Cesc Fabregas inspired Chelsea to a confident 3-1 win away at Burnley sending out a clear message of intent to their nearest rivals. Goals from £32 million man Diego Costa, Branislav Ivanovic and a contender for goal of the season saw of the Premier League new boys. Scott Arfield had given the home side the lead with a fantastic volley but 3 goals in 17 minutes turned the game on its head.
Fabregas who returned to the Premier League after 3 years away was at the heart of Chelsea’s attacking play. The ex Barca man was seeking a new challenge after it didn’t work out in Spain, highlighted his quality with 2 assists and a fine back heel in the build up for the Blues’s first. Chelsea have filled the void left by Frank Lampard’s departure with the arrival of Fabregas and will be real challengers this season.
Burnley started with new signings Matt Taylor and Lucas Jutkiewicz looking to give them the perfect start to life back in the Premier League. The last time Burnley were in the Premier they opened their campaign with 1-0 victory over Manchester United but were nearly behind when Andre Schurrle saw his effort deflected wide. Jose Mourinho started Thibaut Courtois in goal ahead of Petr Cech after 3 fine seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid putting out an alert that he may be available on loan for the season. The Clarets took the lead after 14 minutes when a corner was cleared and the ball was headed out to Taylor in the left channel after being played onside by Chelsea captain John Terry. The former West Ham winger picked out the unmarked Scott Arfield on the edge of the box. Th ex Huddersfield Town man controlled the ball and unleashed a fizzing volley past Courtois in the Chelsea goal.
Chelsea realized that this Burnley side would not just roll over for the pre season title favorites and responded three minutes later when Costa opened his account for the blues after netting 36 times for Atletico last season. Fabregas back heeled the ball to Ivanovic in the right channel and the right back saw his cross deflected on to the post with rebound falling to Costa who smashed home. Chelsea were now into their rhythm with Fabregas finding space in the Chelsea midfield dictating play for the away side. Fabregas was the architect of the Blues’s second and a brilliant goal it was. After a 20 pass move Ivanovic found the Spaniard on the edge of the box and with immaculate precision and vision he found Schurrle with a glorious half volleyed through ball. The German World Cup winner lost Marney in the box and volleyed home the through ball in to the far corner to cap a wonderful team goal for Chelsea.
Chelsea continued to build on their 2 goals creating chances and could have had a penalty after a poor back pass from Ben Mee. Costa who was sharp all night latched on to the through ball and knocked past the on rushing Heaton who clipped the Spanish International but Michael Oliver deemed Costa had dived and cautioned him. It didn’t take long for Chelsea to get their third, Fabregas’s in-swinging corner found Ivanovic who managed to get half a yard of space to volley home from 6 yards. Chelsea fans would have been happy with the quality of their play albeit against a team just promoted from the Championship but if this is of things to come, Chelsea will perform as pre season favorites.
Burnley forced Courtois in to an early second half save after Arfield created space but the Belgian was up to the challenge. Didier Drogba who returned to the club after his last touch for the West London club was winning the Champions League went close with a volley but Chelsea finished clear 3-1 winners. Chelsea look powerful all over the pitch with Courtois as number 1, they have a keeper who is willing to command his box which at times Cech has been shaky at. Fabregas and Costa look brilliant signings which highlight the signal of intent from Mouriniho on his bid to win the Premier League. With the striker issue being a major problem in recent seasons Costa and Drogba will provide that powerful striker that Jose likes at the top of his team. In the last 2 transfer windows he has created a brilliant team with the arrivals of Matic, Fabregas and Costa who could well and truly help Chelsea regain the league title.