Chelsea sent out a serious message to their title rivals on Monday night as they effortlessly dispatched newly promoted Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moore. Mourinho made it six out six for opening day wins as he side cruised to victory in a match they looked to come unstuck in last season. Pre the team announcement much was being made of the goalkeeping dilemma Mourinho was facing. Unsurprisingly he opted for Thibaut Courtois instead of veteran Petr Cech who appears to be on his way. Felipe Luis was also omitted in favour of last season’s tried and tested back four. Burnley took the lead through Airfield’s rocket after fourteen minutes which allowed Burnley fans to dream of the unthinkable. Those dreams were swiftly ruined however as Chelsea changed gears, showed there class and put the game to bed with three goals in seventeen minutes.
Diego Costa got the first. The debutant lashed home from eight yards to bring Chelsea level after some sleek build up play. Fabregas found Ivanovic with a cheeky back-hell who then drilled the ball into the box only for it to rebound of the post and onto the ferocious left foot of Costa. Last season Chelsea’s strikers didn’t score an away goal until New Year’s Day, how times have changed. The second goal was a thing of a beaut, art on a football field. When goals like this come along it really is the beautiful game. Twenty nine passes in total were involved in the build-up as Chelsea had Burnley chasing shadows with their nimble one touch football. The ball eventually dropped to Eden Hazard who somehow evaded four Burnley defenders. He then switched the ball out wide only for Ivanovic to pick out Fabregas who spotted Schurrle’s late run and registered glorious assist as the German tucked the ball home. Fabregas’s pass was precision personified as he weighted it perfectly, a moment to behold. Branislav Ivanovic then put the sword in the coffin as he was left unmarked in the box to bury Fabregas’s corner with a near finish. Chelsea should have had a penalty when Diego Costa was brought down by Tom Heaton. Michael Oliver made the inaccurate decision of booking Costa for diving when replays showed he was tripped.
The football that was exhibited in the first half was mesmeric, breath taking at times. Chelsea made their way through Burnley’s defence like a knife through butter. Movement was abrupt. Passes were meticulous. Tempo was vigorous. General play stayed expansive and slick throughout. At the heart of everything good was Cesc Fabregas. He embodied the gulf in quality between the two sides, the Spaniard roamed around the pitch with an alluring freedom and was the focal point of Chelsea’s attacks, drifting alongside Matic floating in front of the back four and starting moves from deep. The football was tantalizing but at the same time relentless.
The second half saw Chelsea take the life out the game as the Blues took their foot of the gas. What we got was a much more reserved and subdued performance. The intensity was no longer there as Chelsea were content with keeping the ball. The only real chance of any significance fell to goal scorer Airfield who produced a remarkable save from Courtious. Mikel, Willian and Drogba replaced Hazard, Oscar and Schurrle as Chelsea cruised to their first victory of the new season.