Ross Barkley, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz made their mark as Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Chelsea were hot off the gates, pegging Burnley back from the opening minute of the game. However, they were unfortunate not to have taken the lead and doubled it in the game’s opening quarter, when Nick Pope was in inspired form. The Burnley goalkeeper was finally beaten in the 33rd minute, as Kai Havertz nodded in a pinpoint cross by Reece James.
After that, Chelsea continued to probe for a second goal but were again left frustrated by a dogged Pope, who was determined to keep his team in the game as long as possible. That proved to be key, as Burnley got back on level terms against the run of play through Matej Vydra, who was set up by a deft touch by Jay Rodriguez.
The goal was the first instance when Chelsea conceded from open play in the Premier League this season, and the Blues could not break the deadlock again. Held to a 1-1 draw, Chelsea have dropped points for only the third time this term, and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 6/10
For the first 80 minutes of the game, it seemed like it was yet another outing wherein Mendy would not have much to do. However, he was undone by some sloppy work by Antonio Rudiger, as he was left powerless when Matej Vydra netted the equaliser for Burnley. The Senegalese goalkeeper had precious little to do otherwise.
Andreas Christensen: 6.5/10
Christensen was not directly culpable for the goal that Chelsea conceded, but he could have reacted better to reach the ball when it was en route to Jay Rodriguez. Otherwise, the Dane was solid as ever while also coming close to scoring early in the game, when he should have directed his header better.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
The best of the Chelsea defenders, Silva kept the backline organised smartly, winning nine duels and completing four tackles. The Brazilian moved the ball forward efficiently, completing 90 per cent of his attempted passes. However, he could not keep his header from a Reece James cross on target, instead hitting the woodwork from close range.
Antonio Rudiger: 5/10
Rudiger was untroubled for much of the game, as Burnley struggled to put the Chelsea defence under any sort of pressure. As a result, the German defender spent much of his time on the pitch looking to move the ball forward at a quick tempo while even completing a couple of key passes. However, he broke the offside trap in the lead-up to the Burnley goal, thereby letting the visitors equalise.
Reece James: 7/10
7 – Only Mohamed Salah (16), Michail Antonio (9) and Jamie Vardy (8) have been directly involved in more Premier League goals this season than Chelsea's Reece James (7 – 4 goals, 3 assists). Delivery. pic.twitter.com/ySHKbBLino
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 6, 2021
James might not have scored this time around, but he still made a major difference, this time with his impeccable delivery. A peach of a cross set up found Kai Havertz to inch perfection when Chelsea went ahead, and he deserved another assist in the second half, only for Thiago Silva to slam his header against the upright. Nevertheless, this was a game to remember for the Englishman.
N’Golo Kante: 7/10
Back in the starting lineup, Kante was typically boisterous in his performance, carrying the ball forward with purpose while pressing efficiently high up the pitch. The Frenchman released James in the build-up to the goal scored by Havertz and generally linked up well with the right wing-back.
Donning the armband in the absence of Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho controlled the proceedings with elan. Pulling the strings with utmost ease, the Italian international completed all but five of his attempted passes. The Chelsea vice-captain also came close to scoring with a header, to everyone’s surprise.
Ben Chilwell: 6/10
For a change, Chilwell was not as involved as he tends to be in a game. While the English defender retained an impressive 90 per cent passing rate and sprayed some nice long passes, he could not create too many chances. However, this was only a rare blip for Chilwell, who should make his mark again in future games.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 8/10
Callum Hudson-Odoi's game by numbers vs. Burnley:
100% take-on success
23 passes attempted
21 passes completed
9 touches in opp. box
5 chances created
3 Big Chances created
2 shots on target
No player on the pitch created more chances. ? pic.twitter.com/i56ec4ZBXp
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 6, 2021
A bundle of energy, Hudson-Odoi was here, there and everywhere in the initial exchanges, creating the early chances as Chelsea pegged Burnley back in the first quarter of the game. The English international played a joint-game-high five key passes while also coming close to scoring, only to be denied by the inspired Nick Pope.
Ross Barkley: 8/10
A surprise starter, Barkley was somewhat slow off the blocks, which was understandable considering how little he has played this season. However, the Englishman linked up well with the rest of his teammates once he got going and threaded the openings smartly. The former Everton midfielder played as many as five key passes and could have had an assist on another day. Promising display.
Kai Havertz: 7/10
The Player to Watch in our preview, Havertz, was a bright spark right from the get-go, showing superb movement to stretch the Burnley defence. Most importantly, the German international popped up to convert James’ cross for the opener smartly, scoring his first home Premier League goal this season. Havertz came close to scoring later in the game as well, only to be denied by a brilliant block by Ben Mee.
Kai Havertz has scored four goals for Chelsea this season:
◉ Header vs Liverpool
◎ Left foot vs Malmö
◉ Header vs Southampton
◉ Header vs Burnley
They have a new target man. ? pic.twitter.com/VbaJEnEHve
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 6, 2021
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6/10
On for Barkley, Loftus-Cheek retained the ball well and hardly ever lost possession cheaply. However, he could not create any chances despite playing higher up the pitch for the most part in his cameo.
Christian Pulisic: N/A
On for Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic did not get any chance to make a lasting impact on the game.
Mason Mount: N/A
A late introduction, Mount did not get many chances to make a difference.