Unlike in Tuchel’s first game, Chelsea started rather slow in this one, and the speed of play and passing was a bit lacking. And unlike in the first game, Chelsea were also not nearly as much as in control, and Burnley had some strong periods on the ball, even if they generated a grand total of zero shots.
At the other end, Chelsea finished the first half with 10 shots, most of which were rather wayward or weak, sometimes both, with Werner once managing to hit his own standing leg as well.
After 40 minutes of that sort of bumbling, Captain Azpilicueta took matters into his own hands. Chelsea carved Burnley open, with Alonso and Jorginho combining on the left, then finding Mount in space in the middle. He turned excellently, not for the first or last time in the game, playing to dangerman Hudson-Odoi, who cut inside then laid the ball out wide to the galloping Azpilicueta, who hammered a side-footed effort beyond the giant goalkeeper.
A rare goal; a needed goal.
Tuchel made a half-time change, hoping to change the game with Pulisic, and Abraham making way. Chelsea’s attack did look a bit more dynamic after the break, but a second goal remained elusive despite several half- (or even better) chances.
Reece James replaced Hudson-Odoi for the final 20 minutes, through whom most of Chelsea’s attacking had gone. That pattern remained. Havertz was added as well, but the goal would just not come.
But then Marcos Alonso did what Marcos Alonso does, and scored a ridiculous goal to secure all three points.
- One change in the back seven from Tuchel’s first game, with Alonso coming in for Chilwell at wing-back. Full rotation in the front three, with Abraham central and Werner and Mount in fluid support. 3-4-3, at times a 3-4-1-2.
- Pulisic for Abraham at half shifted Werner more central, with Mount still providing deeper support
- James for Hudson-Odoi for the final 20 a somewhat defensive change, at least on paper. Most of Chelsea’s best attacks came down that right flank either way.
- Havertz for Mount the final change, for the last 10 minutes.
- Burnley had won three in a row in all competitions, and back-to-back games in the league over Liverpool and Aston Villa. Not easy, as ever.
- Chelsea now unbeaten in 5 of 6, with 4 wins.
- We move up to 7th, level on points with Spurs and Everton, but having played 2 games more than either. Spurs play later today.
- Next up: Spurs away on Thursday, followed by Sheffield United away on Sunday.