record at home, which will be crucial this season if they are to stay in the top flight. They did well at Turf Moor during the early stages of the season on their last visit to the Premier League, beating champions Manchester United in their first home game of the campaign four years ago. A similar shock tonight would really stun Chelsea, but you can be sure the home fans will be up for this one. They saw their team lose just two league games at home last season.
7.10pmThey come into this campaign following a decent pre-season, although Dyche will know that the real tests will come thick and fast, starting tonight. They overcame Serie A side Hellas Verona 3-1 in their most recent outing and overall won four and lost just one of their warm-up friendlies.
7.12pmI briefly mentioned their victory over Manchester United in their first home game in the Premier League, and it was a promising start to home life when they first arrived in the top flight four years ago. They lost just one of their opening nine home games and took points off the likes of Everton and Arsenal. However, they won just two home matches after Christmas and were eventually relegated - a fate that could well befall them again this season.
7.14pmBurnley certainly needed plenty of reinforcements over the summer, with their small squad unlikely to survive for long in the more challenging environment of the Premier League. Dyche has moved to add more numbers in the transfer market, adding seven new faces, but questions have been raised over whether his signings have been good enough.
7.16pmThere have been no such questions at Stamford Bridge, however, with Chelsea pulling off some superb business in the transfer window. They have spent plenty of money - around £80m - but the players they have brought in are exactly what they needed. Diego Costa should add the goals they lacked last season, Filipe Luis will replace Ashley Cole and Cesc Fabregas will do the same with Frank Lampard. Club legend Didier Drogba has also returned to the club and should still be a handful for defences this season.
7.18pmIn addition to that, Courtois has returned to the club and will start this evening in place of long-time number one Petr Cech. Chelsea can boast two of the best goalkeepers in world football at the moment, as if their defence needed improvement, but it is Courtois who has got the nod tonight. More on that later...
7.20pmJust as important as the new signings will be the number of players who are another year older. While there are a number of experienced heads in the Chelsea side, the likes of Oscar, Hazard, Matic and Schurrle will benefit from last season and should improve even further this term. Mourinho insisted all season that his side were not contenders for the title last term, but this time around he is in no doubt that they will be up there. It is very hard to disagree.
7.22pmThe Blues finished last season in third place as Mourinho suffered his first trophyless year in English football, but they were just four points off the pace in the end. That is a gap that they will be very confident of closing this season considering their summer transfer business, and it is quite hard to look beyond them for the title as things stand. Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal may all have something to say in what is expected to be one of the most exciting title races yet, but for me Chelsea are the team to beat.
7.24pmLike Burnley in the Championship, Chelsea relied mainly on a sturdy backline last season. They conceded just 27 goals all season, 10 fewer than the next best defensive record. Goalscoring was seen as the main problem, with the likes of Torres, Eto'o and Ba not exactly striking fear into opposition defences, but they still managed to find the back of the net 71 times. That was enough to make them the third-highest goalscorers in the league, but they were still 30 behind Liverpool and 31 short of Man City.
7.26pmResults-wise, it has been a good pre-season for Chelsea. They have won six of their eight matches, drawing one and losing another. That defeat did raise eyebrows, however, as they were swept aside 3-0 by Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen. They were also not entirely convincing in some of their victories, but Mourinho is a master of grinding out results, and there were signs of that even in the friendlies.
7.28pmOminously for Burnley, Chelsea have a formidable record on the opening day of Premier League seasons. They have not been beaten in their first match since a 2-1 defeat to Coventry City in 1998, winning 13 of their 15 outings since then. Mourinho himself has won all five of his opening league matches in charge of Chelsea, who have not conceded a goal in their first match in the last four seasons. As I said, those are ominous figures for Burnley to overcome this evening.
7.30pmTEAM NEWS: Right, the teams are in for both sides, and the headline news is that Chelsea have named three debutants in their starting XI. I have already mentioned Courtois, but Fabregas and Costa also start for their new club tonight, while Luis and the returning Drogba are on the bench. There is a familiar look to the Burnley side, although Jutkiewicz does make his debut, with fellow new boy Sordell on the bench. Full team news for both sides on the way...
7.32pmCHELSEA SUBS: Cech, Zouma, Filipe Luis, Mikel, Willian, Torres, Drogba
7.34pmWhat can we make of those two teams, then? Well, starting with the hosts, Dyche has largely stuck with the side that did so well in gaining promotion last season. They are not likely to see a great deal of the ball today considering the strength of their opponents, so defence is likely to be the key area for them. As alluded to earlier, however, that is the best part of their side, and they will relish testing themselves against a team of Chelsea's quality.
7.36pmRight-back Trippier is a player who holds great importance for the side both in defence and going forward. He registered an impressive 14 assists last season - the second highest tally in the league - despite not being a dead-ball specialist. If the Chelsea wingers don't track back this evening then that could be an avenue to success for the hosts.
7.38pmDespite not matching the likes of Leicester on the goalscoring front last season, Burnley did have a deadly front two of Vokes and Ings in form for the vast majority of the campaign. They ended up with 41 goals between them and, although Vokes is still out with a long-term injury that he picked up towards the end of last season, Ings will still be looking to carry his good form over to the new campaign. He scored 21 times last term, so could be one to watch this season.
7.40pmWith Vokes absent, his partner up front today will be new boy Jutkiewicz, who has earned his spot in the side with some impressive performances during pre-season. Vokes is likely to be first choice again when he returns from injury, so the early weeks of the season will be a real chance for Jutkiewicz to stake his claim for a regular spot up front for the Clarets.
7.42pmAs for Chelsea, the long debate over who Mourinho would plump for in goal has been settled, with Courtois being preferred to Cech. Cech has been a superb servant to the club and still has a few good years in him, but Courtois is very much the future for the Blues and would likely not have returned to the club if he was left on the bench. It is a problem I'm sure many managers would like to have, but there must now be serious question marks over the future of Cech. Like his rival for the number one jersey, he is surely too good to sit on the bench.
7.44pmIt was the defence that Chelsea relied on more than anything last season, and Mourinho has seen no reason to change that this time around. It is a familiar back four, with Ivanovic and Azpilicueta on the flanks and Cahill partnering captain Terry in the middle. The main question mark would have been over left-back, with Luis brought in from Atletico during the summer, but it will take some impressive performances on the training field to knock Azpilicueta out of this team. After all, Ashley Cole didn't manage it last season.
7.46pmAs expected, Fabregas looks like he will operate in the central midfield role rather than further forward, as he often did for Barcelona. Frank Lampard - arguably the club's greatest ever player - left Stamford Bridge this summer, and Mourinho has already hinted that he sees Fabregas as a replacement for the English midfielder. He looks like being a good signing and, if he can repeat the form he showed at Arsenal and Barcelona, then £30m will quickly seem like a bargain. Matic partners him in the middle, and he was something of a revelation in the second half of last season. He quickly established himself as one of the team's most important players and will be looking to build on that this year.
7.48pmFurther forward, the three just behind the striker are expected to be a key area for Chelsea this season. Hazard had a superb 2013-14 campaign but sometimes struggled to break teams down. With Costa in front of him, that should be less of a problem, with the Brazilian-turned Spaniard able to act as a battering ram should Plan A not be working. A striker seemed to be the biggest requirement for Chelsea in the summer, and Costa looks like being the perfect player to fill that hole.
7.50pmPREDICTION: We're 10 minutes from kickoff at Turf Moor, which means that it is time for my prediction! Burnley will be up for this match and the atmosphere is going to be electric inside the stadium, but Chelsea just seem too good for their newly-promoted opponents. Coming up for the Championship, teams can often ride a wave of momentum and get some impressive early-season results, so Chelsea will be wary of that, but they should have enough about them to take all three points from this one. I'm going to go for 2-0 to the visitors.
7.52pmThe Sports Mole Sofa, myself included, all went for comfortable away victories in this one, but the eagle-eyed amongst you may noticed that I have changed my scoreline. Originally I went for 3-1, but I can't see Burnley breaching this strong Chelsea defence anymore. Have a look at what we had to say about the match here:
7.54pmBurnley will be looking to clinch their first top-flight victory over Chelsea for more than 40 years here today. They last beat them in the top division back in 1973, triumphing 1-0 in August. They have since beaten the Blues twice in the Second Division and once, on penalties, in the League Cup, but this would arguably be the biggest of the lot should they emerge victorious tonight.
7.56pmThat stats don't look too great for Burnley, who have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 27 Premier League matches. Even if they score the first goal, that is no guarantee of success against this Chelsea side, who rescued a joint league-high 17 points from losing positions last season. The Blues are also unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches on a Monday, if that counts for anything.
7.58pmManchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal have all won their opening fixtures, so it is over to the final member of the top four now. No side has yet produced an emphatic result and performance to start the season with a bang, so could Chelsea do that tonight?
1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then! Premier League football returns to Turf Moor after a four-year absence as the final match of the opening weekend gets underway. It is Burnley who get us started as they look to spring a shock tonight.
3 minThis has been a bright start from Burnley, who are looking to get forward when they do get the ball. They have seen a fair bit of it so far but have been unable to trouble the Chelsea defence as yet. Burnley are pressing high up the field, which is preventing Chelsea from gaining much of a foothold in the opening exchanges.
5 minCLOSE! Almost a cruel start to the season for the hosts. Trippier gives the ball away in a dangerous area, allowing Fabregas to find Schurrle. The German shifts the ball onto his right foot before having a go from the edge of the area, and it deflects just wide with the keeper beaten.
6 minBurnley come forward this time, working the ball nicely over to the left as Michael Oliver plays a good advantage. Jutkiewicz cuts inside to create space to shoot, but his tame effort goes into the side-netting.
8 minThis really has been a positive start from the hosts, who are keeping their more illustrious opponents largely on the back foot. Chelsea haven't quite settled yet, but there is still a long way to go.
10 minA touch of class from Fabregas as he clips the ball over the top for Schurrle, who has made a good diagonal run behind the defence. His first touch takes him away from goal, however, allowing Burnley's defence time to get back and clear the danger. Moments later, Costa cuts onto his left foot but sees his low effort well blocked.
12 minChelsea are just beginning to ease themselves into this match now, seeing more of the ball in dangerous areas inside the Burnley half. The home defence holds firm, however, and Dyche will be delighted with how his side have played so far.
14 minOh my word, would you believe it?! Burnley take the lead against the title favourites after less than quarter of an hour, and it is some goal! The hosts have a corner cleared but put it right back into the area, with Chelsea slow to react. A cross from the left finds Arfield, who has far too much time to take a touch and fire a half volley into the top corner. This was not in the script!
16 minThat goal by no means came against the run of play either. Burnley have been very impressive so far and look to have quality to go along with their organisation. You'd have thought we would have learned not to underestimate the Clarets after last season!
17 minMaybe I spoke too soon! What a response from Chelsea as they equalise just three minutes after going behind. It is Costa who has opened his Chelsea account with a debut goal, slamming a loose ball home after it had come back off the post. I think it was Shackell who almost turned a low cross from the right into his own net, seeing it bounce back off the woodwork and straight to Costa, who had a simple finish.
19 minAs soon as Chelsea conceded that goal, they moved up a couple of gears and committed more men forward. It was a superb reaction from the visitors, but Burnley have made a good one of their own here. This match is set up very nicely.
21 minChelsea take the lead just seven minutes after going behind, and this one is the pick of the opening weekend goals so far. Hazard starts it off with a lovely little run from midfield before knocking the ball out to Ivanovic. He picks out Fabregas on the edge of the box, and the debutant feints a shot before clipping a delightful pass to Schurrle, who finds the bottom corner with aplomb. Magnificent team goal from the Blues, who have passed their first test of the season with flying colours.
23 minNot a bad opening 20 minutes for Chelsea's debutants, then. Courtois won't be happy at having conceded a goal, but Fabregas is running the game and has an exquisite assist to his name, while Costa has already found the back of the net.
25 minMore slick passing from the visitors as they work it out to the left this time. Oscar neglects to use Azpilicueta on his outside, instead cutting inside and curling an effort well over.
27 minChelsea took a while to get going here, but they are now looking very good indeed. They are dominating possession and playing the match at their own pace. Hazard is looking increasingly dangerous and Fabregas has been majestic at times in midfield. Burnley, who made such a good start, can't get out of their own half right now.
29 minBurnley haven't seen much of the ball since taking the lead, but when they do get it forward they are looking dangerous. They certainly look capable of adding to their solitary goal so far, which is already more than I was expecting before the match.
30 minPENALTY SHOUT! Big moment in the match as Costa races onto a poor back-pass from Mee. He reaches the ball before the keeper, knocks it past him and then throws himself to the floor. It is a very close one, but Michael Oliver opts to book the striker for diving. That one really could have gone either way.
32 minThey did appear to be some contact between Heaton and Costa, but not much. A yellow card may be a little harsh on the striker, but for me it was the right decision not to award the penalty. Had he done so, he would probably have had to send the Burnley keeper off as well.
34 minGOAL! Burnley 1-3 Chelsea (Branislav Ivanovic)
34 minChelsea get their third goal of the evening, and this one is far too easy. Ivanovic loses his marker from a corner and is left with a simple finish, cushioning a volley into the back of the net from close range. Dyche will not be happy with that defending from his side, who have a huge task ahead of them now.
36 minIs there any way back for Burnley here? They started so well, but those three goals in 17 minutes from Chelsea have taken the wind out of the hosts' sails. Chelsea are playing some superb stuff and look dangerous every time they come forward. Burnley could be best served going into damage limitation mode, at least until half time.
38 minSHOT! Better again from Burnley as Ings pokes the ball out to Taylor before racing into the box for the return ball. He duly gets it, flicking a low ball towards the near post, but he can't get what was a tricky effort on target.
40 minIvanovic takes a heavy landing having gone up in the air with Mee. It looks like a painful one, but the defender is a tough cookie and should be able to continue.
42 minAs impressive as Chelsea have been on the ball, they have also worked really hard off it. They are pressing from the front, giving Burnley's defence very little time on the ball. It has been an all-round excellent display from the hosts so far.
44 minBright end to the half from Burnley as they look to rally before the break. It will be an interesting team talk for Dyche at half time as his side have played pretty well so far, but have simply been outclassed on a few occasions.
45 minThe fourth official indicates a minimum of two minutes added time at the end of this first half.
8.54pmMichael Oliver brings an end to a thoroughly entertaining opening 45 minutes at Turf Moor, with Chelsea recovering from a slow start to dominate against newly-promoted Burnley. We have already seen four goals and some lovely football, particularly from the visitors, and I am fully expecting more of the same after the break.
8.56pmBurnley started the match really well and deserved to take the lead in the 14th minute when Arfield volleyed past Courtois and into the top corner. Chelsea responded magnificently, however, scoring three goals over the next 17 minutes to take complete control of the match.
8.58pmThe first goal came through debutant Diego Costa, who slammed a low finish into the net after Shackell had turned a low cross on to his own post. The second was the pick of the bunch, however, as Schurrle finished off a wonderful team move that saw Fabregas produce a sublime final pass. Ivanovic made it three for the visitors with a rather more simple goal shortly after the half-hour mark, volleying home from close range after losing his marker from a corner.
9pmThe other big talking point of the half was a potential penalty for Chelsea. Costa latched on to a poor back-pass from Mee, reaching the ball before the keeper and poking it past him. Heaton came hurtling out and did make some contact with the striker, who duly went to ground. However, he did appear to be on his way down before the slight contact, which may explain why Michael Oliver opted to show Costa a yellow card. I've seen it a few times and still can't make my mind up, but Costa can certainly feel aggrieved at having picked up a booking.
9.02pmOn the whole, Burnley have been impressive so far, despite the scoreline. Many people have tipped these teams to be bottom and top respectively at the end of the campaign, but Burnley will put up a big fight if they can keep up performances like this. Chelsea have simply been too good for them so far, but they will be buoyed by this display on the whole.
46 minKICKOFF: Chelsea get us back underway at Turf Moor as they look to build on a very impressive first-half display. Can they add to their lead, or will we see a Burnley fightback. The hosts look to supply one early as Ings has a go from 25 yards, but he drags his effort wide.
48 minBurnley made a bright start to the first half and they are looking to do that again here. There is, understandably, a little less belief about their performance in the opening exchanges of this half, but they are doing well so far.
49 minSAVE! Almost a second for Arfield! Cahill's header is straight to the Burnley goalscorer, who cuts inside and curls an effort towards the top corner with his left foot. Courtois is at full stretch as he tips it over the top with a fine save.
51 minSpeaking of Courtois, he may not have a clean sheet to his name but he has been commanding in his area so far. He has come out to claim a number of high balls into the box, taking all of the pressure off his defence. It has been an impressive Premier League debut from the keeper.
53 minHazard has looked really good whenever he has been on the ball tonight. He has made a number of dangerous runs right at the heart of the Burnley defence, one of which helped set up Chelsea's second. He wins a free kick in a dangerous position for his side here...
54 minThere are a number of blue shirts around the ball, but Schurrle's eventual effort is disappointing. The World Cup winner curls an effort well over the top.
56 minBurnley are refusing to simply sit back and attack on the break here, which is admirable stuff. Of course, they need to throw caution to the wind in some respect given the scoreline, but many promoted teams would have approached this match in a more negative way.
58 minIt took Chelsea around 15 minutes to really get a grip of the match in the first half, and it is a bit like that in this second half. They aren't playing at the same tempo at the moment, with Mourinho, as ever, seemingly content with a comfortable lead.
60 minWell, an hour of Chelsea's first match of the season has gone by, and so far they have done nothing to dispel their tag as favourites for the title. Theirs has been the most impressive of any opening weekend performance so far, that is for sure.
61 minJutkiewicz has looked quite sharp for the hosts, and he has another dig at goal here. He cuts inside onto his left before drilling a powerful effort well wide. Ings almost got a touch on the way through, but he just couldn't react in time.
63 minChelsea are quite comfortable right now and aren't making any great effort to add to their lead. I don't think it will be too long before we see subs from either side, with Mourinho perhaps looking to rest a couple and Dyche looking to grab a goal that would change the complexion of the match.
65 minA slight lull in the match at the moment, as often happens at this stage of a game. You feel that Burnley are just gearing themselves up for one final push, while Chelsea's main priority right now is not to concede a second goal.
67 minOne player who has impressed so far tonight has been Schurrle, who will be hoping to start more games this year than he did last. He has a fine World Cup - albeit largely as a sub - and looks to have carried that form into the domestic season.
69 minIt looks like Sean Dyche will move first on the substitution front. A couple of players are ready to come on for the hosts as they look to make one final push in the final 20 minutes.
70 minBURNLEY SUBS: Indeed, there are the changes as Michael Kightly comes on for his debut alongside Ashley Barnes. They replace Jutkiewicz and Taylor.
72 minBurnley need to do something to change the direction of this game right now. Chelsea are cruising at the moment and look like comfortably seeing out the victory as things stand. A Burnley goal would shake things right up, but that doesn't look likely.
74 minA diagonal ball is floated into a dangerous area and, for a moment, it looks like Ings might get there. However, Courtois is quickly out to collect in his usual dominant style. His command of his area has been very impressive tonight.
75 minBurnley try a free kick straight off the training ground, and it almost works. A low pass is left by one and looks set for Ings to hit, but then he leaves it as well, with no-one waiting behind him. He should have gone for goal himself there.
77 minTime is running out for Burnley now. They have played some decent stuff today, but something needs to change in this final 10 minutes. They need a spark from somewhere.
78 minCHELSEA SUB: It has been a decent performance from Schurrle, who goes off have opened his account for the season, finishing off that fabulous team move for Chelsea's second goal. On comes Willian in his place.
80 minIt is all very easy for the visitors at the moment. The second half has been nothing like the first, with Chelsea making no attempt to reach the excellent heights they achieved before the break. It is a shame, but that seems to be Mourinho's preferred style. You feel they could have scored five or six here, but instead they have looked to defend their two-goal advantage.
82 minCHELSEA SUB: Chelsea make their second change of the evening as Oscar slowly meanders off to be replaced by John Obi Mikel.
83 minBURNLEY SUB: The hosts respond with their third and final change as Sordell comes on for his debut, replacing Ings.
84 minCHELSEA SUB: Now it's Chelsea's turn to make their final change, and it is a significant one. Didier Drogba, two years after his last touch for the club won them the Champions League, makes his second debut, replacing Hazard.
86 minThis second half has been so comfortable for Chelsea, with Arfield's early shot the only threat either side have really posed. It has been a disappointing 45 minutes after the first half really, but Chelsea did what they needed to do before the break.
87 minYELLOW CARD! Sordell earns himself a yellow card, and he can have no complaints. He clattered into John Terry late, leaving the Chelsea skipper in a heap on the floor.
88 minMy word, what a way to re-announce yourself on the scene this would have been. Drogba plucks Courtois's long clearance out of the air magnificently before going for a volley before the ball has touched the ground. However, having done the hard bit in controlling it he skewed his shot wide. That would have been some strike.
90 minThere will be a minimum of three minutes added time at the end of this match.
90+2 minBurnley will have mixed emotions after this match. If they play like this against lesser teams then they will surely pick up quite a few points along the way so, despite the result, they will be pretty happy with their performance. Chelsea have simply been too good for them tonight.
9.54pmChelsea move to the top of the embryonic Premier League table courtesy of an impressive 3-1 victory over newly-promoted Burnley at Turf Moor, joining fellow title contenders Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City in kicking off their season with three points. It was a promising performances from the favourites, but there is plenty to be positive about from a Burnley perspective too.
9.56pmBurnley actually opened the scoring having made a very bright start to life back in the Premier League. It was Arfield who broke the deadlock, volleying an effort past Courtois having been left in plenty of space on the edge of the box. Chelsea responded brilliantly, however, and quickly levelled things up through a debut goal from Diego Costa.
9.58pmThe goals didn't stop there for Jose Mourinho's side as they made it three in the space of 17 minutes. Schurrle got the second with a smart finish following a superb team move that saw Fabregas play a brilliant killer pass to claim the assist. The third would have been the most frustrating for Dyche as it came about from poor Burnley marking, Ivanovic being allowed to convert from close range having latched on to a corner.
10pmRight, that is just about all we have time for tonight! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was an entertaining opening to the season for both Burnley and Chelsea. Both sides can take positives from their performances, but it is Chelsea who take the points courtesy of a 3-1 victory at Turf Moor. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction, analysis and player ratings, which will all be up on site shortly. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!