Burnley vs. Chelsea: Winners and Losers from Premier League Game
Chelsea came back from a goal down to beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on Monday.
Diego Costa got Chelsea back on level terms just three minutes after Scott Arfield’s spectacular opener, and both Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic also found the back of the net for the Blues before the half-time whistle.
The victory puts the London outfit atop the Premier League table after the first round of matches, and manager Jose Mourinho will have taken plenty of positives from the commanding win.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche, too, will have been encouraged by what he saw from his side, particularly after the restart.
Following are a few other “winners” from the contest and a handful of “losers.”
Winner: Cesc Fabregas, Who Shone in His Chelsea Debut
Former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas made his competitive debut for Chelsea on Monday, and he’ll no doubt have been pleased with his performance against Burnley.
Involved in all three Chelsea goals, the 27-year-old set up Andre Schurrle’s winner with a spectacular, volleyed pass, and over the course of the 90 minutes, he touched the ball more than 100 times and completed 87 percent of his passes, according to WhoScored.com.
He also operated in perfect concert with midfield partner Nemanja Matic—a combination that will have opponents shaking in their boots from hereon in.
Loser: Petr Cech, Who Didn’t Start
Petr Cech’s time as a Chelsea player might be drawing to a close.
Earlier this week, Blues boss Jose Mourinho revealed he was looking to sell at least one of his foreign players before the end of the month, per The Telegraph, and with Thibaut Courtois having started in goal at Turf Moor, it could well be that Cech will be that player.
In 10 seasons at Chelsea, Cech has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and the Champions League.
Winner: Matthew Taylor, Who Looks Like a Good Pickup for Burnley
Matthew Taylor was released by West Ham at the end of last season but has once again found himself in claret and blue.
Acquired by Burnley on a free transfer in July, Taylor was generally his side’s best player against Chelsea and picked up an assist on the Scott Arfield opener.
After finding himself unmarked on the left-hand side, the 32-year-old drilled a reverse to Arfield, who proceeded to hammer the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box.
Winner: Eden Hazard, Who Put a Poor World Cup Behind Him
Eden Hazard failed to impress with Belgium at the 2014 World Cup, but any notion of a general downturn in form was put to bed by Monday’s standout performance against Burnley.
Although he didn’t figure on the scoresheet, the 23-year-old looked confident and dangerous on the dribble and brought the ball downfield ahead of the Andre Schurrle winner.
He also distributed the ball with more efficiency than anyone else on the pitch, completing 93 percent of his passes.
Loser: Tom Heaton, Who Struggled in Goal and Might Have Been Sent Off
Tom Heaton was lost at sea when Branislav Ivanovic popped up to put Cesc Fabregas’ corner kick into the back of the net.
He might also have done better on Andre Schurrle’s 21st-minute winner.
But the 28-year-old was also lucky to remain on the pitch following a collision with Diego Costa that resulted in a fortuitous yellow card for the Spain international.
Heaton looked to have denied the Chelsea striker a clear scoring opportunity, but instead of causing a penalty or even getting ejected, he watched on as referee Michael Oliver booked Diego Costa for simulation.
Winner: Cesar Azpilicueta, Who Will Fight for His Place
Having spent nearly £16 million to acquire Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, Chelsea are no doubt hoping the Brazil international makes an impact at the left-back position.
Cesar Azpilicueta, however, may have other ideas.
The Spain international was tremendous on Monday, winning every tackle he threw himself into and prevailing in each of his aerial battles.
Of course, he is also capable of operating in the right-back slot, but in any event, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will have the luxury of choosing among three top-level full-backs this season.