Chelsea 3-0 Burnley: 3 standout players for the Blues | Premier League 2019-20
Chelsea took Burnley to the cleaners by smashing three past them in the first league game at Stamford Bridge this decade.
A penalty from Jorginho in the form of a welcome goal put the Blues in front after it looked like another case of a team coming to West London and preventing the hosts. It was dodgy, lacklustre and blunt from Chelsea, who were struggling to up their tempo or pick spaces in between.
However, the partnership that struck gold in the FA Cup rout of Nottingham Forest - between Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James - worked incisively down the right once again, before the latter delivered one of his many teasing balls for Tammy Abraham to leap and plant beyond a clueless Nick Pope.
The Blues hit Burnley once again, this time for Hudson-Odoi to bag his first-ever Premier League goal. Throughout the course of the second 45 minutes, Frank Lampard's side played with immense intensity, creativity and a real sense of urgency.
Quick passes, one-twos, playing out from the back before lashing out the release ball to Abraham or Hudson-Odoi, besides beautiful link-up was the name of the game. And Chelsea should really have turned comprehensive to unforgiving.
On that note, we list three players who stood out for the Pensioners in their well-constructed victory over Sean Dyche and co.
For a 31-year-old to notch game after game without being substituted as often or rested, Willian's work rate and commitment are more than just praiseworthy. The Brazilian was at it once again, and just when he shifted to his favoured right-hand side from an early corner to launch one, you knew he was in the mood.
Now, he may not have the goals in his locker to show for being as world-class as any other winger across Europe's marquee teams, but he's got quality all over him.
Willian combined very well with the likes of Mount and Azpilicueta, was extremely safe in protecting the ball, and was credited for winning a penalty outside the debate. His covering for the Chelsea skipper every time the Clarets broke; to sprint out of his skin and cover 50-60 yards and track backward, was sensational.
More than the impact, it was an all-round display from the veteran.
It was just about garnering confidence back, which proved to be one of the only chinks in Callum Hudson-Odoi's stacked armour.
The winger was everywhere, bursting forward with fearlessness and intent. He took on opponents and was at the heart of Chelsea's counter-attacks. The 19-year-old timed his runs brilliantly, and what was one of the most positive sights to witness was his willingness to get into the box when sparsely involved in the build-up.
And when he was, the youngster gave Burnley a real hard time. The aforementioned tactic was one of the many reasons he beat his marker and pocketed the vacant space in the far post area to score.
Since his return from the dreadful Achilles injury, Hudson-Odoi seemed shorn of confidence and came under the scanner for his lack of involvement. But here he is, with two goals and an assist in Chelsea's previous two.
He was stretchered off against Burnley. He scored his maiden PL goal against Burnley. That's a serious script.
There are a bunch of promising youngsters destined to do big things in football within the club, but perhaps, none other is as combative and talented as Reece James.
The full-back, besides his attributes off the ball, is a genius in finding space down the flank. Probably more than a dozen times, he was found with ample space and time to cross. It was indeed, a well-plotted tactic from Lampard and Jody Morris, but the right-back still had to capitalise.
He produced crosses of the highest order, in the most dangerous of positions, with the right amount of whip, curl and pace. It's the technique that stands out, but also the awareness to dribble, pass and fabricate interplay with the ones around him.
He's oozing confidence at the moment, and it's fair to say James is unstoppable. The Englishman was fairly undisturbed, but his pieces of defending at instances were peerless. There was no getting past a player on top of his focus and discipline.
The management ought to start him over and over again.Published 12 Jan 2020, 00:34 IST