Premier League Key Matchup: Burnley 1 Chelsea 1

This series is all about actually watching the games live and seeing all of the small details of what happens, not the 2 minute highlight reel ESPN has on their app. In this article I won’t be giving you tactical breakdowns and formation importance.What I will do is report to you, exactly what I see. Simple as that. I’ll describe what I feel affected the game the most, key moments that meant something to the game, and most importantly, how this game affects the PL table. So if you’re looking for someone to explain to you what a 4-4-2 diamond formation is, I’m notthe one who delivers on that.

Turf Moor is a relatively small stadium as I watch it on NBCSN. Somehow gives Burnley a one game Madden card of +50 awareness to be more alert at home. Meanwhile snow flurries are falling on the pitch, while I look outside to a 70+ degree day. Only fanatics travel to this game.

1st half:  I saw Chelsea dictate the game exactly how the wanted to, which is always an annoying Chelsea team. I mean, who wants to see “boring, boring” Chelsea be good everywhere they go? Already 9 points clear of everyone, they started the game scoring 7 minutes  into the action where Chelsea were on a menacing counter attack and Pedro received the ball down the middle of the field 20 yards out and gives a few key touches and then does his best Eddie from Tekken impression to slide-kick the ball in the back of the net BUR 0 CHE 1.– Nearing the 20th minute it felt like Burnley got a +25 pride boost and woke up from a deep slumber to not only cut off Chelsea from the middle of the pitch, but to also take their buildup play straight to Chelsea. At the 23rd minute  Ryan Brady (wearing #12 by the way) hooks in a CRAZY free kick from 6 yards out from the box and sinks it top left corner to tie it up BUR 1 CHE 1.– The rest of the half I saw Burnley dictate Chelsea and forced them wide, into a corner fest. Eden Hazard was a star near the end of the half controlling everything in the middle (I still have nightmares of this goal). End of half pretty even

2nd half:  Burnley come out hot to a cheering Turf Moor crowd who once again drop a spirit bomb on the pitch and they find a unexpected, special delivery, through pass to Andre Gray (if only he’d thought it would make it) who gather’s but puts together a poor effort. Chelsea, then command the game with possession, still being pushed wide. I notice that Victor Moses is anchoring the ride attacking side, even with minimal chances. Hazard still chesting down long balls from the back line begging to get something down the middle where he can flourish. Continuing onslaught by Chelsea who look to be confidently pressing at the 69th minute where Hazard intercepts a cross-pitch pass and runs down the field only to be tripped up. Burnley have had few, but CLEAR chances to score and it looks like they are even surprised with themselves to have made the play (twice I’ve seen). Chelsea now pressing like they NEED the ball. 4 words: Andre Gray is strong (as I say that he gets subbed off). I see Burnley likes to defend like the FIFA A.I. on Professional difficulty. I didn’t know how important N’Golo Kante was, until I watched his movement for an entire game. Wild they got him for a discount. When did Willian get on the pitch??? I REPEAT: FIFA A.I. defense holding on for dear life! The Burnley crowd is cheering for a ball to roll off the roof…in extra time. Love this crowd, love this game. The game ends BUR 1 CHE 1

P.S. 10 point table lead for Chelsea…Man City could move within 8 by tomorrow.


-Stephen Butler

Twitter: @BobDIGI_