WRITE off this Burnley side at your peril.

On a weekend when the Premier League has roared back to life and taken over the nation’s sporting consciousness once again, the Clarets played their part on a pulsating afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

No Michael Keane, no Andre Gray, no problem. The Clarets walked into the home of the champions with pundits writing them off and question marks over the loss of key men and the lack of replacements. They walked out having left the locals seething. The Bridge was a heaving mass of anger aside from a corner of 3,000 travelling Clarets, going delirious in the August sunshine.

Not since 1973 had Burnley won on the opening day of the top flight season. Few gave them a chance of ending that run in West London, but they capitalised on a loss of discipline from Antonio Conte’s men in style, outplaying them in the first half and hanging on with dogged determination in the second when Chelsea threatened a comeback.

Marcos Alonso had been lucky to see yellow rather than red in the opening moments, crashing high into Matt Lowton. But within a quarter of an hour the champions were a man down. Former Clarets loanee Gary Cahill overran the ball on a dribble out from the back and lunged into Steven Defour as he tried to retrieve the situation. It wasn’t as bad as the challenge by Alonso, but the unflappable Craig Pawson immediately reached for the red.

This Is Lancashire:

Burnley had already held Chelsea at arms length in the early exchanges and now it was time to capitalise.

In December they enjoyed a man advantage at Manchester City for an hour but they looked unsure of how to make it count. Lessons have been learned.

Jack Cork and Steven Defour became key men, retaining possession and trying to stretch the play. They were involved before Brady played Lowton into space on the right and his cross from deep was deftly turned home by Sam Vokes.

Chelsea couldn’t muster a response and in the closing stages of the first half Sean Dyche’s side went for the kill.

Stephen Ward exchanged passes with Cork, whose return ball was clipped over the Blues defence and into Ward’s onrushing path. The Ireland man’s control took him into the area before he unleashed an unstoppable angled volley beyond Thibaut Courtois.

This Is Lancashire:

Conte’s men were rocking and they were down for the count four minutes later. Robbie Brady tapped a free-kick short and Defour was allowed to drift forward before picking out a pinpoint cross which Vokes powered past Courtois.

The half-time whistle and the departure of Pawson and his team down the tunnel was greeted by fury from the home fans. In the away dressing room the Clarets must have been pinching themselves. Season’s rarely burst into life like this.

Even a man down Chelsea remain a danger, though. Tom Heaton twice had to tip Alonso efforts over, the second superbly from the Spaniard’s dipping free-kick.

It was the introduction of £70million man Alvaro Morata that threatened to hand the hosts a lifeline. He ghosted in behind the back four to glance home Willian’s cross but moments later the record signing cost his side, greedily tapping in on the line, only to correctly be flagged offside, when Andreas Christensen’s effort was already goalbound.

The game looked to be up for Chelsea when Cesc Fabregas followed Cahill with an early exit. The midfielder had been booked not long after Cahill’s sending off as the champions threatened to lose the plot, and he could have no complaints when he received a second yellow card, catching Cork on the ankle with a lunge for the ball.

This Is Lancashire:

But champions rarely fold and when Cesar Azpilicueta’s long ball was flicked on by Morata it was David Luiz who was on hand to lash beyond Heaton.

It set up a nervy finale. Brady almost ended it when his 20-yard free-kick hit the post, but the Clarets survived the four added minutes to land a famous win.