Did that just happen at Stamford Bridge?

Did That Just Happen? In football as in life, every once in a while the planets align and cast their bounty upon you. For Burnley Football Club, such an occurrence came to pass at Stamford Bridge yesterday afternoon. The outcome was a victory which left crusty old fans such as myself incredulous, and scanning the vaults of their memory banks to recall historic victories which registered so seismically. Having suffered away from home through almost the whole of last season experiencing little or no luck with the run of the ball or marginal refereeing decisions; Lady Fortune restored the balance yesterday in one gratefully received dollop. Yesterday turned out to be a good day to be playing Chelsea. Deprived for various reasons of the likes of Hazard, Costa, Pedro, Moses and Matic, they were a shadow of the team which so emphatically swept to the title last season. Add to this the internal strife and machinations that seem to be Chelsea’s default modus-operandi and straight away there is a recipe for an upset. This was further enhanced by the red card handed out to former Claret Gary Cahill as early as the thirteenth minute for a reckless challenge on Burnley's Belgian international midfield maestro, Steven Defour. But it then fell to Burnley to take advantage of this good fortune. This they were able to do with as thorough and emphatic a first half display as one can remember, especially when factoring in the quality of the opposition. Two “strikers’ finishes” from Sam Vokes either side of a superb angled strike from Stephen Ward, swept Burnley into a logic-defying three nil lead. All three goals the product of crisp and imaginative inter-play and immaculately delivered final balls emanating from a well-blended and incisive five man midfield. It took guts for Shaun Dyche to abandon the comfort of his tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation, but the extra man in midfield allowed the Clarets to press more vigorously and win the ball higher up the pitch. Once in possession the movement was fluid and the options for the man on the ball plentiful. This is surely the way forward for Burnley in future, particularly away from home. Chelsea are however champions for a reason and the second half became more and more about hanging on, especially after the introduction of the expensive Alvaro Morata, who scored one and set up another, despite the home team’s number being depleted still further with a second yellow card being waved in the direction of Cesc Fabregas. But hang on Burnley did, earning three of the most exhilarating and joyously unlikely points in the club’s long and distinguished history.  It is a result which will make the rest of the Premier League sit up and take note that this Burnley team is not one to be trifled with.It will be of use when enticing potential transfer targets and also raises the bar, in terms of what the players have proved themselves to be capable of and of what we supporters can reasonably expect of them. This match analysis was written by uber Burnley fan Dave Thornley and we look forward to many more three points gained match reports! (TEC).       

Source: DSG