Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Two red cards condemn Chelsea to 2-3 loss to Burnley

Two red cards condemn Chelsea to 2-3 loss to Burnley

Burnley however changed their tactics after Cahill was sent off and it paid off in the 24th minutes when Sam Vokes netted the first goal after a wonderful cross from Mathew Lowton.

Burnley added another goal before half-time as Vokes grabbed his second of the match, with Morata clawing one back for the hosts in the second half, as Chelsea look set to start their title defence in defeat. Chelsea substitute Alvaro Morata reduced the deficit with a header of his own within minutes of being introduced off the bench, but Cesc Fabregas was sent off for a second yellow card in the 81st minute.

Chelsea went down to nine men via a red card to Fabregas with about 10 minutes to go.

As well as worsening Chelsea's predicament, the Spaniard's dismissal marked the first occasion ever on which two players from the same team had been sent off on a Premier League opening day.

The result will not improve the mood of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who hasn't hidden his frustration at failing to significantly bolster his squad in the offseason.

On Saturday they were missing Eden Hazard and Pedro through injury as well as suspended Victor Moses. Little contact was made, but intent was enough for a sending off.

Striker Jay Rodriguez, bought from Southampton during the summer for £12 million (NZ$21.3 million), was busy early on for the home side, going close twice in two first-half minutes with a header and a shot. He scored off a Willian assist and then helped David Luiz to a goal with five minutes to play.

But there was no sign on the pitch of Morata's burden when he came on just before the hour mark.

Chelsea are the league's best team when it comes to opening the season.

But they won just once on the road last season, and will be outmatched by both the talent of Chelsea and the atmosphere of Stamford Bridge.

"A lot was made of our away form last season", Vokes said.

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