It was a humiliating defeat for Chelsea on the opening day of the season as they suffered their first loss in their first fixture of the Premier League season since 1998. A 3-2 defeat to Burnley left Chelsea in disarray but boss Antonio Conte believed that a red card for Gary Cahill changed the game, as he told the club website:
“For sure it was a key moment because after Gary’s red card we lost our composure and conceded three goals. We need to improve a lot in that aspect. It can happen, this type of situation, but we must pay attention and think there is the rest of the game to try to do our best. Instead we conceded three goals and in the second half it was very difficult to change the result, despite the great will and desire of my players, which I was very proud of. Today I saw two faces: one positive, in the second half, and one negative, in the first half.”
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas joined Cahill in taking an early bath as he collected two yellow cards later on in the game. Goals from Alvaro Morata and David Luiz looked to give the Blues a shot at a comeback but it was too little too late for Antonio Conte’s side.
Conte was forced to field youngster Jeremie Boga from the start and the inexperienced Charly Musonda was one of three players to come off the bench, which may explain why the Telegraph say that the club will return to Leicester City with a fresh offer for midfielder Danny Drinkwater.
The Foxes have already rejected one bid from the reigning Premier League champions but the Blues are clearly going to test their resolve over the 27-year-old. They could look to add him to the ranks in midfield with Tiemoue Bakayoko out injured and Fabregas now suspended after Nemanja Matic departed.
In more bad news, Antonio Conte is quoted by Metro as revealing that he has no idea when forward Eden Hazard will return to action. The Belgian is trying to overcome a broken ankle suffered in June with his national team and is trying to regain fitness. Conte said:
“It’s difficult to give a time or a date. Difficult, difficult.”
As such, Chelsea clearly cannot plan to count on their number ten anytime soon. As one of the club’s key offensive players, that could make life even more difficult for the Italian manager.