Burnley vs Chelsea. Premier League.
Report and highlights as Burnley reply with two late goals including a Jay Rodriguez stunner
Sunday 27 October 2019 17:38, UK
Christian Pulisic marked his first league start since August with a hat-trick as Chelsea beat Burnley 4-2 at Turf Moor.
The Blues owed their seventh straight win in all competitions to the American's clinical finishing; first he deceived James Tarkowski to open the scoring (21) with his left foot before adding a second just before half-time with a right-foot shot which deflected off Ben Mee and past Nick Pope.
Pulisic sealed a perfect hat-trick after the break when he nodded Mason Mount's corner beyond Pope (56) and Chelsea looked in danger of running riot when Willian added a fourth two minutes later.
The visitors appeared likely to make it five when Callum Hudson-Odoi was awarded a penalty, but a VAR review overturned the decision and the substitute was booked, which seemed to act as a cue for the Blues to let up on their intensity.
Burnley: Pope (6), Lowton (4), Tarkowski (4), Mee (5), Pieters (4), Hendrick (5), Cork (6), Westwood (5), McNeil (7), Rodriguez (6), Barnes (5).
Subs: Vydra (5), Brady (n/a).
Chelsea: Kepa (6), Azpilicueta (7), Tomori (7), Zouma (6), Alonso (7), Jorginho (6), Kovacic (6), Mount (7), Willian (8), Abraham (6), Pulisic (9).
Subs: James (7), Giroud (6), Hudson-Odoi (6).
Man of the match: Christian Pulisic
They gave Burnley a glimmer of hope out of nowhere late on, with Jay Rodriguez's stunner (86) and Dwight McNeil's deflected effort (89) giving the hosts something to smile about, but it was Chelsea beaming at full-time as they moved level with third-placed Leicester on 20 points.
After earning the plaudits for their midweek exploits in Amsterdam, would there be a hangover from Chelsea against such a robust side? Early on the hosts' organisation frustrated Frank Lampard's young team, but the Clarets were anything but organised for the opening goal.
A slip from Matthew Lowton allowed Pulisic to run at goal and, despite Tarkowski appearing to have slowed him up in the box, he fired brilliantly back across goal to beat Pope and net his first for Chelsea.
Burnley should have been level with a carbon copy of a goal they scored at Stamford Bridge last season when a free-kick was headed back across the six-yard box by Mee, but Ashley Barnes fluffed his lines and glanced wide from four yards.
That was just a blip as Chelsea increasingly took control of the game, and doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time from another defensive error.
This time Tarkowski's lazy pass into midfield was picked off by Willian, Pulisic picked up the loose ball and, with Burnley defenders backing off of his 40-yard run, he beat Pope for a second time thanks to Mee's attempted block wrong-footing the goalkeeper at his near post.
After the break Chelsea picked up where they left off, and Pulisic completed his perfect hat-trick when he deflected Mount's cross in off the back of his head on a night where everything was coming off for him.
Burnley's heads had dropped and Chelsea took full advantage, adding a quickfire fourth when Willian drifted in off the right and beat Pope at his near post.
Chelsea looked likely to make it five when Hudson-Odoi went down in the box under pressure from Tarkowski, but, after a VAR review, Michael Oliver's decision to award a penalty was overturned and the substitute booked for simulation.
Perhaps with complacency setting in, the Blues then dropped their intensity and, with Rodriguez seeking a consolation late on, failed to track his run through midfield allowing him to lash the ball past Kepa from 30 yards with a stunning finish.
If Rodriguez's first league goal at Turf Moor since his summer return got Burnley fans cheering, they were off their seats when McNeil beat Kepa from a similar distance with a deflected effort, again after being allowed to run unchecked towards the visitors' backline.
But the damage was already done by Lampard's men, who ensured they will end the weekend at least two points clear inside the top four, and trailing Leicester only on goal difference after the Foxes' record-breaking 9-0 win at Southampton on Friday night.
Frank Lampard: "We signed him with a big price tag, he played tournament football in the summer and when I got the job he had one week off. I have to take that into consideration, leg wise and fitness wise. Callum's come back, Willian's been fantastic at times, there will be rotation.
"He's going to be a big player for us, he showed a lot of that today - now let's see him go."
Sean Dyche: "There's two games we've given away the ball in bad areas this season, and both against top teams, and they've punished us as top teams do.
"We can't make mistakes like that. The second one's the real killer, just before half-time. We'd had some good chances, but it's a really poor second goal and you've got work to do then.
"Credit to the players for keeping going, we're creating a better standard of chance against these sort of sides. But the balance of that, you can't give away the cheap giveaways we've done tonight."
How could you not? Pulisic had been giving Lampard a headache with his performances off the bench and the manager was rewarded for his faith when the 21-year-old American became Chelsea's youngest Premier League hat-trick scorer with some quality finishing.
Two of his goals were self-made and the other a little more fortuitous, but he was lethal in front of goal and, with Hudson-Odoi rested after two games in a week, there looks to be a real selection dilemma now in attack for the Blues.
Burnley travel to South Yorkshire to take on Sheffield United next Saturday at 3pm, while Chelsea host Manchester United in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm; Kick-off at 8.05pm.