Chelsea 2-2 Burnley: Blues miss golden opportunity to climb above Tottenham into third
Chelsea spurned a glorious chance to go third in the Premier League after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Burnley.
Four goals inside the opening 24 minutes set the tone for a pulsating encounter, but the Blues were unable to find a winner which would’ve provided a huge boost to their top-four hopes.
Two quickfire goals from N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain quickly cancelled out Jeff Hendrick’s stunning opener, before Ashley Barnes ghosted in to draw Burnley level.
The hosts bossed possession and pressed relentlessly for the remainder of the game, however they failed to seriously test Tom Heaton.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
They move a point above the Gunners, who have played a game less, and level with third-place Spurs, who also have a game in hand.
Burnley, meanwhile, are all-but safe – nine points clear of Cardiff with a superior goal difference and three games left to play.
Hendrick’s sweet volley handed Burnley the lead against the run of play, Chelsea failing to clear a corner.
But minutes later, Loftus-Cheek outmuscled Westwood, Hazard bamboozled Matthew Lowton and then Kante drilled home the leveller.
Then Higuain spun in the area, exchanged passes with Cesar Azpilicueta and rifled into the roof of the net.
Chelsea continued to press, Loftus-Cheek, Hazard and Higuain all off target.
But amid that general dominance the Blues switched off at another set-piece, and were duly punished again. This time Chris Wood nodded a free-kick across goal and Barnes finished well on the slide.
Chelsea turned around frustrated and intent on finally taking control, only for Higuain to undercook an effort after Pedro’s square ball.
And Chelsea escaped unscathed when Wood dallied to waste a genuine scoring chance, failing to punish Jorginho’s errant pass.
Emerson Palmieri fired wide from 20 yards as Chelsea pressed, ignoring Hazard in space on the overlap.
LIVE ON talkSPORT
talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2…
- Tottenham vs Brighton (Tuesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT
- Luton vs AFC Wimbledon (Tuesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Sheffield United vs Ipswich (Saturday, 5:15pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Brighton vs Newcastle (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Norwich vs Blackburn (Saturday, 7:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Leeds United vs Aston Villa (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Coventry vs Shrewsbury (Sunday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
Hazard outwitted Lowton again but to no avail, before Azpilicueta saw a low effort rebuffed by Tom Heaton.
And when the Blues were reduced to a 25-yard pot-shot from Luiz, Sarri called France World Cup-winner Olivier Giroud off the bench for the last 15 minutes.
The change energised the Blues fans, but left Higuain throwing drinks bottles around the dugout, the 31-year-old petulantly venting frustrations on his withdrawal.
Loftus-Cheek directed Mateo Kovacic’s teasing ball across the face of goal but Giroud could not stretch for the finish.
Source: SportsLatest TS