Chelsea survived a late scare to run out 4-2 winners against Burnley.
Frank Lampard’s decision to hand a rare start for United States international Christian Pulisic was vindicated as he bagged a 35-minute hat-trick to take the game away from the Clarets.
Willian would register the visitors other goal but just as they felt a 4-0 victory was on the cards, the hosts – through efforts from Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil – would halve the deficit, though it was too little too late.
Here’s how the players rated at Turf Moor.
Nick Pope – 4 – Could and should have done better regarding Pulisic’s opening goal, from a certain angle it seemed the American’s effort squeezed far too easily past him. However, he was hapless with the subsequent three conceded.
Matthew Lowton – 3 – He will not want to look back on his involvement in Pulisic’s opening goal. What seemed to be a regulation possession-grab, Lowton seemed to have got his bearings all wrong, allowing Pulisic to race onto goal and he subsequently punished the Clarets.
James Tarkowski – 3 – Nominally composed in the heart of Burnley’s defence, but this was an off-day. The movement of Chelsea’s electric front three often confused the would-be mainstay in England’s backline and he was punished for giving the ball away just before the first half was over.
32’ PICS: First-half action. 📸 0-1 pic.twitter.com/LFw51XAP7v
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) October 26, 2019
Ben Mee – 4 – Not really at fault regarding the goals shipped in, kept himself busy in terms of aerial challenges.
Erik Pieters – 5 – A far cry from his final days representing Stoke City, the former Dutch international was ominous at both ends of the field. He squared off nicely against Chelsea’s marauding forwards and even tried his luck on goal.
Dwight McNeil – 7 – The only member of Burnley’s starting front six that was able to create a goalscoring opportunity, whilst completing the most take-ons (five) of any player on the pitch. His performance was rewarded with a goal late on.
Jack Cork – 5 – Played it nice and tidy and could be counted upon to win possession back.
Ashley Westwood – 5 – Played aggressively in the middle of the park, successfully completed three tackles.
50' Great shot of Turf Moor this evening. 📸 0-2 pic.twitter.com/0L2kzsCUpc
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) October 26, 2019
Jay Rodriguez – 6 – Dipped in and out of the game, no one in the Burnley side touched the ball fewer times than Rodriguez (23), but his consolation was undoubtedly the goal of the game.
Jeff Hendrick – 3 – Was always there as an outlet, but couldn’t impose himself on this game. Hendrick completed 20 passes before being hooked off in the final stages.
Ashley Barnes – 4 – A frustrated and isolated figure leading the line on his own for Burnley, whenever in possession struggled to impose himself though should have equalised from close range, often felt he was on the wrong end of referee Michael Oliver’s decisions.
Matěj Vydra (for Barnes 63) – 5 – Did no better than Barnes who he replaced.
Robbie Brady (for Hendrick 84) – 6 – Although he was late sub he managed to snatch two assists.
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Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5 – Had to keep his wits about himself this evening. Was rarely called into action but had to pick the ball out of his net twice late on, with some questions regarded his involvement in the first.
César Azpilicueta – 6 – His experience really shone here this evening. Azpilicueta, who in the recent past has come in for some big stick, marshalled the Blues backline superbly and was unlucky not to ensure them keeping their first Premier League clean sheet on the road this season.
Kurt Zouma – 5 – Fortunate not to score an own goal in the first minute after the break. Aside from that near error the French international wasn’t as confident as his lesser-experienced central defensive partner.
Fikayo Tomori, take a bow! 👏
An INCREDIBLE last-ditch tackle on Hendrick keeps the score at 4-0.
0-4 [62'] #BURCHE
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 26, 2019
Fikayo Tomori – 7 – Another massive test for the young England centre-back, who had Barnes for company, and he passed it with flying colours. There were some iffy moments, but that was to be expected. It’s easy to see why manager Lampard wants to tie him down to a lengthy deal.
Marcos Alonso – 6 – Seemed to have rediscovered his best self is right back in contention for the left-back berth which Emerson looked to have won before his recent injury.
Mateo Kovačić – 6 – Playing his best football in what seems like ages. Mateo Kovačić endured a topsy-turvy campaign last time out, but is now performing at a consistent level. Chelsea were grateful to his metronomic passing to alleviate pressure on their defence.
Jorginho – 8 – A leader in his own right, Jorginho sets Chelsea’s tempo and for large swathes of the game no one wearing claret-and-blue was able to get anywhere near to him. Lampard described him as a manager-in-waiting and Jorginho’s game management was exemplary again.
Mason Mount – 7 – Has slowed down in recent weeks, but never shirked from his responsibilities at Turf Moor. It felt he was forcing things rather than allowing them to develop as he was doing earlier this season, but he did manage to grab an assist.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 26, 2019
Willian – 8 – Came alive in the latter stages of the opening half, always offering width – as the Brazilian enjoys nothing more than running at opposition full-backs – he’d play in Pulisic for his second before scoring himself early into the second half.
Tammy Abraham – 6 – A quiet game by his newfound standard. Saw his record of being Chelsea’s youngest Premier League hat-trick scorer taken away by Pulisic, but managed to leave the pitch with an assist.
Christian Pulisic – 10 – A rare start for the American international who grabbed this opportunity with both hands. Having started lively, he’d put the visitors in front before a quarter of an hour was even played, his first goal in a Chelsea jersey, before completing a well-deserved perfect hat-trick 10 minutes after half-time.
Reece James (for Alonso 63) – 5 – Managed to get a shot on goal, unlike his fellow substitute Giroud.
Olivier Giroud (for Abraham 70) – 4 – Was given a late run out, didn’t really do anything to convince Lampard he should start their next league fixture.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (for Willian 72) – 4 – Shown a yellow card for simulation inside the penalty area, his first such punishment at senior level.