Chelsea FC
A First Half Shambles
By Gary Watton
August 12 2017

The English champions seem fully intent upon repeating past mistakes, notably from two seasons ago, as they proceeded to the worst possible start to the defence of their league title. Captain Gary Cahill got himself sent off inside fifteen minutes for a stupid and reckless challenge. In the next half hour, the visitors exploited the ensuing chaos, as they cashed in with one, then two, and finally three goals before the interval. While Chelsea were in defensive disarray, Sam Vokes simply filled his boots with a couple of decisive goals.

There was no knowing at the halfway stage whether a rampant Burnley would simply go on and double their advantage, but to their credit ten-man Chelsea rallied and new acquisition Alvaro Morata opened his goals account, soon after replacing the ineffective Batshuayi. However, all hopes of a Chelsea renaissance were virtually shattered when Cesc Fabregas foolishly incurred a second yellow card with about ten minutes remaining. Suddenly Chelsea, the team that never suffered a sending off in the league all last season, had now been on the receiving end of no fewer than four red cards in their last three competitive matches in England. Nevertheless, David Luiz still scored for the nine men, thereby setting up the proverbial grandstand finish.

In the end, Chelsea ran out of time as well as luck and players. In fact, such is the scarcity of reinforcements that the lack of personnel has reached epidemic proportions. Perhaps cursed by the offloading of Matic and the loss of a frustrated Chalobah, Chelsea's midfield are now without the injured Bakayoko and the suspended Fabregas. One shudders to think what formation Mr Conte will deliver for the challenge of playing Tottensham this forthcoming Sunday. The Italian managerial maestro will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to ensure that a depleted Chelsea team don't suffer consecutive defeats.


CHELSEA 2 Burnley 3; half time: 0-3

CHELSEA goal scorers: Morata, Luiz

CHELSEA team: Courtois; Azpilicueta; Luiz; Cahill; Alonso; Rudiger; Fabregas; Kante; Batshuayi; Boga; Willian. Used substitutes: Christensen; Morata; Musonda