Match report: Chelsea 2-2 Burnley

by 24britishtvMarch 31, 2024, midnight 20
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Chelsea were left frustrated after we were twice unable to hold on to a lead given us by Cole Palmer against the 10 men of Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

A surprisingly open first half had plenty of chances at both ends, but just one goal, which arrived right at the end. It went Chelsea's way, as Burnley right-back Lorenz Assignon was punished for his awkward challenge on Mykhailo Mudryk by a second booking and a Blues penalty.

Cole Palmer converted it in some style, chipping a cheeky shot straight down the middle. However, just minutes into the second half, 10-man Burnley levelled, when Josh Cullen smashed in a powerful strike from the edge of the box.

Palmer got his second with a calm finish after Raheem Sterling's lovely flick played him in, but Burnley responded almost immediately when Dara O'Shea headed in from a set-piece.

After an early half-chance for Cole Palmer, the rest of the opening 10 minutes belonged to Burnley, at least in terms of possession, and Djordje Petrovic was happy to see Jacob Bruun Larsen drag his shot wide from an angle after latching onto a long ball over the top.

The Blues did respond, though, winning possession high up the pitch to allow Enzo Fernandez the chance to shoot from just inside the box, but it looped up off a defender and goalkeeper Arijanet Muric somehow clawed it onto the crossbar at full stretch.

Petrovic was at full stretch himself at the other end, palming a dangerous curling effort by Wilson Odobert around the post, but things were now swinging Chelsea's way. Palmer went close with three efforts in quick succession, the third looking goalbound before Dara O'Shea's brilliant headed block, and then Muric denied Nicolas Jackson with his feet at close range.

It felt like the opening goal had already been coming for a while in an incredibly open match, and it briefly looked like it had arrived when Axel Disasi turned in a Mykhailo Mudryk cross at the back post, but replays showed it had come off the Frenchman’s arm and it was disallowed by VAR.

As the first half drew on, the game finally began to settle down to a more calm and considered tempo, after an opening half-hour which had been frantically end-to-end at times. Although that seemed to suit the Blues, it did result in less chances, the best being a lovely quick counter down the right involving Malo Gusto, Palmer and Jackson, but Mudryk couldn’t open up his body and shot straight at the keeper.

Right at the end of the first half, Chelsea had the breakthrough, in dramatic circumstances. Mudryk went down under a clumsy challenge from Lorenz Assignon as the Ukrainian entered the box. Outcome – a penalty to the Blues and Burnley down to 10 men before half-time, as Assignon received his second booking.

Up stepped Palmer with ice in his veins as usual, nonchalantly chipping a Panenka penalty down the middle after sending Muric a dummy. 1-0 to Chelsea at the midway point.

However, barely had the second half kicked off and the visitors had an equaliser. There was little Petrovic could do about it, as we succumbed to a high-quality strike. Burnley skipper Josh Cullen played a quick one-two on the edge of the box and fired in with the outside of his boot.

That was the last time Burnley had the ball in the Chelsea half for quite a considerable time, but when they did it required a good save from Petrovic to keep out Lyle Foster's header. The Blues were trying to make our numerical advantage count, but with the away side now happy to sit back and hold on for a point, chances were proving much harder to come by than in the first 45 minutes.

A couple of half-chances for Mudryk were our best opportunities, but on each occasion his shot was charged down in a crowded penalty area. Things nearly opened up with 30 minutes remaining thanks to a lovely shimmy and run by Mudryk out by the left corner flag, allowing him to find Jackson at the near post, but the striker's effort was kept out by Muric.

We continued to struggle to carve out an opening, though, substitute Noni Madueke's low drive from range too close to Muric and a succession of attacks breaking down as we attempted to enter the packed Burnley box.

There was no lack of intent from the Blues, as shown by Mauricio Pochettino's attack-minded substitutions, and with a little over 10 minutes remaining, the latest of those changes paid off with a goal.

Raheem Sterling, on to replace Moises Caicedo, produced the kind of moment that opens up defences, flicking Enzo's pass around the corner with his heel to release Palmer in the box. Of course, Cole needed no second invitation, slotting into the bottom corner.

Our lead lasted less than three minutes, though, as O'Shea jumped highest at the near post to get his head on a set-piece. Petrovic might be disappointed he couldn't keep it out after getting hands to it, but the ball dropped under the bar and Burnley were level again.

We kept pushing for the three points to the end, though. Madueke's low drive found the side netting and Sterling headed a lovely Palmer ball over the bar, while at the other end Jay Rodriguez headed a corner against the bar.

Chelsea laid siege to the Burnley box during five added minutes, but were unable to trouble the keeper again, and it remained 2-2 at the final whistle.

What is next

Chelsea are back in Premier League action twice over the next week, starting at the Bridge again when we host Manchester United on Thursday 4 April, for an 8.15pm kick-off. We then travel to Sheffield United at 5.30pm next Sunday 7 April.

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