Date: 23rd August 2014 at 2:02pm
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Burnley were unable to avoid defeat in their opening game in the Premier League against Chelsea on Monday night but they certainly did not disgrace themselves and even took the lead after just 14 minutes thanks to a well-taken goal by Scott Arfield. Chelsea though hit back hard and equalised within three minutes with new boy, Diego Costa putting the visitors level. The Blues class then began to tell and they were 2-1 up after 21 minutes thanks to a goal from Schürrle and they made it 3-1 when Ivanovic put the visitors further ahead. It looked like the Clarets could be in for a tonking but they held on and no more goals were conceded and 3-1 to Chelsea was the final score. We have to take the positives from such a game. Let`s face it is very hard to compete against such a team and their depth of quality and high-profile players but we held our own and our performance drew praise from Jose Mourinho.

“I think we really deserved these three points, against a side that is going to give a fight to everyone that comes here,” Mourinho said.

“Burnley were difficult, I think they play with their strengths, very direct, their two strikers very close to each other and the combination between both.

“The wingers are high intensity people, they can accelerate, they can come inside to shoot, they can go outside to cross.

“I think they are very well worked side so the coach has to be good

“In the Premier League obviously they have to play against teams with a different dimension of players but that`s what money does.

“I think with the potential they had they gave us a difficult match and will give a difficult match to anyone, so I wish them the best.”

High praise indeed! Certainly the penultimate quote above probably sums up what our main predicament is going to be this season but we just have to get on with it and hopefully surprise a few. Underdogs and a pundit`s candidate for the drop could work in our favour and make some teams complacent. If anybody can work miracles, it will be Sean Dyche.

Team Sheet

So what was our first starting line-up in the top flight since 2010? Well most people may well have predicted it. But the eighteen was as follows:

Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Taylor, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Ings, Jutkiewicz

Subs: Gilks, Long, Dummigan, Kightly, Wallace, Barnes, Sordell

The only surprises perhaps came on the bench with young Dummigan and possibly Long in the eighteen with no place for either Ward or Reid

Full Match Report

It was an exciting night at Turf Moor with high-profile Chelsea the visitors in our first match back in the Premier League since May 2010. The place was electric and in a sell-out, 20,699 fans came hoping to see an entertaining game. The Clarets set off at blistering pace with Jutkiewicz getting in a shot seconds from the start. After four minutes the visitors nearly got their noses in front when Schürrle`s attempted shot from just outside the box took a deflection and flew inches wide of the post. The game was end-to-end in the opening few minutes of the game. Jutkiewicz was played in by Taylor and charging into the penalty area got the better of Ivanović before striking the ball into the side-netting with his right foot. Clarets fans though were sent into raptures when in the fourteenth minute Burnley got the lead they were seeking. A half-cleared corner by Chelsea gave Taylor the chance to pick up the ball on the left and produce a cleverly lofted ball to the edge of the box. Arfield was ideally placed and controlling the ball well unleashed a shot into the roof of the net past Courtois to give Burnley a surprise 1-0 lead in front of the Sky Sports cameras. The class of Chelsea though was now to shine through in abundance and just 20 minutes later the visitors would be ahead 3-1. Chelsea equalised just three minutes after Burnley`s goal when Ivanović unleashed a fizzing ball across the face of goal. Jason Shackell managed to deflect the ball against the foot of the post before Costa blasted it home to make it 1-1. The pace of Chelsea`s attack now began to pay dividends and in the 21st minute Ivanović found Fàbregas on the edge of the box. The Spaniard with a sensational first-time pass found Schürrle who was now clear on goal after charging forward from deep. He simply tapped the ball into the back of the net to give the visitors the lead and demoralise the home contingent. Ben Mee`s poor backpass on 30 minutes fell short giving Diego Costa the chance to charge forward towards goal in a one-on-one with Heaton. Costa got to the ball first but then fell to the ground claiming a penalty. The referee though was having none of it and booked Chelsea`s new recruit for simulation. It wouldn`t matter much because four minutes later Chelsea`s class paid dividends again to make it 3-1. This time Ivanović latched on to Fàbregas` in-swinging corner to volley home from close range. Things looked grim now and the thought of a Chelsea tonking was now at the back of most Burnley fans minds! Dyche though rallied the troops and they dug deep to try and get back into the game. Taylor picked up the ball following a pass from Jutkiewicz and he found Ings but his attempt from the near post was narrowly off target. It was not to be though and Burnley went in at half-time with a mountain to climb.

The ‘never give up` mantra though was evident to see in the second half despite the quality and pace of the opposition. Ings tried his luck from distance just after the restart but it did not pay off. On 49 minutes, Arfield then came close to getting a brace after cutting inside to unleash a left footed shot that Courtois frustratingly managed to turn behind for a corner. Chelsea to be honest looked comfortable now and although they took their foot off the accelerator, Burnley failed to reduce the arrears despite their best efforts. Just past the hour mark, Jutkiewicz was also thwarted with his goal-bound effort and despite now getting more possession we simply could not break down the well-marshalled Chelsea defence. The introduction of Barnes, Kightly and Sordell had little effect and Chelsea simply ran the clock down by keeping possession to hold onto a comfortable 3-1 away win. Let`s not get downhearted though this was a spirited performance by the Clarets against a World-class moneybags side. The lads came off to a well-deserved standing ovation and although it could be a long hard season there were quite a few positives to take from this game.

Match Stats

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Taylor (Kightly 70) , Ings (Sordell 82), Jutkiewicz (Barnes 70).

Subs not used: Gilks, Long, Dummigan, Wallace.

Goal: Arfield 14

Booked: Yellow Card for Sordell (87)< BR>
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Oscar (Obi Mikel 82), Matić, Fàbregas, Schürrle (Willian 78), Diego Costa, Hazard (Drogba 84).

Subs not used: Čech, Zouma, Filipe Luís, Torres.

Goals: Diego Costa 17, Schürrle 21, Ivanović 34

Booked: Yellow Card for Diego Costa (30)

Possession: 39% Burnley, 61% Chelsea (Source: BBC Sport)

Ref: Michael Oliver