As Chelsea drew 2-2 to Burnley in the Premier League last night, which meant they couldn’t capitalise on their top four rivals dropping points this weekend- I look at the five key talking points from this encounter last night.
- Good line up on the whole from Sarri- The main question going into this game was who would be in the front three.
Here was the team that was put out by Sarri at 7pm (UK time);
The back four picked himself really. Christensen partnered David Luiz as the centre-back pairing due to the fact that Rudiger picked up an injury in Chelsea’s last Premier League game against Liverpool.
Emerson started over Alonso at left back which is what most Chelsea fans wanted to see.
The midfield three was perfect in my opinion. It is always great to see Loftus-Cheek starting games now in the Premier League.
And Sarri selected the Triple H as his front three. Hazard, Higuain and Hudson-Odoi.
It was great to see Sarri stick with Hudson-Odoi after his disappointing game against Liverpool in the Premier League last Sunday.
My only disappointment with that line up was the fact that Sarri selected Higuain over Giroud. Giroud has been on much better form that Higuain.
Overall it was a very strong side selected by Sarri, considering the current state of the squad, and here is how a few Chelsea fans reacted to the line up picked by Sarri last night;
2. Frantic start to the first half- Surprisingly both teams played out a eventful first 25 minutes of the game with four goals being scored in that time.
Jeff Hendrick put Burnley ahead in the 8th minute after Chelsea failed to clear a set piece, and the Irishman thumped his effort in from the edge of the box past Kepa. The Spaniard maybe could have done better for that goal.
However Chelsea hit back straight away, with Ngolo Kante equalising for the Blues in the 12th minute. Then Higuain’s rocket two minutes later in the 14th minute put Chelsea 2-1 up.
But the Clarets hit back in the 24th minute when Ashley Barnes scored from close range, after awful Chelsea defending from a set piece.
Here is the set piece which led to Burnley’s equaliser;
One thing I learnt from that first 25 minutes, was that Chelsea cannot defend set pieces!
3. Hudson-Odoi’s season is over and what happened to Kante?- The youngster sustained what looked like an ankle injury in the 41st minute, and unfortunately he had to hobble off the pitch and down the tunnel, alongside the Chelsea medical staff.
He was replaced by Pedro.
But is this the season over for Callum Hudson-Odoi? We will have to wait to see the results from the scans in the coming days.
But if it is season over for Hudson-Odoi, then it would be such a shame, as he has worked so hard to make it into the first eleven.
Sarri looked concerned to see Hudson-Odoi limping off, but here is how Chelsea fans reacted to seeing Hudson-Odoi picking up that injury;
Unfortunately Hudson-Odoi later confirmed on his Twitter that he ruptured his Achilles and this was also confirmed by Zola in a post match interview, and this means that his season is over…
It went from Bad to worse for Chelsea though, as Kante was replaced at half time by Kovacic, after suffering a back injury- which meant he couldn’t play any further part in yesterday’s game.
How’s Chelsea’s luck though? Two big players could potentially miss their top four decider against Manchester United next Sunday!
4. Rudiger was missed- Yesterday’s game showed me and many Chelsea fans that Chelsea are a different team without Rudiger.
Christensen proved yesterday that he isn’t up to it, to be starting every game in the backline for Chelsea. He was the one who lost Ben Mee for Burnley’s second goal.
He gives no confidence to the other defenders around him. Luiz looks very shaky when Christensen plays, but when Rudiger partners Luiz- the Brazilian looks alot more stable.
Rudiger is needed for the Manchester United game next weekend, so it will be interesting to see whether he can get himself fit in time for that top four decider next Sunday.
5. Frustrating second half- Going into the second half, and there wasn’t alot of optimism around, especially when Kante had to come off for Kovacic.
And Chelsea fans were right to lack optimism for the second half, as the team went back to what they have been doing since Sarri took charge.
Passing sideways and always playing in front of the opposition, and having all the possession in the world, but doing nothing with it!
It was such frustrating second half. Chelsea weren’t sharp enough and did apply enough pressure on the Burnley defence.
And as a result of that awful second half performance- our top four hopes look in real jeopardy, as although we are 4th with 67 points- we have played 1 more game than all our top four rivals.
This means that the Manchester United game is now must win , and if the Blues fail to win that game next Sunday then they will have to fully rely on winning the Europa League for attaining Champions League football next season.
Chelsea next play on Sunday in the Premier League against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The game kicks off at 4:30pm (UK time), and nothing but three points will be good enough for the Blues in their quest for a top four finish.
Whereas for Burnley, they next face Manchester City next Sunday at 2:05pm (UK time) in the Premier League.
Comment down below what your thoughts were on the game last night, and do you think there are any other major talking points that I have missed/left out.
By Danyal Khan