Three things we learnt from Chelsea's 3-0 win over Burnley
Antonio Conte has enjoyed a very good start to life at Stamford Bridge. A third straight victory for his Chelsea side; this time a comfortable 3-0 win over Burnley, saw his team sit at the top of the Premier League for the first time since May 2015 as the match finished.
Chelsea were comfortable the whole game. Eden Hazard struck a brilliant counter-attacking goal early on, and after that, the Blues never looked troubled. Willian scored a fantastic second just before half time as Chelsea dominated, before Victor Moses came off the substitutes bench to make sure of the victory.
Burnley sadly couldn’t capitalise on their surprise win over Liverpool last weekend, and looked fairly rudderless in the match, but for Chelsea, their performance was one of complete domination that will start to get fans cautiously excited ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Here are three things we have learnt from this comprehensive victory.
Chelsea’s wingers are the best in the league
Real wide men are hard to come by in the modern era, and it would not be fair to label Eden Hazard or Willian as just ‘wingers’ when they possess so much more to their game than just pace and crosses.
However, in terms of combining the old-style pacey wide-man stereotype with modern creativity and close control, Chelsea’s wingers are probably the best in the division.
Eden Hazard; who appears to have his ‘mojo’ back after a torrid time last campaign was full of running against Burnley, taking players on, playing excellent passes and never giving the opposition defenders a moments peace. His goal was typical of the Belgian; a 40-yard glide with the ball at his feet before stepping inside and curling a beautiful finish into the far corner.
It was a goal he has scored numerous times, but it doesn’t make it any easier to stop.
Willian was equally impressive for the Blues. Player of the year last time out, Willian’s work rate and quality of delivery enable him to stand out amongst the stars of Chelsea’s attack, and his goal was an excellent example of his coolness in the box and ruthlessness of his finishing.
If these two can keep playing like they did today, Chelsea have a real chance of a title challenge.
Burnley need another midfielder on the road
Burnley defeated Liverpool last week with Sean Dyche’s preferred 4-4-2 formation, despite the team only having 19% of ball possession.
However, Burnley’s early goal in that game allowed them to sit in and protect their advantage, giving them a solid base to launch counter-attacks from and punish a sloppy Reds side. They were not afforded this luxury against Chelsea, and the lack of a third central midfield player really hurt them.
Chelsea were forcing Burnley so deep, and with N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Oscar playing centrally, they dominated Steven Defour and Dean Marney in the middle. Sam Vokes and Andre Gray were too far up the pitch to come and help, and any time the Clarets did get the ball there was no real link between the middle and the front of the pitch.
Although it may seem counter intuitive to remove a striker and expect more goals, Burnley would be better off in some games, especially when they are chasing with a more solid five man midfield, allowing a player to become a link man between the attack and midfield without leaving them outnumbered in defence.
Victor Moses could finally fulfill his potential
There was a camera shot of Antonio Conte during the coverage of the match against Burnley which showed Juan Cuadrado in the backgroud. Cuadrado, who arrived at Stamford Bridge with a big reputation, has failed to live up to expectations and is likely to leave Stamford Bridge.
However, one of the goal scorers in the 3-0 win shows that there can always be a way back for a seemingly discarded player.
Victor Moses has come off the bench in all three of Chelsea’s matches this season, and capped this appearance with a brilliant counter-attacking goal to round off a great display from the Blues.
Moses, now 25, had spent the last three seasons on loan, where he hardly shone, playing in around half of the matches for Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United respectively. Many barely considered the Nigerian to be in the reckoning this season as Chelsea look to get back to the top of the table, but it appears he may be an important part of Antonio Conte’s plans.
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