• Burnley 1-3 Chelsea, Premier League

Costa and Cesc shine as Chelsea sink Burnley

ESPN staff
August 18, 2014
Andre Schuerrle scored Chelsea's second after a sublime through ball from Cesc Fabregas © Getty Images

Diego Costa grabbed a debut goal with Cesc Fabregas setting up two others as Chelsea backed up their tag as Premier League title favourites with an impressive 3-1 win at Burnley.

Scott Arfield gave the hosts a surprise lead with just 14 minutes gone, neatly trapping the ball after he was found by Matthew Taylor before firing past Thibaut Courtois - who won his battle for the No.1 sport with Petr Cech.

Burnley's lead lasted less than three minutes, however, with Costa blasting in after the ball deflected off the post and into his path from Branislav Ivanovic's deflected cross.

Then, on 21 minutes, Andre Schuerrle slotted home from the right side of the six-yard box after he was picked out by Fabregas' exquisite through ball.

Match Analysis

  • Key moment: Five years ago, Turf Moor was left shaking as Manchester United froze after Robbie Blake put Burnley 1-0 up in their first home game after being promoted. It could have been a case of deja vu when Scott Arfield lashed home the opener here, but Chelsea responded almost instantly through Diego Costa, for whom £32 million is already looking like a bargain.
  • Man of the match: If Arsene Wenger did indeed turn down the chance to re-sign Cesc Fabregas, it looks like he could come to regret it. Fabregas put in a classy display, with two assists including a sublime through ball for Andre Schuerrle to score Chelsea's second.
  • Villain: Costa already had his first goal after less than 30 minutes of Premier League football, but he received his first booking as well. However, he was harshly adjudged to have dived in the box by referee Michael Oliver.
  • Nick Atkin

Costa thought he should have had a penalty when he raced through on goal, but he was booked for diving by Michael Oliver despite having his heels clipped by Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

Jose Mourinho was unhappy with the decision, but in the end it counted for little as Branislav Ivanovic met Fabregas' corner to make it 3-1 and Chelsea strolled on to victory.

Chelsea will come up against tougher teams this season, but the way in which they took Burnley's defence apart in the first half will have given their title rivals food for thought.

Fabregas, somehow overlooked by Arsenal and Manchester United this summer, slotted perfectly into the Chelsea midfield while Eden Hazard and Schuerrle cut through the home defence with ease.

Courtois would be disappointed with his failure to stop Arfield's goal, but otherwise he put in an assured debut performance which suggested he is up to the task of replacing Cech, who was named on the bench. And in Costa, Chelsea look to have the "killer'' striker Mourinho lacked last year.

A wave of noise greeted Sean Dyche and his men as they emerged from the tunnel to signal the start of an exciting new dawn at Turf Moor.

The hosts nearly went behind within three minutes though. Kieran Trippier's nerves got the better of him as his misplaced pass went straight to Costa. The striker laid the ball off to Schuerrle, whose deflected shot drifted just a few inches wide.

Cesc Fabregas pulled the strings in midfield for Chelsea © Getty Images

The relieved home fans roared their team on, before Lukas Jutkiewicz spurned a good chance to test Courtois as he drilled into the side-netting from inside the box.

The decibel levels rocketed in the 13th minute when Arfield beat the new Chelsea No.1.

Chelsea's back four were slow clearing the box from a corner and Matt Taylor, played onside by John Terry, found Arfield just inside the box. The unmarked midfielder, released by Huddersfield two years ago, blasted a sweet volley past Courtois, who froze as the ball flew past his right ear.

The stands rocked as Burnley started to believe an upset was possible. But three minutes later Chelsea were level.

Ivanovic latched on to a Fabregas backheel and flashed a low cross from the right that took a touch off defender Jason Shackell and hit the far post. Luckily for Chelsea, Costa was there to sweep the ball in through Michael Duff's legs.

Chelsea then took the lead with a sublime goal that came after a stunning passing move. Hazard surged deep inside the Burnley half, beating three defenders before laying the ball off to Ivanovic. The Serbian then found Fabregas, whose perfectly weighted pass was converted first time by Schuerrle.

Hazard may have failed to light up the World Cup, but his star was shining bright on a chilly night in east Lancashire. The Belgian slalomed through the Burnley defence and lofted a ball over Heaton, but Costa could not get on the end of it.

Costa was sharp enough to pick up on Ben Mee's careless back pass a few minutes later, but he hit the deck after Heaton raced off his line to challenge him.

Replays showed the Burnley goalkeeper clipped Costa's trailing leg, but referee Oliver booked the striker for diving. Mourinho, clearly unhappy with the decision, aired his grievances with fourth official Mike Dean.

Mourinho was happy again in the 33rd minute though as Chelsea found the net once more. Fabregas floated a peach of a corner straight to the right foot of Ivanovic, who prodded the ball home after surging through the box ahead of his marker.

With Fabregas, Hazard and Oscar in midfield, Chelsea had no problem playing keep-ball until half-time.

After the break, Burnley threw everything they had at the visitors. Gary Cahill's clearance landed straight at Arfield's feet, but the Scot's curling shot was superbly saved by Courtois.

Dyche brought on Ashley Barnes and Michael Kightly as he tried to engineer a way back into the game.

Schuerrle received a standing ovation as he was replaced by Willian, and Didier Drogba came on for an eight-minute cameo. Drogba, back for another spell with Chelsea, almost made it a second debut to remember when he took down Courtois' long ball and fired a volley towards goal, but it swerved wide.

It did not matter, though. The game had been won long before.

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