Chelsea came from behind to comprehensively dismiss Burnley 4-1 and take a well-earned three points back home from Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon.
Mauricio Pochettino‘s men were slow out of the blocks, yet they achieved something they had failed to do in their last 19 attempts by winning a Premier League game after conceding first – and doing so comfortably when all was said and done.
18-year-old Wilson Odobert scored with the hosts first meaningful attack in the 15th minute to become Burnley’s youngest ever Premier League scorer. Chelsea for all their possession could hardly feel aggrieved, and needed a huge slice of luck to see Raheem Sterling‘s cross be diverted into the back of James Trafford’s net in minute 42 by way of the unsuspecting Ameen Al-Dakhil.
Sterling was the clear difference-maker again after the break. Five minutes after the resumption he darted into the box to win a penalty from which his colleague Cole Palmer suitably obliged for his first goal in royal blue. The former Manchester City man would then go on to race clear and drill it across the goalkeeper in the 65th minute, and it was his darting run which started a lovely move capped off by a smart Nicolas Jackson finish ten minutes later.
It took a while for the Blues to kick into gear, but more precious points are on the board before the small matter of a visit from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal after the international break. Until then, here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the players’ performance against the Clarets.
Robert Sanchez – 7/10
Odobert’s low shot crept beyond his long grasp, albeit the vast majority of the blame lay with the rearguard in front of him. Made an excellent stop from distance early in the second half to deny the young upstart again from 25 yards.
Marc Cucurella – 4/10
An inexperienced 18-year-old had him on strings and chasing shadows all afternoon, even when he tried to kick out at him and got a yellow card for his troubles. A tough day at the office all told.
Axel Disasi – 5/10
Masterful sideways passing but therein lies a brunt of the issue for Chelsea on the day. Too risk-averse and laboured in the build-up, although his partner in the centre of defence was just as culpable. Effectual in the closing stages as the visitors saw out the win.
Thiago Silva – 5/10
Essentially bypassed for the Burnley goal, with not enough intent to get back and recover. Seemed generally irritated on the occasion, near incandescent with rage at the referee during the half-time break leaving him on thin ice.
Levi Colwill – 4/10
Didn’t fare much better than his colleague on the opposite flank. Constantly caught on his heels. Not a left back but continues to be shoehorned into that position, and this is the sum of that decision.
Moises Caicedo – 7/10
Kept it ticking over nicely in the engine room, and although he surprisingly kept his powder dry when it came to the hustle and bustle of the physical battle it was his tenacity which set the Blues on their way for the third.
Conor Gallagher – 6/10
Made the wrong decision more often than not and seemed generally on a slightly different wavelength to those around him. With that said, he connected with Sterling when it mattered to install a two-goal cushion and effectively put the game to rest as a contest.
Enzo Fernandez – 6/10
A little lost when it came to the killer contribution in the final third – his finishing touch in particular was awfully awry – but the Argentine was metronomic in his passing and looked to force the issue.
Cole Palmer – 7/10 (87)
His tendency to drift inside when some width was needed was a hindrance, yet deserves some credit for bearing the responsibility from twelve yards at a crucial moment in the game. Demonstrated great calmness to pick out teammate Jackson in a tight area.
Armando Broja – 5/10 (45)
Very much on the periphery of proceedings before he was withdrawn at the break, and understandably so as he steps up his recovery from injury.
Raheem Sterling – 8/10 (84)
Plenty of denigrators will unfairly view a performance which was pivotal through a negative prism of prodigality. In truth, it was his sheer persistence and willingness to try and take on his man and drive at the defence which unlocked Burnley, when those around him had very little idea how to do so. A stroke of luck to see his cross find the back of the net for the opener, granted, but there was nothing lucky about his ambition and intent to win a penalty for the second and his composure for the third. Full of effort and determination – which may be a hollow compliment for a serial winner but it is something that is generally deficient in this young Blues side. Perhaps a penny for Gareth Southgate’s thoughts?
Nicolas Jackson – 7/10 (45)
Wonderful presence of mind to fashion space and rifle a finish past the helpless Trafford. Nice quick feet and flick almost set up Fernandez too, only for him to fire straight at the goalkeeper.
Mykhailo Mudryk – N/A (84)
Ian Maatsen – N/A (87)
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