Chelsea

Chelsea pay for lack of clinical edge against Burnley

Krishan Davis
Hudson-Odoi was among those who should have scored
Hudson-Odoi was among those who should have scored / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

From Stamford Bridge - It's not often that you feel obliged to label a 1-0 win 'a battering', but that was destined to be the case with Chelsea a goal ahead with ten minutes remaining against Burnley on Saturday.

Chelsea had absolutely pummelled their opponents throughout, with just the goals missing in a replica performance of the 7-0 drubbing of Norwich in their last home match.

The onslaught started from minute one. In the opening exchanges, Callum Hudson-Odoi saw his initial shot well saved by Nick Pope before flashing the rebound just wide. Kai Havertz then drew another fine stop from Pope just moments later, and from the resulting corner Andreas Christensen sent a header just wide.

Chelsea were in the mood, and after Ross Barkley and Antonio Rudiger had both come within inches of scoring, they inevitably took the lead when Havertz rose unmarked to meet Reece James' perfect delivery.

At half-time the match had all the hallmarks of a Stamford Bridge thrashing, and although the home side didn't carry the same intensity in attack after the break, they still created gilt-edged chances to double the lead.

Thiago Silva's header flicked the outside of the post and Havertz popped up in the middle of the box again, but this time lifted his shot over. With the host's last clear-cut chance, Callum Hudson-Odoi couldn't find the corners as Pope once again got in the way once again.

With 79 minutes on the clock it seemed as though it would have to be one of those occasions where one goal was enough. Time to see out the win. But lo and behold, the Blues were caught cold and Matej Vydra popped up to bundle home from close range to level.

Chelsea tried to rally, but a winner was not forthcoming.

It feels harsh to criticise Thomas Tuchel's side because had they seen out the win, this would have been hailed as another complete performance - albeit minus the goals.

Chelsea finished the match with 25 shots to Burnley's five - although only four of those were on target - and a whopping 70% share of possession.

Ross Barkely
Ross Barkley was a threat throughout / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Despite eyebrows being raised at Barkley's inclusion, it once again seemed as though Tuchel had got his team selection just right as the 27-year-old looked a constant threat as a false nine. Similarly Havertz looked unshackled back on the left flank, tormenting his opposite man throughout and of course drifting inside to get on the scoresheet.

But while Barkley and Havertz impressed in the continued absence of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, this still somehow ended up being a result symptomatic of a side missing their finisher - the man who can score a goal from nothing.

The potential is clearly there to blow away their opponents week in, week out. On this evidence and after two points undoubtedly dropped, Tuchel will be desperate to have his leading frontmen back as soon as possible as he aims to keep Chelsea top of the Premier League.


For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter!

facebooktwitterreddit