Burnley dished out the biggest surprise of opening gameweek as they beat defending Champions Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League. The game, which was played at Stamford Bridge, came to life when Gary Cahill was sent off for a lunge on Steven Defour and Burnley made their hosts pay dearly as goals from Sam Vokes either side of a splendid strike by Stephen Ward gave Burnley an unlikely 3 goal lead at the half time.
Chelsea looked to have found a way back into the game midway through the second half when Alvaro Morata scored his first for the club, but a second dismissal in the form of Cesc Fabregas pushed the Blues back further. Even a late David Luiz goal could not save Chelsea the blushes at home. Here are the player ratings from the game.
Thibaut Courtois – 5/10
The Belgian shot-stopper’s positioning came under scrutiny for the first Burnley goal as he failed to stop a rather meek shot from Sam Vokes. While he could do very little for the remaining two Burnley goals, he was saved from embarrassment late in the game by the post as he failed to deal with a Robbie Brady free-kick.
Antonio Rudiger – 6/10
The German defender endured a tough start to his Premier League career as he failed to deal with the attacking threat of Burnley. While being impressive in the air, the former AS Roma man found the going tough on the ground and we believe he might take some more time to adapt to life in a new league.
Gary Cahill- 2/10
Chelsea were in the game till their captain decided to go into a full-bloodied tackle on Steven Defour. Sadly for the Chelsea fans, he earned himself a red card in only the 14th minute, thus forcing Antonio Conte into reorganising his side.
David Luiz – 5/10
The Brazilian did not have a comfortable evening by any measure as he was bullied in and around the box by Burnley and could be deemed responsible for Vokes’ second goal of the evening. What made matters worse for the player was that he played into the hands of Burnley’s physical approach and seemed to have lost his head during the game. While he did score late in the game, it came perhaps too little too late.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6/10
One of Chelsea’s most consistent players of the last season, Azpilicueta was forced to play as a right-wing back and struggled to make the kind of impact that was expected of him. With his side chasing the game from the 24th minute, the Spaniard was required to provide quality on the flanks which he failed to do for a large duration of the game.
N’Golo Kante – 6/10
It is not often that we seen N’Golo Kante let a player beat him with ease. However, the clash with Burnley was one such game which proved that even Kante was beatable after all as he let Stephen Ward go past him with ease. While it was a usually industrious evening for the Frenchman, a lot more is expected from the PFA Player of the year.
Marcos Alonso – 7/10
Alonso was amongst the few Chelsea players that actually threatened the Burnley defence. He was good with his movement on and off the ball and had two long efforts saved by Tom Heaton. However, he still needs to work on his discipline as he was booked early in the game for a clumsy challenge.
Cesc Fabregas – 5/10
A needless yellow card for dissent in the first half turned into Chelsea’s misery when Fabregas was given his marching orders late in the 2nd half for a dangerous tackle. The Spaniard was involved in a lot of Chelsea build-ups and looked threatening at times. However, it all came to nought as his departure all but guaranteed a Burnley victory.
Willian – 7/10
The Brazilian endured a troubled evening through most of the game as he failed to break loose of the disciplined Burnley defence. However, he was the man for Chelsea’s mini-resurgence as it was his cross that Alvaro Morata converted for Chelsea’s first goal.
Michy Bathshuayi – 4/10
It could be said that the lack of playing time is hurting his career but the truth is that even when he is afforded an opportunity, Batshuayi has failed to make the desired impact. He was wasteful in possession, failed to create any real opportunity and had just one shot to show for in the 58 minutes that he spent on the pitch. We believe that had Chelsea not splashed the kind of cash that they did on him, he would have been gone by now.
Jeremie Boga – NA
The youngster was substituted in the 16th minute as Antonio Conte was forced to reorganise following Cahill’s red card making it a debut to forget for the 20-year old.
Andreas Christensen – 7/10
Christensen was amongst the better Chelsea players on the evening. The Danish defender was calm and composed with the ball at his feet and was rather solid defensively. While he was very unlucky to miss out on a goal, we expect Christensen to earn starts in the games to come after his defensive showing against Burnley.
Alvaro Morata – 7/10
The Spaniard, who came on as a substitute in the 59th minute for Batshuayi, made an instant impact as he scored via a diving header in the 69th minute. While he did cost Chelsea a goal when he played the Christensen shot that was already goal-bound from an offside position, he made amends with an assist for the Luiz goal. For us, he needs to start every game after Chelsea’s rather timid start to the season.
Charly Musonda – NA