Gary Cahill handed controversial red card in Chelsea defeat by Burnley
13 August, 2017, 04:36 | Author: Laverne Higgins
Champions Chelsea were humbled and humiliated with an opening day 2-3 defeat at home to Burnley that owned so much to awful defending than it was to the consequences of having two men sent off.
"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", said the manager, who joined Burnley in 2012.
Instead, his studs caught the Belgium midfielder on the shin and while it was accidental, it was also reckless and referee Craig Pawson immediately brandished the red card.
Captain Gary Cahill was sent off after just 14 minutes for a challenge on Steven Defour, but that was just the start of the astonishing drama at Stamford Bridge. They still had the quality to peg Burnley back, particularly as the visitors exhausted as the second half wore on, but lacked subtlety in their approach.
Sam Vokes opened the scoring when he got his boot in front of David Luiz to divert Matt Lawton's cross past the diving Courtois.
He scored Chelsea's first of the afternoon after an hour, drifting into the box to meet Willian's perfectly weighted cross and was then narrowly offside when it appeared he had netted a second.
Antonio Conte's side were better in the second half when summer signing Alvaro Morata headed in shortly after coming off the bench.
Alonso forced the first real save from Tom Heaton to start the second half when his volley from the left forced the England goalkeeper to parry over for a corner. Morata stooped to nod home a Christensen cross and then a typically determined run from David Luiz saw the Brazilian evade make it 3-2.
Conte returned to his mantra from last season that the team needed to work hard to produce results and he pointed out that Chelsea had finished their last three games without all 11 of their players on the pitch.
Conte will have some thinking to do, along with the board, as both Cahill and Fabregas will be missing for next week's match with Tottenham Hotspur.
The first half pleased me because although Chelsea went to 10 men it was not easy.
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