It was a day to forget for nine-man defending champions, Chelsea, as they suffered a shocking 2-3 defeat to Burnley at Stamford Bridge, becoming the first champions to concede three times in the opening day of the Premier League season.
The visitors, Burnley, took a shock lead in the 23rd minute, through striker Sam Vokes, and sixteen minutes later, the Clarets doubled their lead via Stephen Ward’s powerful strike.
It became 0-3 to Burnley moments later, as Vokes completed his brace, before record signing, Alvaro Morata and defender, David Luiz scored two goals to ensure the match ended in a frenetic manner, as Burley held on for a famous win.
“You can see in the last three games we finished twice with 10 men against Arsenal and now with nine men,” Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte said moments later.
“I have to study formations with 10 and nine players because when this happens so regularly, you must be worried.
“After Gary Cahill’s red card, we lost composure and conceded three goals. We have to improve in this respect and we must pay attention to think there is the rest of the game to do our best. Today I saw two faces, one negative in the first half when we easily lost our heads and one positive in the second.”
Burnley manager, Sean Dyche said;
“It was a fine day overall, for many different reasons,” said Dyche. “I thought we were strong early in the game, while it was 11 v 11. The sending off made a difference and I thought we did really, really well to handle that and keep the ball and create chances.
“We scored three good goals and I think when you are talking about who you are playing against and where you are playing, that’s up there as one of the best 45 minutes of my time here.
“It’s rare for any game in the Premier League to be three goals up at half time, but particularly so when you are down at Chelsea.
“The shape and organisation was great. The second half became a different game, but they had to do something.”
“The awkward thing was whether to stick, or go and try to get a fourth, but you are reliant on the shape of your team, either way and I thought we did enough overall to make sure we got the win,” added Dyche.
“They are two soft goals we gave away, but they are fine players, so to see that through and come away with a very good win is pleasing.
“It’s still not easy 3-0 up here against 10 men. They are champions for a reason. They keep coming at you. They are bringing on Morata from the bench.
“So, to see the players see through all of that and just stay calm enough and hang on and finish the game in the right manner was very, very pleasing.
“A lot was made of our away form last season, and don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t correct it. But it’s a great start.
“It kills all the stories off immediately by getting a first win, a first away win and giving the fans a great afternoon out.
“I also think it’s important to mention the officials. I attempt to stay away from referees the best I can.
“We do question them at times so it’s important to remind ourselves when they do well and I think and his linesmen did a very good job today.”
Chelsea had never lost to Burnley going into this match, and when both sides last met at the Bridge, it was the host who emerged winners with a 3-0 thumping of Burnley.
However, with the scorers that day, Eden Hazard, Pedro and Victor Moses all missing for the host this time, Burnley were always going to fancy their chances, and they did by producing a stunning first 45 minutes of football, which saw them take a shocking 0-3 lead at the home of the champions.
The Clarets dominated early on, as Chelsea struggled to keep hold of the ball, though the host were the first to threaten, but a low ball sent to Willian’s path was superbly intercepted by the Burnley, before launching an attacker of their own.
Just when it seemed Chelsea were getting back into the game, they were reduced to ten men, as Gary Cahill was given his marching orders, following a two-footed challenge on Steven Defour in the 14th minute.
Few minutes after going down to ten men, Cesc Fabregas was booked for dissent, before were forced into a quick change following Cahill’s red card, as Jeremie Boga was sacrificed, with Andreas Christensen came on to replace the debutant.
Burnley scored in the 19th minute, or so they thought, as Sam Vokes’ headed effort was ruled out for a foul.
It wouldn’t take long for Burnley, who kept dominating and controlling possession, to take the lead their dominance deserved, as Vokes finally got on the score sheet to hand the visitors a shock lead in the 24th minute.
Despite Chelsea’s best attempt to respond immediately to going behind, it was Burnley who continued their dominance over their host, and in the 39th minute, they doubled their advantage.
Stephen Ward was offered a lot of space on the left, with a long ball sent to him off a free kick, and the defender produced a stunning effort to riffle home past Courtois a beautiful volley, as Burnley lead 2-0.
Things got worse for the host, three minutes after going two behind, as Burnley made it 3-0, with Vokes getting his brace, and Burnley’s third of the game.
It was almost four moments later, as Burnley missed a clear chance to go into the break with an even more comfortable lead.
But they held on to take a shocking but convincing 0-3 lead advantage going into the break.
After the break, Chelsea started on the front foot, and came close to pulling one back, when Antonio Rudiger tested Tom Heaton in goal for Burnley from a distance, but his shot sailed well over the post.
Alonso and Batshuayi had chances but nothing came out of them, and just before the hour mark, record signing, Alvaro Morata made his PL debut for the Blues.
The match changed in Chelsea’s favour following the introduction of Morata for the poor Batshuayi. Chelsea began to ask questions of Burnley, with the Clarets now happy to sit back and soak up the pressure.
The home side had a penalty appeal waved aside by referee, Mike Jones, after Rudiger went down in the Burnley box, with replays showing that it was the right decision.
Nevertheless, Burnley showed their attacking instincts again, coming close to a fourth goal in the 66 th minute.
Two minutes later, there was a life line for the host, as substitute, Morata scored on his PL debut to pull one back for the Blues.
Christensen added a second goal, but it was ruled out for offside, as it was Burnley’s time to make some changes, as Jon Walters and Artfield were sent on for Burnley, with Dyche looking for that elusive fourth goal.
A minute after Ngolo Kante went close with an effort from a distance, things got even worse for chelsea, as they were further reduced to nine men, with Fabregas receiving his second yellow of the match, as the Blues played the last ten minutes with nine men.
Despite chances from both teams, including Burnley hitting the post late on through a Robbie Brady free kick, the champions were condemned to an opening day defeat, the first in the club’s history.