Chelsea start EPL title defence on shaky note

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Chelsea got off to a below-par start to their title defence after falling three goals down to Burnley in the opening 45 minutes on Saturday.

Nigerian winger Victor Moses was unavailable for selection owing to the red card he picked up in the FA Cup final.

The Chelsea players would muster a comeback in the second half but only succeeded in making the scoreline look respectable at 2-3.

Gary Cahill was sent off as early as the 14th minute after he lunged in on Steven Defour. His dismissal sparked the collapse of Chelsea who had already gone a goal down after Sam Vokes opened the scoring in the 10th minute.

Stephen Ward doubled Burnley’s advantage in the 39th minute before Vokes added his second in the 43rd minute.

Newly-acquired Alvaro Morata got in between Burnley’s centre backs to pull one back for Chelsea in the 60th minute.

But more woes came for the Blues.

Chelsea were reduced to 9-men in the 81st minute when Cesc Fabregas was sent off for a challenge on Cork, having received a yellow card for dissent in the first half.

With the clock winding down, David Luiz connected with a flick from Morata and pounded the ball into the goal for Chelsea’s second of the game.

The champions won 19 of 21 matches across all competitions at Stamford Bridge last season while Burnley took a scant seven points at Turf Moor all season.

Burnley have now beaten Chelsea twice in the last 40 years, the first victory coming on April 23, 1983, when both sides were in the second division.

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