Heading into the season, Burnley fans would not have been happy. A trip to the home of the new champions on the opening day must have felt like a daunting task especially after a summer of low-profile signings but more often than not it comes down to the manager and they have a well reputed one. Sean Dyche’s record with the Clarets speaks volumes and they went bravely to Conte’s den.
Gary Cahill saw an early red for a late challenge and the match turned on its head. Sam Vokes converted Lowton’s cross and got the lead and then quick fire goals from Ward and Vokes again propelled Burnley to a stunning score-line at half time. Alvaro Morata and Luiz’s goals gave Chelsea the platform to stage a late-comeback but Burnley held on. Here’s how the team from Lancashire has been rated after a monumental away victory:-
GK: Tom Heaton – 6/10
Got himself involved several times today but couldn’t do much as Morata and Luiz scored against him. He had good moments of his own and his ball handling was very sweet. Long way to go for the England international!
RB: Matthew Lowton – 7.5/10
Had a fantastic game contributing down the right and tried to keep Alonso silent as much as possible. His whipped in ball found Vokes as the striker converted so he added an assist to his name.
CB: James Tarkowski – 6/10
Tidy at the back but somewhere it was inevitable that Chelsea’s wave of attacks would mean he wouldn’t have his clean-sheet alongside his defence.
CB: Ben Mee – 6/10
There were moments in the game where he was in the thick of it but he kept his composure on most occasions and did put up a decent show. He’s going to be important after the departure of Keane.
LB: Stephen Ward – 7/10
A fighting display and a focused one as Willian and Azpilicueta both patrolled on his side. He got forward and got a magnificent goal from a tight angle as well which stretched Burnley’s lead. He’ll surely be all smiles at the end of the day.
CM: Steven Defour – 7/10
His passing from the midfield made a wave of difference and his lovely cross set up Vokes’s header for Burnley’s third as well. Defour is going to be incredibly significant and he showed that today.
CM: Jack Cork – 7/10
A switch from Swansea to Burnley has not had an effect on his output and he put in a good shift in the midfield today. He provided the assist for Ward’s goal too. Work-rate was good as usual.
LM: Robert Brady – 7/10
He’s really underrated. His ball control and work down the left was unparalleled today and he almost got Burnley’s 4th with a clever free-kick.
CAM: Jeff Henricks – 6/10
Wasn’t noticed much and probably much of his effort went in trying to hold Chelsea or pressing them on.
RM: Gudmundsson – 6/10
Loose passing gave Chelsea the ball many times. He was ordinary.
ST: Sam Vokes – 8.5/10
Two well-taken finishes stood out at the end of the day and proved to be the final difference. There’s a long way to go and he is vital to Burnley’s hopes of remaining in the top-flight.
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