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Chelsea 2-3 Burnley: Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas see red as Sam Vokes brace gives champions worst possible start to Premier League title defence
- Chelsea captain Gary Cahill shown straight red card after 14 minutes for a high tackle on Steven Defour
- Sam Vokes gave Burnley the lead via a David Luiz deflection after a superb lofted pass from Matthew Lowton
- Stephen Ward doubled Burnley’s advantage before Vokes grabbed his second in a stunning first 45 minutes
- Alvaro Morata scored his first Premier League goal after emerging from the Chelsea bench in the second half
- Cesc Fabregas sent off for two bookable offences to leave Chelsea without two first-team stars for next week
- David Luiz brought nine-man Chelsea back within a goal to set up a very nervy finish at Stamford Bridge
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Chelsea’s threadbare squad will be tested to its limits against Tottenham next week as Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas picked up red cards in a disastrous start to their Premier League title defence.
Cahill began his career as captain in the worst possible way as his late tackle on Steven Defour left Craig Pawson with no other choice but to show a straight red.
Burnley made the Blues pay with three first-half goals via a Sam Vokes brace and Stephen Ward before Alvaro Morata’s debut strike threatened to spark an unlikely comeback. However, Fabregas’ poor challenge on Jack Cork ended any hope of that as he was shown a second yellow card.
David Luiz scored with just minutes remaining on the clock, but Burnley managed to hold out for a famous victory.
Nine-man Chelsea fell to a shock 3-2 home defeat against Burnley as their Premier League title defence began with a stunning upset.
Captain Gary Cahill was sent off after just 14 minutes for a challenge on Steven Defour, but that was just the start of the astonishing drama at Stamford Bridge.
Sam Vokes starred for Burnley with two of his side’s three goals before half-time, Stephen Ward also netting in between the Wales striker’s double.
In-form Vokes now has seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances after netting only five in the previous 58.
Antonio Conte gave Alvaro Morata 31 minutes from the substitutes’ bench on his Premier League debut and he scored with a header.
Any hopes of a recovery were dented when Cesc Fabregas was sent off after collecting a second booking late on, although David Luiz did set up a grandstand finish with a powerful volley to make it 3-2 with two minutes left. Robbie Brady then hit the post at the opposite end from a free-kick as Burnley pushed for a fourth.
The unexpected result is Chelsea’s first opening-day defeat for 19 years and only the second time the Premier League’s defending champions have lost their first game in 26 years.
Cahill’s early departure stunned Stamford Bridge, the defender taking a heavy touch and diving forward with his boot raised in a bid to win back possession against Defour, with referee Craig Pawson immediately brandishing a straight red.
It was the third consecutive competitive match in which the Blues have received a red card, having had Victor Moses sent off in May’s FA Cup final and Pedro removed in last week’s Community Shield, both games against Arsenal.
Conte made a tactical reshuffle after Cahill’s exit, Andreas Christensen coming on for Jeremie Boga, who had been named a surprise debutant due to Pedro’s injury.
Vokes had a header ruled out after James Tarkowski was penalised for a foul in the build-up, but Burnley soon scored a goal that did count as Chelsea’s afternoon took another turn for the worst after 24 minutes.
Matt Lowton’s right-wing cross found Vokes and he sent a bouncing volley into the far corner, with Thibaut Courtois unable to get across in time.
Burnley doubled their lead after 39 minutes, Ward playing a one-two with Jack Cork before unleashing an excellent half volley into the far corner.
And four minutes later, Burnley incredibly scored a third. A quick free-kick led to Defour swinging in a cross from the right and an unmarked Vokes planted a header past Courtois, with loud boos greeting the champions when the half-time whistle was blown.
Marcos Alonso’s long-range drive was tipped over by Tom Heaton as Chelsea registered their first shot on target early in the second half, while Morata came on to replace the ineffective Michy Batshuayi in attack.
Heaton made an excellent stop from Alonso’s curling free-kick, but Chelsea did get a goal back with 21 minutes remaining, Morata swooping in to beat the Burnley keeper with a diving header after Willian’s delivery found him in space.
Morata tapped in again soon after, but was denied by an offside flag after converting Christensen’s delivery, which may have gone in had the ex-Real Madrid striker left it.
Any chance of a Chelsea recovery appeared to be at an end with nine minutes left as Fabregas – who had been booked for sarcastically applauding a Pawson decision in the first half – received a second yellow for a foul on Cork.
But David Luiz then gave the Blues further hope, rifling a volley past Heaton after racing on to a Morata flick-on.
A frantic finale continued at the other end as Brady hit the woodwork with a set-piece as Burnley ultimately held on through four minutes of added for a famous triumph that piles the pressure on Chelsea after their tumultuous close-season.
CHELSEA: Courtois; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Batshuayi (Morata 59), Boga (Christensen 18 (Musonda 90+2)).
SUBS NOT USED: Caballero, Tomori, Kenedy, Scott.
GOALS: Morata 69
BOOKINGS: Fabregas, Alonso, Luiz, Rudiger
SENT OFF: Cahill 14, Fabregas 81
BURNLEY: Heaton; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Gudmundsson (Arfield 75), Cork, Hendrick, Defour (Walters 75), Brady; Vokes.
SUBS NOT USED: Taylor, Barnes, Westwood, Long, Pope.
GOALS: Vokes 24, 43; Ward 39
BOOKINGS: Brady, Mee, Arfield
REFEREE: Craig Pawson
Burnley display some total football as Sam Vokes finishes off a move started by goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
Cahill appeared to be dragged back by Johann Berg Gudmundsson before he lunged in and made contact with Defour’s shin
Cahill, who was making his first Premier League appearance as the official captain of Chelsea, walks off the pitch dejected
Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen comes on as a substitute to replace debutante Jeremie Boga after 18 minutes
Thibaut Courtois stretches to reach Vokes’ shot but fails to keep it out of his net as Burnley take the lead after 24 minutes
Ward fires the ball past Andreas Christensen as he puts Burnley two ahead in front of a shocked Stamford Bridge crowd
Burnley’s Ward (centre) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game while Cesc Fabregas looks dejected
Vokes fires the ball passed Courtois to put the Clarets in dreamland heading into half-time against the champions
Michy Bashuayi of Chelsea walks off dejected at half-time following a disastrous start to their Premier League title defence
Chelsea’s new record signing Alvaro Morata replaces Batshuayi after 59 minutes to make his Premier League debut
Morata scores with his head to spark a potential comeback with what was his first Premier League goal for Chelsea
Brazilian star David Luiz loses his cool as he complains to the referee about apparent shirt-pulling from the Burnley team
The centre-back risks becoming the second Chelsea player to see red after he clashes heads with Burnley’s Robbie Brady
Morata thought he had scored a second goal for Chelsea within minutes of his first but was correctly adjudged offside
Morata looks distraught after discovering his second goal in the space of as many minutes has been ruled out for offside
Referee Pawson shows Fabregas a second yellow card and a red after a poor challenge on Burnley star Jack Cork
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