Premier League: Chelsea drop points at home to Burnley in 1-1 draw

Kai Havertz put the Blues ahead in the first half, but a late Matej Vydra goal shared the spoils at Stamford Bridge.

Burnley players celebrate a goal in a file photo; Credit: Twitter@BurnleyOfficial
By Karthik Raman | Nov 6, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Chelsea dropped two crucial points at home on Saturday, as the Premier League title race has begun to take shape. The day started with Manchester City beating their derby rivals United to move into second. But third-placed Liverpool can leapfrog City if they win their match against West Ham United on Sunday. Chelsea had a chance to extend their lead from the rest of the pack but were forced to settle for a point in the end. Kai Havertz put the Blues ahead in the first half, but a late Matej Vydra goal shared the spoils at Stamford Bridge. After 11 matches, Thomas Tuchel’s side are still leading the table with 26 points, while Burnley are currently in the 18th spot with 8 points from the same number of matches.

Chelsea were the better side throughout the 90 minutes on Saturday but failed to make their dominance count. The hosts had long been pushing for the opening goal in the first half. Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Ross Barkley forced early saves from visiting goalkeeper Nick Pope. But, Kai Havertz, just moments after being sent flying into the crowd and needing lengthy treatment, met James’ cross to head the Blues into the lead to the delight of the home crowd. 

Chelsea were unfortunate not to extend that advantage, as the Burnley defence and Pope denied them on several occasions to increase the tally. Notably, Thiago Silva came close to scoring when he sent a header against the outside of the post from another dangerous James cross. Completely against the run of play, the visitors scored a second-half equaliser. Substitute Matej Vydra turned the ball past Edouard Mendy, and there wasn’t enough time left for the home side to find a second goal against the Clarets.

Barkley impresses for Chelsea

Tuchel made one change to the side which triumphed 3-0 against Newcastle United in the last Premier League match. That also meant four changes from the midweek Champions League win over Malmo. Wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell returned to the team after sitting out the Malmo match, as did N’Golo Kante alongside the day’s captain Jorginho in the middle.

Barkley came in for his first Premier League start under Tuchel, playing in a number 10 role behind a front two of Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi. On a positive note, Mason Mount returned among the substitutes having missed the last two matches.

Havertz breaks the deadlock

Just past the half-hour mark, Chelsea managed to catch Burnley with bodies committed forward, allowing James space down the right. He put in a beautiful cross towards the penalty spot, where Havertz arrived to head the ball past the motionless goalkeeper. The Blues maintained the lead till the break.

Chelsea started on the front foot in the second half, with a succession of early openings largely created by the continued space Barkley was finding between the Burnley lines. But the Blues failed to add to their total. However, with 11 minutes left, the Burnley supporters finally had something to cheer. 

The home side’s defence allowed two Clarets strikers to get free to meet a hopeful ball into the box. When Rodriguez fluffed his header, it wrong-footed Mendy and Vydra was able to turn in from close range. Tuchel brought on Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic, but there were no more goals, as the Blues had to settle for a draw.

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