Eden Hazard on song as Chelsea cruise past Burnley
Premier League, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea 3 (Hazard 9, Willian 41, Moses 89) Burnley 0
Eden Hazard scored a superb goal as Chelsea maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with a comfortable victory over an insipid Burnley.
Hazard is reborn under manager Antonio Conte and his renaissance continued as he scored a fine opening goal on nine minutes, collecting the ball in his own half before bending a low shot inside the far post.
Chelsea spurned a number of chances to add to their lead but Willian eventually gave Chelsea the 2-0 lead their dominance deserved, drilling into the bottom corner after Diego Costa picked him out.
Scott Arfield could have pulled one back immediately for Burnley with their first meaningful attack of the game, but he dragged his shot just wide when he had to score.
Chelsea's Victor Moses celebrates scoring their third goalReuters
Chelsea’s wastefulness continued into the second half and, on another day, would have been out of sight by half-time. But they stayed in control of the game and substitutes Michy Batshuayi, Pedro and Victor Moses all combined with the latter scoring late on to put the result beyond doubt.
However, one thing that definitely remains in doubt is Cesc Fabregas’s Chelsea future, with the former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder an unused substitute.
TALKING POINT – Does Cesc Fabregas have a future at Chelsea?
Fabregas is clearly not in Conte’s thoughts since the arrival of N’golo Kante, which has led to Nemanja Matic occupying Fabregas’s position in central midfield. Fabregas came off the bench last week and played a key role in both goals against Watford and some thought that might see him start to play a greater role in Conte’s team, but Fabregas remained on the bench for the whole game and, with a few days left before the transfer window closes, rumours about Fabregas’s future at Stamford Bridge will persist.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Eden Hazard (Chelsea). Scored a superb goal early on which set the tone for Chelsea, and was a constant menace to Burnley. Could have had a hat-trick if he’d enjoyed a little more luck in front of goal, but the Hazard of old seems to be back. The Belgian appears to be reinvigorated under Antonio Conte, and is playing with the freedom not seen since the 2014/15 season.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte shakes the hand of Eden Hazard as he is substituted offReuters
9’ GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Burnley: Hazard scores! It's a top class goal by Hazard, who drives forward on the break at the retreating Burnley defence, and drills a low shot into the bottom corner. Very nice goal.
14’ OFF THE LINE! Almost 2-0! Willian's clever reverse pass finds Matic, who crosses from the right to Hazard, whose sidefooted effort is cleared off the line by Mee.
35’ COSTA CHANCE! Willian finds Oscar, who cuts back to Costa - but the striker's shot from close-range is straight at Heaton.
(L -R) Chelsea's John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro celebrate at full timeReuters
41’ GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Burnley: Willian doubles Chelsea's lead! Costa spots Willian on the right and the Brazilian fires it through the defender's legs and into the far bottom orner.
43’ ARFIELD CHANCE! Burnley almost pull a goal back immediately as Arfield gets into a great position but drags his shot just wide of the far post. Burnley's first attempt on goal, and that would have changed the game.
56’ BIG MISS TERRY! Terry misses an open goal! Hazard draws a top save out of Heaton with a wonderful volley from the edge of the box, but Terry puts the rebound over the bar from a couple of yards out.
62’ HUGE SAVE HEATON! Chelsea burn Burnley on the counter-attack again. Hazard draws a tremendous save out of Heaton, who then gets up to smother the rebound attempt by Costa.
89’ GOAL! Chelsea 3-0 Burnley: Moses makes it three! A slick goal on the counter-attack rounds of a fine afternoon for Chelsea. Batshuayi picks out Pedro, whose cross from the left is begging to be slid in at the far post - and Moses obliges. The three subs combining.
90’+2 HEATON AGAIN! The Burnley keeper may have conceded three but he's been his team's best player. Another slick break for Chelsea as Chelsea tees up Azpilicueta, who comes from nowhere - but he is denied by a superb one-handed Heaton save low to his left.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their four Premier League meetings with Burnley, winning three and drawing one.
Chelsea have won the Premier League title in both of the previous seasons Burnley were in the division.