Suzanne Geldard analysis: Burnley prove they can cope in Premier

Scott Arfield fires in his goal last night

Scott Arfield fires in his goal last night

First published in Sport
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Burnley FC reporter

GARY Lineker used his Twitter account to offer some consolation to the Clarets.

“It will get easier after this game, Burnley,” he wrote sympathetically.

With a trip to Swansea on Saturday and Manchester United up next at a Turf Moor there would be plenty who begged to differ.

But you took his point.

After celebrating a sensational opening goal from Scott Arfield, Chelsea’s brilliance was brutal.

There was little to trouble Tom Heaton in the second half. But there did not need to be. The damage was done.

In the battle against Jose Mourinho and the nicknamed “Ginger Mourinho”, Sean Dyche, the Portuguese came out on top at Turf Moor, packed for the return of Premier League football.

There were positives for Dyche and his Clarets to look to going forward though.

Arfield’s goal for starters – a 15-yard volley that had Chelsea debutant Thibaut Courtois well beaten, and a goalless second half, no mean fete against such Premier League super powers.

Burnley’s efforts were recognised at the final whistle by the home fans, who shook the stands to their core when Arfield fired, and rallied the troops after every Chelsea goal.

Premier League fever still grips the town.

Even Pendle Hill pinned her colours to the mast, standing proudly in the afternoon East Lancashire sunshine, baring more than a hint of claret in the swathes of heather.

In the run-up to kick-off the weather took a turn for the worse. Chelsea fans making their way along Belvedere Road to shelter under trees.

They had not bargained for this.

Neither would they have expected the start Burnley enjoyed, right in front of them, as Arfield rocked the away stand with a goal not dis-similar to Robbie Blake’s against Manchester United five years ago.

There was no such fairytale ending as it lit the blue touchpaper for the Blues to show why they are being widely tipped for the title this time.

After Diego Costa announced his arrival as a £32million summer signing with an empathic equaliser, World Cup winner Andre Schurrle scored one of the finest goals you will witness all season - a team goal, but the individual expertise in executing the finish was a sight to behold.

The pass from Cesc Fabregas was just as exquisite, and it was the former Arsenal and Barcelona man – sporting the blue of Chelsea as of this summer – who fashioned the third from the corner flag for Branislav Ivanovic to finish.

Burnley had only been enjoy their lead for three all-too-short minutes. But they had been worthy of it.

There were just 15 seconds on the clock when Danny Ings nodded down for Lukas Jutkiewicz to catch the ball on the volley from the edge of the box – reassuring for both to get such early touches, albeit with the finish off target.

Jutkiewicz, buoyed by his six goals in six pre-season games controlled a Matt Taylor ball well and put Gary Cahill on his backside in the box, but his shot from a tight angle hit the side netting.

Arfield was clinical.

Taylor’s corner, Burnley's first, was only half-cleared to Dean Marney, who headed the ball firmly back into the box.

Michael Duff, trotting back from an offside position, left it for Taylor to latch onto to the left of the box and pick out Arfield on the far side.

The Scot, the find of last season on a free transfer from Huddersfield, made an early name for himself at the top level with a superb finish, bulging the middle of the Chelsea net.

The last time Burnley beat Chelsea was in 1983, with a 3-0 scoreline in the old Second Division.

The odds for a repeat came in at 150/1.

Mourinho has spoken of his dislike of facing newly promoted teams early in the season, but even so it would have taken a brave soul to take a punt on that. And Chelsea immediately showed why with a swift response to Arfield’s stunning opener.

Ivanovic’s cross-shot was turned onto the post by Jason Shackell. But the ball came out for Costa to bury, and once Chelsea were level they never looked back.

Four minutes later Schurrle finished superbly at the end of a wonderful move.

Hazard dribbled, Ivanovic moved the ball on to Fabregas, who found Schurrle onside with sublime first time delivery and the German was assured in front of goal.

Costa was booked for an adjudged dive on the half-hour after Ben Mee’s loose backpass forced Tom Heaton to commit. The keeper caught the Spaniard’s trailing leg but referee Michael Oliver felt the striker was already on his way down, and instead of awarding a penalty and red carding Heaton gave a free kick to the Clarets and booked Costa.

Mourinho was incensed, but Ivanovic calmed him down with the third after giving Mee the slip to turn in a Fabregas corner.

Michael Duff’s head and a Shackell flick prevented further damage with Costa lurking.

The half-time whistle was greeted with applause from the Clarets fans, as much in admiration of Chelsea’s slick performance as it was a rallying call for their own side, and perhaps relief that the scoreline had been halted.

Burnley did not shy away from the challenge in the second half. Just 30 seconds into it Danny Ings burst forward and fired.

Had he ventured further forward he might have troubled Courtois, but it was a statement of intent nevertheless.

Schurrle threatened with a free kick but Burnley held firm, while Jutkiewicz went close.

Opening day assignments do not come much tougher than this.

Perhaps Lineker was right after all.

Comments (11)

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4:28pm Tue 19 Aug 14

the usher says...

Why? What did this one match prove. They were outfought for most of the game.
Why? What did this one match prove. They were outfought for most of the game. the usher
  • Score: -1

4:29pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Its Only a game boy says...

they restricted Chelsea to 3 shots on target and the PL top team failed to score in the second half.....
they restricted Chelsea to 3 shots on target and the PL top team failed to score in the second half..... Its Only a game boy
  • Score: 2

5:37pm Tue 19 Aug 14

morleyclaret says...

the usher wrote:
Why? What did this one match prove. They were outfought for most of the game.
I don't come on here often but I read two questions and one question mark + an eight word statement.
I cannot answer the 'why?' because I do not know what it refers to. My answer to the second ( without punctuation) is ..."nothing".... and I agree with the 8 word statement...........
........
[quote][p][bold]the usher[/bold] wrote: Why? What did this one match prove. They were outfought for most of the game.[/p][/quote]I don't come on here often but I read two questions and one question mark + an eight word statement. I cannot answer the 'why?' because I do not know what it refers to. My answer to the second ( without punctuation) is ..."nothing".... and I agree with the 8 word statement........... ........ morleyclaret
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Tue 19 Aug 14

tall in the saddle says...

the usher wrote:
Why? What did this one match prove. They were outfought for most of the game.
Who? If you are referring to Burnley they were outplayed by a superb mid-field of Chelsea and were extremely nervous to start with. After half time they settled. But they need strengthening to survive in this league. I feel Chelsea can be undone at the back, but from there up they are a fantastic team. Even Jose Mourhino did his homework on stopping Trippier getting forward too often with Hazard. When Hazard went off he got forward and created some danger, but too late. A good lesson for Burnley nonetheless.
[quote][p][bold]the usher[/bold] wrote: Why? What did this one match prove. They were outfought for most of the game.[/p][/quote]Who? If you are referring to Burnley they were outplayed by a superb mid-field of Chelsea and were extremely nervous to start with. After half time they settled. But they need strengthening to survive in this league. I feel Chelsea can be undone at the back, but from there up they are a fantastic team. Even Jose Mourhino did his homework on stopping Trippier getting forward too often with Hazard. When Hazard went off he got forward and created some danger, but too late. A good lesson for Burnley nonetheless. tall in the saddle
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Tue 19 Aug 14

TurfMoorTom says...

Its Only a game boy wrote:
they restricted Chelsea to 3 shots on target and the PL top team failed to score in the second half.....
While Chelsea were free wheeling having already dispatched of you. What is this woman on - it wasn't a volley for a start - how can a 3-1 defeat ever prove survival??
[quote][p][bold]Its Only a game boy[/bold] wrote: they restricted Chelsea to 3 shots on target and the PL top team failed to score in the second half.....[/p][/quote]While Chelsea were free wheeling having already dispatched of you. What is this woman on - it wasn't a volley for a start - how can a 3-1 defeat ever prove survival?? TurfMoorTom
  • Score: -2

6:38pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Its Only a game boy says...

How can any one first game of the season determine the rest of it ?-
How can any one first game of the season determine the rest of it ?- Its Only a game boy
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Tue 19 Aug 14

eddyo says...

Isn't the ginger mourhino tag meant to be a p1ss-take?
*
It certainly looked like it last night, dint it?
Isn't the ginger mourhino tag meant to be a p1ss-take? * It certainly looked like it last night, dint it? eddyo
  • Score: -2

7:07pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Its Only a game boy says...

eddyo wrote:
Isn't the ginger mourhino tag meant to be a p1ss-take?
*
It certainly looked like it last night, dint it?
Mogadon Bowyer certainly is no p*ss take.....
[quote][p][bold]eddyo[/bold] wrote: Isn't the ginger mourhino tag meant to be a p1ss-take? * It certainly looked like it last night, dint it?[/p][/quote]Mogadon Bowyer certainly is no p*ss take..... Its Only a game boy
  • Score: 2

11:38pm Tue 19 Aug 14

AnotherPounding4Burnley says...

Dyche out Pulis in before its too late.
Dyche out Pulis in before its too late. AnotherPounding4Burnley
  • Score: -2

3:22am Wed 20 Aug 14

twquick says...

AnotherPounding4Burn
ley
wrote:
Dyche out Pulis in before its too late.
Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. Pull the needle up, you're record is broken. 13 May 2012. Sound familiar? That's the last time Rovers played a PL match against Chelsea. Chelsea 2-1 Blackburn. Ah memories.
[quote][p][bold]AnotherPounding4Burn ley[/bold] wrote: Dyche out Pulis in before its too late.[/p][/quote]Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. Pull the needle up, you're record is broken. 13 May 2012. Sound familiar? That's the last time Rovers played a PL match against Chelsea. Chelsea 2-1 Blackburn. Ah memories. twquick
  • Score: 1

4:37pm Wed 20 Aug 14

ZomZom@thePark says...

Bowyer. The only person more boring and one toned than David Moyes. No wonder he can't inspire his team. No personality. No enthusiasm. No clue.
Bowyer. The only person more boring and one toned than David Moyes. No wonder he can't inspire his team. No personality. No enthusiasm. No clue. ZomZom@thePark
  • Score: 0

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