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Burnley draw a lesson for Chelsea to be more critical

Callum Hudson-Odoi should have scored against Burnley on Saturday 6, November 2021. | PHOTO: James Williamson - AMA |

Chelsea headed on to match week eleven of the Premier League, sitting on top of the table, one of the best goal scorers and furthermore with the best defense in the league this season, conceding only three goals in 10 Premier League matches, two of those coming from the spot.

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 at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had absolutely trashed and humbled their opponents throughout, with just the goals missing in a replica performance of the 7-0 hauling of Norwich City in their last home match.

The onslaught started from minute one on Saturday. In the opening exchanges, Callum Hudson-Odoi – who has enjoyed regular starts since forward duo of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were injured, 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 was 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 to put Chelsea ahead in what seemed to be another routine win for the blues.

Chelsea 1-1 Burnley

Chelsea players celebrate after Kai Havertz scored against Burnley in a Premier League clash on Saturday, 6 November 2021 at Stamford Bridge. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

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 as the tough defense set up by Sean Dyche was not easy to break past in the dying minutes of the match.

It feels harsh to criticize Thomas Tuchel’s side because had they seen out the win, this would have been hailed as another complete performance – albeit the lack of 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 but only one goal in that regard.

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.

Ross Barkely

Ross Barkley earned his first Chelsea start of the season in the Premier League against Burnley and did well. He was a constant threat to Burnley’s defense. | PHOTO: Chloe Knott – Danehouse/GettyImages |

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.

Should Chelsea want to challenge for the Premier League title – a trophy contested between Liverpool and last season’s winners Manchester City for the last four years since Chelsea lifted in 2016/2017, Thomas Tuchel should understand that clinical finishing and such matches are what will open the gap between his side and Pep Guardiola’s side together with Jurgen Klopp’s irresilient team.

The Blues will be in Premier League action once again on

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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