Chelsea move into fourth place but miss chance to cement a place in the top 4
Chelsea missed the opportunity to move third in the Premier League after drawing 2-2 with Burnley in a tense game at Stamford Bridge.
It was a pulsating start as all four goals came in the opening 24 minutes. Jeff Hendrick’s spectacular volley put Burnley ahead (8) before N’Golo Kanté (12) and Gonzalo Higuaín (14) put Chelsea in front with a quickfire double.
However, Burnley levelled it up through Ashley Barnes (24), meaning Chelsea have now failed to win any of their last six fixtures following a Europa League game.
On a frustrating night for Maurizio Sarri’s side, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kante also went off injured, which is concerning going into the final few games of the season, with every single one of them being crucial to Chelsea’s chances of getting Champions League football next season.
With rivals Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United all losing over the weekend, Chelsea will be annoyed with themselves that they could not take full advantage, which makes highly-anticipated top-four battle against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men at Old Trafford this Sunday even more important now.
Possession (%) – Chelsea 76%, Burnley 24%
Shots – Chelsea 22, Burnley 6
Shots on Target – Chelsea 9, Burnley 3
Corners – Chelsea 10, Burnley 1
Fouls – Chelsea 9, Burnley 4
Offsides – Chelsea 1, Burnley 2
Yellow/Red Cards – Chelsea 2/0, Burnley 1/0
(Bonus Stat) 13 – Eden Hazard has provided 13 assists in the Premier League in 2018-19, the most in the competition this season and one more than he registered in his previous three seasons combined (12).
• Going forward we were good, unfortunate to not have more than 2.
• Defensively however, we were very poor.
• Our defending at set-pieces is shocking, badly needs to improve.
• Injuries to CHO and Kante going into Sunday’s huge game is concerning.
• How many more chances made by others are we going to keep passing up? So frustrating.
• Another yo-yo game unfortunately.
Chelsea Player/Manager Ratings
Kepa – 6, Had nothing special to do and had a fairly quiet game besides picking the ball out of the net twice.
Azpilicueta – 6, Looked decent going foward by offering good overlapping runs and crossing (including the assist for Higuain), but defensively was very average.
Christensen – 5, Hasn’t been the best couple of games for him recently and it clearly showed again tonight. Didn’t looked comfortable or composed throughout.
David Luiz – 5, ‘Sideshow Bob’ has arrived. Poor situational awareness from a defensive perspective and his much-acclaimed passing has become very predictable and one-dimensional. I hope we don’t offer an extension to his contract.
Emerson – 6, Exact same as Azpilicueta to be honest.
Kanté – 7, Did well in the first-half and a contributed a well-taken goal, but forced off at half-time through injury.
Jorginho – 5, Burnley’s tactics clearly strangled the output and influence that the Italian international could offer.
Loftus-Cheek – 7, Was at his very best in the first-half but looked like he was gassing in the second-half. Hopefully the knock he received was not too serious.
Hudson-Odoi – 6, Showed glimpses of how much of a threat he is and helped stretch the play for the team, but nothing really noteworthy to speak of. Unfortunately suffered what looks like a worrying injury as well and was subbed off.
Higuaín – 7, Arguably his best performance in a Chelsea shirt since joining. Offered movement, linked-up well at times and his footwork was solid tonight. Great goal, shame he didn’t get any more.
Hazard – 7, MOTM. Without him contributing or creating a moment of magic, our team struggles… big time.
Pedro (41′ for Hudson-Odoi) – 6, booked.
Kovačić (46′ for Kanté) – 6, booked.
Giroud (77′ for Higuaín) – 6
Nothing special from any of the substitutes.
Maurizio Sarri – 6, Put out a line-up that was pretty much wanted and praised by the fans tonight, but the lack of options from the bench – along with the poor decision making from the defenders at set-pieces – put a damper on what was a golden opportunity to cement a place in the top 4.