Chelsea Defeat Burnley Away From Home. Chelsea FC Beat Burnley 4:0 At Turf Moor To Increase Points Difference Between Them And Man Unt. Who Are In 4th Place.
The hosts started the contest on the front foot and spurned some glorious chances to take the lead.
The Clarets were made to pay for their profligate finishing just minutes into the second half when Reece James notched Chelsea’s opener after toying with Dwight McNeil.
Kai Havertz nodded home the first of his two goals thanks to an inviting Christian Pulisic cross, before James assisted the German who got a brace inside three minutes.
A second-half Burnley capitulation was complete when James Tarkowski gifted Pulisic a fourth following an interception that left the American international with just Nick Pope to beat.
The comfortable victory offers Chelsea more security in their third-placed position, but arguably has a greater impact lower down in the table.
Prior to kick-off against Luton Town in mid-week, Blues owner Roman Abramovich announced he will be selling the club but Chelsea played like a side without a care in the world against Burnley.
Though a small section of the away contingent let the club down with chants of “Roman Abramovich” during a moment designed to show solidarity with those in Ukraine, the overwhelming majority observed it as expected.
Thomas Tuchel’s men have been incredibly resilient on their travels this term, shipping just eight goals away from home and ensured that tally did not increase at Turf Moor.
While Chelsea went in at the interval with 79% possession, they had just one tame shot on target to show for their efforts.
However, Tuchel’s half-time team talk must have sparked something inside them as the Blues found themselves 3-0 up within 10 minutes of the restart.
Many of the Stamford Bridge faithful put their underwhelming form either side of the festive period down to the injuries suffered to their first-choice full-backs.
Left-back Ben Chilwell’s serious knee ligament injury ended his season just before Christmas, before an injury to first-choice right-back Reece James prior to the New Year added to Tuchel’s defensive woes.
Cesar Azpilicueta deputised in his place, but James’ absence was sorely felt and his first start of 2022 at Turf Moor displayed why.
The England international offers the Blues a greater attacking threat down his flank, as shown by his delightful opener at the beginning of the second half.
James toyed with Dwight McNeil, weaving back and forth before eventually firing a fierce right-footed effort across the face of Nick Pope’s goal and into the bottom corner.
Minutes later James turned provider to lay Kai Havertz second on a plate from close range.
Brought to Stamford Bridge on loan from La Liga titans Atletico Madrid on the final day of the summer transfer window, Saul has drastically fallen short of expectations.
The Spaniard given just his third Premier League start against Burnley, but saw the opportunity pass him by without making much of an impact.
Saul has struggled to force his way up the midfield pecking order in the eyes of Tuchel, who so often favours the likes of Jorginho, Kante and Kovacic in the middle of the park.
Having bagged his first goal for the club in the mid-week win over Luton, Tuchel would have hoped Saul carried that kind of confidence into Saturday’s clash.
Instead, he was a passenger for much of the tie.
Within Saul’s Chelsea loan contract, there is an option to buy clause inserted but it would come as a huge surprise to many were Tuchel to be tempted if the remaining performances are like this one.
Burnley could have very well come away from this contest with all three points had it not been for some particularly careless finishing.
The hosts started the brighter of the two and put Chelsea on the backfoot early on, the first clear cut chance falling to the right foot of January signing Wout Weghorst
While the Dutchman did enough to beat the rooted Edouard Mendy in goal, his effort was cleared off the line by Trevor Chalobah.
The Clarets could have taken the lead just minutes later when Mendy flapped at an Aaron Lennon cross and put the ball into the path of Dwight McNeil who fired over the bar from close range.
Sean Dyche has previously been dubbed a miracle worker for his ability to keep the Clarets up on a shoestring budget, but it is looking increasingly likely that this year may see his side go down.
Burnley saw any chance of a result slip away from them in a 10-minute period where their visitors ran riot and put the game beyond any doubt.
The result against Chelsea means the Clarets remain in the drop zone a point behind their nearest relegation rivals Everton who have played two games less.
Due to the havoc caused to the fixture list by Covid-19 postponements earlier on in the season, a number of the teams in and around the bottom three have played a different number of games.
Therefore, there is still some hope Dyche’s side could catch Leeds given they are only two points behind with a game in hand, but they will have to drastically improve and quickly.