Loads of chances but few on target sees Blues eventually mugged by Burnley in 1-1 draw
By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 1 v Burnley 1
If you don’t score you don’t win - Chelsea had more than a dozen quality chances, but few actually on target to put Burnley to bed in the first half but scored just one - through Kai Havertz on 33 minutes.
Burnley then took their one chance and scored - substitute Matej Vydra tucking home with 11 minutes left on the clock.
The 1-1 draw symbolises all that is right and wrong with the champions of Europe.
They had the vast amount of possession but never looked fully comfortable when trying to pierce a resolute and discipline defence.
The lack of real midfield guile - with the ability to produce the slide rule pass is missing from the west Londoners.
Thomas Tuchel said before the game he knew what he was going to face, yet his charges failed to do what was necessary to put them to the sword.
The point keeps Chelsea on top of the pile, while the visitors remain in the bottom three of the Premier League.
Chelsea went for the jugular straight from the whistle.
Callum Hudson-Odoi had two chances to put the Blues ahead after four minutes. He cut through the Burnley rearguard on the right and forced a save from Nick Pope. The ball rebounded to the winger but he screwed the right-footer wide of goal.
A last-ditch block by left-back Matthew Taylor thwarted Reece James effort, while a minute later Andreas Christensen glanced a free header wide of goal, from a Hudson-Odoi right wing cross.
Pope was on the spot to parry away a Kai Havertz header on 10 minutes as the Blues piled on the early pressure.
A well worked passage of play involving Ross Barkley and James saw the England midfielder try a clipped, curling right-footer from just outside the penalty area on 14 minutes. The ball beat Pope but inched wide of his right post too.
Rudiger was next up to try to break the defence of the Clarets, but his powerful header from a corner on 26 minutes went over Pope’s crossbar.
Pope knew nothing of his next save when the ball deflected off Taylor from. James byline cross. It went goal-bound and Pope stuck out his leg and somehow deflected the ball over the crossbar for a corner.
Inevitably, the breach of defence would come and the home side struck on 34 minutes.
Again James provided the byline cross, this time it was perfect and Havertz headed it home.
The goal puts him joint top scored in all competitions with James and Romelu Lukaku.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
Chelsea restarted as they played the whole of the first half, in Burnley’s half, and they should have doubled their lead when Havertz’s free header from yet another James cross clipped the outside of Pope’s left upright.
A brilliant counter-attack involving Barkley and Hudson-Odoi saw Havertz fail to finish when he skied an easy chance over the crossbar from close range.
Hudson-Odoi could have put the game to bed, when another fine move saw the winger zipped past two defenders and left fly. But while the ball beat Pope, Matthew Lowton was on the goal line to hack the ball clear.
Barkley’ s last touch of the ball saw him thrash a left footer over the crossbar. He was replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek on 73 minutes.
Chelsea completely switch off on 8- minutes when substitute Matej Vydra tucked home unchallenged past Mendy to level the score.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel then brought on Christen Pulisic for Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount for Kante.
It made little difference, Burnley stuck to their game plan, Chelsea were just stuck.
Teams: Chelsea, Mendy, Rudiger, Christensen, Jorginho, Silva, Kante, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, James, Havertz
Subs: Kepa, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Saul, Mount, Ziyech, Azpilicueta, Sarr
Burnley, Pope, Lowton, Taylor, Tarkowski, Mee, Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Wood, McNeil, Westwood, Cornet
Subs: Hennessey, Cork, Barnes, Rodriguez, Collins, Pieters, Vydra, Long
Referee: Andre Marriner.