Burnley 1-2 Chelsea: Victor Moses scores winner to end Burnley streak
By Stephen Mills
Last Updated: 20/04/18 7:55am
Chelsea remain in the hunt for Champions League qualification after ending Burnley's winning streak with a 2-1 victory at Turf Moor on Thursday.
Victor Moses struck a 69th-minute winner to move Antonio Conte's side to within five points of fourth-placed Tottenham with four games to play and the result will build confidence ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton.
Kevin Long's unfortunate own goal (20) had given Chelsea a first-half lead, which was cancelled out by Ashley Barnes' fortuitous strike (64), but Burnley's run of five successive victories would ultimately be ended by last season's champions.
Sean Dyche's side remain in seventh place as they continue to fight for a Europa League spot, but are now two points behind Arsenal having played a game more.
Burnley: Pope (5), Lowton (5), Long (5), Tarkowski (6), Ward (6), Lennon (6), Cork (6), Westwood (6), Gudmundsson (7), Barnes (7), Wood (6)
Subs: Vokes (6), Wells (n/a)
Chelsea: Courtois (6), Azpilicueta (6), Cahill (7), Rudiger (6), Moses (8), Kante (7), Bakayoko (7), Emerson (7), Pedro (7), Morata (6), Giroud (7).
Subs: Hazard (6), Zappacosta (n/a)
Man of the match: Victor Moses
Chelsea opened the scoring in unlikely fashion in the 20th minute when Victor Moses crossed from the right and Pope failed to punch the ball away, instead palming the ball onto the knee and then hand of his own defender Long and seeing it rebound into the net.
The goalkeeper was at fault for the goal, but twice denied the wasteful Alvaro Morata in the first half, clearing an early shot across goal with his legs before rushing off his line to stop the striker getting a shot away.
Morata, who started in a front two alongside Olivier Giroud, was guilty of a glaring miss 10 minutes after half-time when he was played clean through by N'Golo Kante, but after taking two touches to set himself steered the ball narrowly wide of the post.
Eden Hazard dropped to the bench as Antonio Conte made six changes to the Chelsea team that beat Southampton on Saturday. Emerson Palmieri made his first Premier League start in place of the suspended Marcos Alonso. Burnley were unchanged.
And Chelsea were even more frustrated in the 64th minute when Burnley equalised in fortunate circumstances. Johann Berg Gudmundsson struck a low shot from 20 yards which was heading wide, but it took a fierce deflection off Barnes, wrong-footing Thibaut Courtois and finding its way into the far corner.
But the away side restored their lead five minutes later when Emerson's left-wing cross found Moses unmarked eight yards from goal and he drilled a low shot past Pope at his near post.
Eden Hazard emerged from the bench for the final 20 minutes, but the victory was rarely under threat in the closing stages and Conte still has a top-four finish - as well as FA Cup glory - in his sights this season.
- Chelsea recorded their first back-to-back league victories of 2018, previously winning consecutive games in their final two matches of 2017.
- Since beating Chelsea in their first match of the season, Burnley have collected just four points from 10 Premier League matches against the big six (P10 W0 D4 L6).
- This was Antonio Conte's 100th match in charge of Chelsea in all competitions - only Jose Mourinho (72) has won more of his first 100 games in charge of the Blues than Conte (65).
- This was the first Premier League match to feature two Italians for Chelsea (Emerson and Davide Zappacosta) since May 2003 against Liverpool (Carlo Cudicini and Gianfranco Zola).
- This was the 500th game to kick-off on a Thursday in English top-flight league history.
Sean Dyche: "I'm really pleased with our growing mentality. It's not easy to take the game on when you're 1-0 down at half-time to Chelsea. I thought we did, we really took the game on. So there are certainly no disappointments, we were playing a top side and we are getting closer."
Antonio Conte: "I'm very pleased with performance of our strikers, with and without the ball. With the ball they showed great links and combinations. I'm very pleased with Morata and Giroud, in the future they deserve the chance to play with two strikers."
Man of the Match - Victor Moses
Sky Sports co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe was full of praise for the Chelsea match-winner, saying: "It has to be Victor Moses. He's got dangerous crosses in, he's scored, he's worked hard defensively and he's done everything you need from a wing-back. He's a player perfect for that position."
England World Cup watch
Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope did little to enhance his hopes of forcing his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans as his first-half error gave Chelsea the lead, though he did make a couple of good saves to deny Alvaro Morata. James Tarkowski struggled to deal with Chelsea’s attacking threat at times, particularly when Eden Hazard came on in the closing stages. At the other end, Gary Cahill looked more assured, making up for his one slip with a fine recovery tackle on Ashley Barnes.
Next up for Chelsea is an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Southampton on Sunday, before they resume their Premier League campaign at Swansea on the following Saturday evening. Burnley travel to Stoke on Sunday afternoon as they continue their push for European football.