The Blues maintained our 100 per cent start to the season with a dominant display against Burnley at Stamford Bridge, running out 3-0 winners courtesy of first-half goals from Eden Hazard and Willian, and a late strike by substitute Victor Moses.
In truth, it should have been a more significant winning margin but Antonio Conte will have been pleased with the performance of his side, who never looked in trouble after Hazardopened the scoring with a wonderful solo goal early on.
Willian made it 2-0 shortly before half-time and Moses capped a superb collective display with his second goal of the week, arriving in the box to fire Pedro’s cross into the back of the net.
There was just one change to the side which started at Watford a week ago with Willianreturning from injury to play wide on the right and Pedro dropping down to the bench.
Gary Cahill, making his 200th Chelsea appearance, partnered John Terry at the heart of the back four and with Diego Costa leading the line Michy Batshuayi, scorer of three goals in our last two games, started on the bench.
It was a cagey start to the contest with both teams guilty of losing possession during the opening exchanges, but the first real piece of quality saw the Blues take the lead after only nine minutes.
Nemanja Matic did well to get on the ball and release Hazard inside our own half but the Belgian still had plenty of work to do. In full flow, however, he carried the ball from deep, running at the retreating Burnley defenders as they backed off, before cutting inside Michael Keane on the edge of the penalty area and curling a brilliant right-footed shot past Tom Heaton into the bottom corner.
It was Hazard’s second goal of the season and while his penalty against West Ham was no less important, this was a strike that epitomised a player brimming with confidence.
The goal sparked Conte’s men into life and led to a spell in which Burnley couldn’t get out of their own half. Hazard came close to adding a second when his strike at the back-post was somehow scrambled off the line, and moments later a brilliant Cahill volley whistled past the post having taken a deflection.
Hazard, Oscar and Willian were becoming a real threat every time they were in possession and with N’Golo Kante sitting deep, and Burnley struggling to offer any real attacking threat, Matichad more license to operate further upfield.
When Hazard released Cesar Azpilicueta with a clever ball the left-back, who had Oscar waiting in the box, should have done better, but the pressure was relentless and Terry was next to go close, the skipper testing Heaton with a glancing header from Willian’s corner.
Oscar became the first player to be booked when he was punished for a foul on Sam Vokes and as the half-hour mark ticked by despite the fact we were leading and playing well, there was a slight sense of frustration we hadn’t made the most of our dominance.
Nine minutes before the break another big chance went begging as Heaton saved from point-blank range to deny Diego Costa following intelligent build-up play between Willian and Oscar.
It appeared as though we would have to settle for just a one-goal lead at the break but in the 41st minute it was 2-0 as Willian extended our advantage with a fine strike.
Diego Costa picked up possession just outside the penalty area and shifted it out to Willian on his right-hand side and, after skipping past Stephen Ward with an electric burst of pace, he fizzed a powerful low drive into the far corner, giving Heaton no chance.
The second goal was no more than our performance had merited but on the stroke of half-time, and with their first attempt on goal, Burnley were almost back in it only for Scott Arfield to drag his shot wide from a very good position after they caught us on the break.
There were no changes at the break and we started the second half on the front foot once again. Willian curled a free-kick over the bar after Diego Costa had been brought down and the striker then saw his strike saved by Heaton after Matic had helped a Hazard cross into his path.
The desire to work for each other and win the ball back on the rare occasions we surrendered possession were particularly impressive and the visitors were struggling to cope.
Ten minutes into the second half Hazard, who was causing Burnley all manner of problems, almost added a sublime third when he hit a volley, direct from Willian’s corner, towards goal. Heaton scrambled to his left and made the save, pushing the ball straight into the path of Terry who fired over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
A wonderful team move, which started in our own half, should have ended with Hazard adding a third but the Belgian was denied by a fine Heaton save low down to his left. Azpilicueta andMatic combined to win the ball before the Serbian found Kante. He helped it on to Diego Costa who switched it out wide to Willian, and when the Brazilian picked out Hazard with a well-executed cross his strike was palmed away with Diego Costa unable to convert the rebound.
Conte made his first change with 14 minutes remaining, introducing Victor Moses for Willian, while soon after Batshuayi and Pedro came on for Diego Costa and Hazard.
Batshuayi was quickly into the action and went close with a right-footed strike after using his pace to get away from two defenders, the strike just a fraction too high.
The third goal arrived right at the death and it was the two other substitutes combining as Moses timed his run into the box perfectly to meet Pedro‘s cross and beat Heaton.
It’s now three wins from three and maximum points as we go into the international break, which undoubtedly comes at a bad time for Conte’s in-form side.
Next up is a trip to Swansea for what is usually a difficult encounter in a fortnight’s time, but on this showing the Blues will relish the trip to the Liberty Stadium.
Chelsea (4-1-4-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Kante; Willian (Moses 76), Matic, Oscar, Hazard (Pedro 80); Diego Costa (Batshuayi 80)
Unused subs: Begovic, Aina, Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas, Pedro, Batshuayi.
Scorers Hazard 9, Willian 41, Moses 89
Booked Oscar 30, Ivanovic 43
Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Arfield (Gudmondsson 56), Defour (O’Neill 55), Marney (Tarkowski 71), Boyd; Gray, Vokes
Unused subs: Darikwa, Jutkiewicz, Kightly, Robinson.
Booked Keane 49
Referee Mark Clattenburg
Source : http://www.chelseafc.com/