Unpredictable Prem #19

Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

Saturday 12th August 2017

Line-ups:

Chelsea

Courtois

Rudiger

David Luiz

Cahill

Azpilicueta

Fabregas

Kante

Alonso

Willian

Boga (Christensen 18, Musonda 92)

Batshuayi (Morata 59)

Burnley

Heaton

Lowton

Tarkowski

Mee

Ward

Gudmundsson (Arfield 75)

Defour (Walters 75)

Cork

Brady

Hendrick

Vokes

For the second edition running, this week’s TFG upset involves Burnley. This time however, the antics of Robbie Blake are nowhere to be seen – instead, this is the equally thrilling tale of current Turf Moor favourite, Sam Vokes, at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea began this season as rightful Premier League champions. Without the distraction of European football, The Blues were able to unleash the full force of their star-studded lineup onto the domestic competitions week-in, week-out, which lead to them comfortably lifting the Premier League trophy and reaching the FA Cup final. They were truly peerless.

So, when they drew Burnley at home on the opening day of this season – a side who during their league-topping campaign, had only picked up seven points away from home all season – it looked certain that Chelsea would successfully begin their title defence with little difficulty. But, as is often the case nowadays, the gravelly-voiced genius Sean Dyche, had other ideas.

By the time the half-time whistle blew in this encounter, Stamford Bridge was in a state of sheer disbelief. Dyche’s men had destroyed the party atmosphere completely, given that the home side were astonishingly 3-0 down, thanks to a marvellous brace from Sam Vokes that came either side of an angled strike from Joel Ward. Chelsea had been completely dominated, with their defence looking ready to crumble every time Burnley were able to put them under any form of pressure. It was woeful – but it didn’t end there. They had also lost their captain, Gary Cahill, to a mistimed lunge which was judged to be red card-worthy by referee Craig Pawson, after just 18 minutes.

Going into the second period then, it was essential that Chelsea responded in a timely manner – and although it took them longer than would have been preferable, they managed to pull one back just before the 70-minute mark thanks to their new arrival from Real Madrid,  Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard headed in his first ever Premier League goal in trademark fashion, to kick-start a potential comeback.

However, any hopes of such a turnaround then took notable damage, when Chelsea received their second red card of the game – this time losing midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas for dissent, following his heated reaction to a poor challenge on Jack Cork, for which he had already received a yellow card. Chelsea were showing genuine signs of losing their heads altogether, and although a late David Luiz strike rallied the champions late on, the full-time whistle confirmed what had been known since the game began. Burnley had deservedly completed one of the most remarkable Premier League victories of all time, and it set the tone for what has been an incredible season for The Clarets. Currently sat in 7th, Dyche an his men are preparing for their final assault on Arsenal (and should they overcome The Gunners, European football).

I wonder if there will be any celebratory worms?

Dan




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