Chelsea were reaching lofty heights once more after the blues dismantled a lacklustre Burnley side 0-4 at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon.
Many Chelsea fans were ecstatic for the young Ruben Loftus-Cheek, as the midfielder stole the show against BATE Borisov with a sensational hat-trick on Thursday night against the Belarusians. This lead to many asking the question whether or not the midfielder would play a significant part against Burnley.
Unfortunately, he had to make do with a place on the bench as Ross Barkley lined up alongside Jorginho and N’golo Kante in the midfield. Kovacic also had to do with a place on the bench after his exploits in midweek. Alonso returned with Luiz, Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta forming the backline. Willian, Pedro and Alvaro Morata started within their forward roles, while Kepa retained his place in between the sticks.
Before kick off, the sound of The Last Post reverberated around Turf Moor. A minutes silence began following the tragic news from Leicester and the commemoration of 100 years since the end of the First World War next month.
As the game kicked off the Blues got their passing game going, trying to create a window of opportunity. The passing started to pay off as Barkley managed to find an opening in the Clarets defence with his half volley, deflecting off Morata’s head which was then tipped over by Burnley keeper Joe Hart.
Not too long after, Burnley were still trying to sniff out an opportunity and almost had a golden one as Kepa made a mess of Lowtons cross, with the ball falling to Robbie Brady who smashed it wide.
In the 22nd minute, N’golo Kante found himself running onto a pass as he drove from midfield. He passed to Ross Barkley who squeezed a ball through Burnleys backline as Morata latched on and finished the move with aplomb, tucking the ball beside the oncoming Hart to make it 0-1.
Burnley were looking for an immediate response as Tarkowski headed over however the Blues seemed well in control even at this stage. In the 30th minute Pedro had to make way for Loftus-Cheek as the Spaniard fell victim to injury.
Another chance came for Chelsea as Jorginho lobbed an exquisite through ball to Morata, who fired straight at the Burnley keeper and away this time round.
Chelsea took their lead into half-time with a sense of domination of the game and a feeling that there was more in the locker for the Londoners.
After the break, Morata once again came close with a near post header which went wide from a Willian cross, the Brazilian working his way past Mee to provide the whipped ball in.
Barkley was starting to stretch the Burnley midfield and with this he found some space where he drilled the ball from 25 yards into the bottom right corner of the goal. 0-2 Chelsea, a finish which showed a sign of real confidence from the Scouser.
A third Chelsea goal came at 63 minutes as once again Burnley found the right side of their defence exposed with Willian bending a shot into the bottom right from distance. Chelsea were starting to become rampant and rightly so. Olivier Giroud thumped a shot just wide on the edge of the box not long after he was introduced for Morata. The Frenchman still aiming to find the back of the net for the first time in the Premier League this season.
The Blues finally got their fourth in added time from a man who they’re still hearing about from last week – Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The midfielder made the most of a goalmouth scramble to drive past Hart and put the icing on the cake.
The win at Turf Moor ensured Chelsea stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games in the Premier League. A good omen to take from todays win was that Barkley scored in three consecutive games for the first time in his career and in turn being the first Englishman since super Frankie Lampard to do so. The squad head back to London knowing they’ll be facing the Chelsea legend in the opposition dugout with Jody Morris on Wednesday night.
The performance and win against Burnley certainly seemed to be a heartfelt contribution for the recovering Glenn Hoddle who has been seriously ill since yesterday and remains in hospital.
A true Chelsea pioneer who helped put the club back on the right way.
This one’s for you Glenn, keep fighting.
Bradley Walton – @Brad29_