Burnley 1, Chelsea 3: One Down, 37 To Go

Diego Costa
Diego Costa scores the first Chelsea goal of the season. (screengrab from NBC Sports)

Last season Chelsea’s losses were against Everton (not too surprising), Newcastle, Stoke City and awful late-season losses to Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland, their only loss at Stamford Bridge. For a little while it looked like this game would be another one of those losses.

The league’s best defense from last season inexplicably looked like they were sleepwalking after a Burnley corner. Nemanja Matic cleared the corner directly to Dean Marney. A pass here, a pass there and there was Scott Arfield just inside the box to give Burnley the 1-0 lead just inside the 14th minute. Jose Mourinho wanted to address Chelsea’s lack of offense last year, and it looked like he sacrificed defense in the name of scoring.

Bloody hell, as the Brits would say. This was going to be worse than Swansea beating Manchester United in Louis Van Gaal’s first fixture as United’s manager.

But just three minutes later, the Blues were brewing up something of their own. A bounce off the woodwork saw the ball magically appear at Diego Costa’s foot who seems to always be in the right place at the right time.

And the game was all but decided just four minutes later thanks to this beauty by Andre Schurrle, what Deadspin calls the goal of the year contender.

Ivanovic made it a 3-1 halftime lead for Chelsea, and the second half was just a 45-minute game of Keep Away.

The big surprise of the game was Mourinho going with Thibaut Courtois in goal in favor the veteran Petr Cech. As he told reporters before the match:

I suppose we’ll see how this plays out throughout the season and if one of them gets sent out during this transfer window by the end of the month or the midseason window in January.

This was quite the start for Chelsea. Many folks have picked Chelsea to win the Premier League this season. As a fan that scares me. Whenever there’s any sort of consensus about these sorts of things, something will get fucked up along the way. But three points coming out of Turf Moor are three points towards easing my fears.

Now to Saturday where they host Leicester City, another promoted side.