Chelsea opened their Premier League campaign with an easy victory over Burnley 3-1. Burnley opened the scoring early with a nice goal but the West London side was able to quickly overcome the deficit with some very attractive play. New signing Diego Costa opened his Chelsea account with the teams first goal and fellow new arrival Cesc Fabregas looked good as well setting up two of the first three goals.
Chelsea and Burnley had the last match of the opening weekend of the Premier League in a Monday night match at Turf Moor. Two of the Blues new signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas got the start, along with Tibault Courtois who returned from a three-year loan spell this summer and got the nod over longtime keeper Petr Cech. Early on the away side dominated possession as Fabregas, Oscar, Hazard and Schurrle passed the ball around with ease. Even with less possession Burnley was able to open the scoring in the 14th with a very nice Scott Arfield goal off of a half volley that Courtois could do nothing about. The goal came when the Blues defense got lazy after clearing a corner and Arfield got the ball in perfect shooting position from a cross that went behind the defenders.
It was a quick reaction to going down from Chelsea as new signing Diego Costa opened his scoring account in the 17th minute. A nice Branislov Ivanovic low cross bounced off the far post and it came right back to Costa in front of net who hammered it in to draw level. Once it was level the Blues midfield really started passing the ball around quite attractively with Fabregas, Oscar and Nemanja Matic looking like a dynamic partnership. The London side was able to go ahead at the 21st minute mark after some great build up from Eden Hazard and Ivanovic. The defender was able to find Fabregas right at the top of the box in a shooting position but the Spaniard instead elected to loft a beautiful pass over the defense to find the run of Schurrle who finished it off easily.
Burnley had very few chances after their first goal and Chelsea was doing a good job of not letting them see the ball. In the 31st minute Costa was given a yellow card for diving when the Burley keeper came out to intervene on a break away and caught the forward’s foot. Costa did seem as though he was looking to go down, but he was hit on the foot at full speed and a foul could have gone either way. In the 34th the Blues added to their lead as Ivanovic scored off of a Fabregas corner getting a free look at goal and scoring with his foot off the volley.
The second half opened with a much more attacking Burnley getting a few chances but not making much of them. Chelsea looked as if they were very willing to sit back on their lead and not commit any mistakes in defense trying to get forward. The home side took advantage of the Blues willingness to sit back and went on the attack, some chances came but they never really challenged Courtois. The London side was successfully able to see out the result and no goals were scored by either side in the second half. The only highlight of the second half in Blues fans eyes was the return of Didier Drogba to the side who replaced the goal scoring Schurrle.
Beating Burnley 3-1 in their Premier League opener is just the start for a Chelsea side that has aspirations of winning the league. The free-flowing offense and cohesive play from the attackers was an excellent sign for a team that is often criticized for their efficient but not pretty style of play.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius