Date:Sunday August 30 2009
Saturday 29th August 2009 @ 12;45 pm Kick-Off
The Clarets were comprehensively defeated 3-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday and given a master class in how to play football. If the truth be known we can play much better than this which is the one major positive to take from this game after a bad day at the office. It also has to be said that if it wasn`t for the top class form of Brian Jensen who played a blinder in this game we could be nursing a very hefty defeat indeed this morning.
Burnley held their own in the first half and could have been 1-0 ahead as early as the ninth minute after Tyrone Mears got the better of Frank Lampard before passing a square ball to Paterson. Paterson though put the shot agonisingly wide from ten yards out and had he scored the outcome of this match may well have been different. Numerous chances though for Chelsea in the first half gave Clarets fans that nervy feeling that we couldn`t continue to survive and so cruelly it proved to be with the Blues getting their first goal in the final minute of added time. A cross from Drogba found Anelka who slotted home despite the best efforts of Clarke Carlisle. This was a real blow to concede in such a manner just before half-time and it would certainly make Owen Coyle`s pep talk in the dressing room in the break that much more difficult.
In the second half Chelsea came storming at us again and we had no answer to it. Within seven minutes from the start of the second half we were 3-0 down after goals by Michael Ballack and Ashley Cole sealed our fate. A real tonking was now on the cards but a combination of the good form of the Beast, a bit of luck and the sense that Chelsea knew they had done enough and were not going to bust a gut kept the score to one that the Clarets fans could reasonably accept.
The defeat though still leaves Burnley reasonably well placed and although some games being played today (Sunday) could affect our current position we are now 9th with those six valuable points staring out at Clarets fans. There is some consolation at least that we would never have been expected to beat Chelsea who now sit firmly at the top of the table with four wins out of four and how many Clarets fans thought we would now have six points already after beating Manchester United and Everton at Turf Moor? This truly is a great adventure in the top flight and so far I am loving every minute of it even if we do lose and put in the odd poor performance.
The International break is now upon us so hopefully those players not on International duty will have time to reflect and rest ready to do battle again on September 12th with Liverpool the opponents at Anfield. They don`t get any easier do they?
Owen Coyle was philosophical after the defeat in the West End of London and praised his players for their effort so far this season.
'There are positives to take from it and I have thanks the lads in there for the start of the season and what they have given me. I think everyone has seen the effort and commitment we have in the team and we have to continue to do that. It was a lesson at times today the way Chelsea move the ball, so we will take our medicine and look to pick ourselves up and go again. The younger players will evolve and get better and what we do realise is we are not going to be playing Chelsea every week.'
Owen Coyle selected an eighteen for the Chelsea clash that most would have predicted. He of course experimented in midweek for the Hartlepool Carling Cup game at Victoria Park giving his fringe players a chance to shine. Although we won 2-1, we had to come from behind in that game and if truth be known a number of those given their chance simply did not perform well enough and we had to rely on the big gun substitutions coming on in order to secure victory.
It came as no surprise therefore when Coyle reverted back to the eighteen that had done so well against Manchester United and Everton and so we lined up as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, McCann, Blake, Fletcher, Paterson
Subs: Penny, Kalvenes, Gudjonsson, McDonald, Guerrero, Eagles, Thompson
Clarets fans no doubt found it agonisingly depressing comparing our budget squad to the mighty multi-millionaire players at Carlo Ancelotti`s disposal. There was however still some smug satisfaction knowing we had now arrived and were fighting with the big boys in the top football league in Europe if not the World.
Chelsea certainly though were giving the Clarets respect by naming a full strength side and our task was made even more daunting knowing that the likes of Mikel, Kalou and Malouda could only get a place on the bench!
The home side lined up as follows:
Cech, A.Cole, Essien, Carvalho, Lampard, Terry, Ballack, Bosingwa, Deco, Drogba, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Malouda, Belletti, Sturridge, Kalou, Mikel
On a bright sunny day in London, referee Mark Clattenburg got the match underway with a buoyant Clarets following seemingly out-singing and outshouting the Pimms & Ra Ra Ra brigade!
Almost from the off, Anelka pounced on a poor back pass by Elliott and beating Bikey to the challenge raced clear from 40 yards out. Jenson though set the scene for the afternoon by saving well after bravely diving at the feet of the danger man.
The Clarets now had their best spell of the game one that was sadly short-lived Chris McCann on a break through midfield first shot over the bar before Paterson looked certain to score from 10 yards out in the ninth minute. Frank Lampard made an uncharacteristic error with Tyrone Mears robbing the ball off him. As the defender charged towards goal he could have attempted a shot himself but instead passed the ball squarely to Paterson who was ideally placed to shoot. Clarets fans hearts sank though when with just Cech to beat, he inexplicably put the ball wide of target just as a shock 1-0 lead looked almost certain. How we were to rue that miss!
The Chelsea bombardment was now to step up a gear and Clarets fans would have ample chance to shout the word BEASTTTTTTTTTTTT as Jensen brought out a number of spectacular saves time and time again to keep us in the game.
Ballack pounced on another poor pass by the Clarets and getting the better of Bikey cut inside to attempt a chip only to see Jensen swipe the ball away to safety.
Surely Jensen should now be in contention for a Danish cap after this impressive performance and if to stake a claim himself he then pulled off a point blank save from John Terry with Chelsea now looking to rip us to shreds. Another point blank save by the Beast this time from Lampard after Terry had headed a ball into the box ensured all Clarets fans were now wondering how long we could survive this barrage.
With just two minutes of the first half remaining and with Clarets fans sweating buckets in the nervous heat of the afternoon, Drogba went on a run down the left during a characteristic Chelsea break before pulling the ball back for Lampard to shoot. There was Jensen once again though to mop up the danger and collect the bobbling ball. If only we could survive the first half, we could regroup and maybe got for it in the second half. The omens did not look good though as the fourth official announced two minutes of first-half added time with Chelsea in dominant mood, having all the possession and looking sleek and dangerous with every attack.
We just couldn`t hold on and in the final minute of added time in the first half, Drogba picked up the ball on the right and got in a low cross across the goal. There was Anelka to slot home although the ball may have got a touch off Clarke Carlisle who sliding in was trying his best to clear the danger.
The goal certainly came at the wrong time for the Clarets just as you could sense the Chelsea fans were getting frustrated at their side being unable to break the deadlock. Owen Coyle would now have to lift their spirits in the half-time dressing room as the whistle went moments after Chelsea got their goal and let`s face it deserved lead!
Any hopes that the Clarets could get back into this match were soon dispelled within two minutes of the kick-off in the second half with Chelsea doubling their lead.
It looked like Anelka was about to cross but instead he passed the ball to Lampard on the overlap. The England midfielder got in a clever chip to the far post and there was Ballack whose diving header sailed back across Jensen and into the net to put Chelsea 2-0 up. Now there would be a mountain to climb for the Clarets. That mountain became Everest in the 52nd minute after a neat one-two with Lampard gave Ashley Cole the chance to ram home and put the game beyond the Clarets reach.
3-0 to Chelsea who in rampant form now looked like getting a rugby score with 38 minutes still to play.
Burnley just didn`t have any answers and began to look lacklustre, slow and devoid of ideas in all areas of the pitch with passes going astray and errors being made. Wade Elliott in particular looked poor, often giving the ball away and setting up Chelsea on the break. Only Jensen was keeping the score respectable and somehow he got his fingertips to a shot from Essien from 18 yards out managing to turn the ball round the post as Chelsea piled on the pressure and agony for the Clarets.
There was still about half of the second-half still to play when Jensen again came to our rescue this time saving a strong header from Drogba.
Owen Coyle had made no changes to his side at half-time and almost in forlorn hope had replaced Paterson with Gudjonsson but we just simply did not threaten the Chelsea goal.
It took a shot from Fletcher with just 20 minutes to play to set up our first meaningful attack of the half but any hopes of a consolation goal evaporated after the ball went wide.
McDonald replaced Alexander after 74 minutes and then Guerrero came on to replace Blake four minutes later but you sensed Coyle was just going through the motions with Chelsea once more keeping up relentless pressure on the Clarets defence.
Jensen was not finished yet either and made another two fine saves in quick succession. First of all he turned an Essien thunderbolt round the post and then denied Ballack after tipping over his flicked header.
It looked like Jensen was beaten for the fourth time though following a chip by Mikel over his head in the 88th minute. Mears though was alert to the danger and chasing back managed to clear the ball off the line to keep the score respectable.
As the final whistle went the Clarets certainly knew they had been in a game and they had been thoroughly outclassed by a team in very impressive form. There will certainly be lessons learned from this match and all Clarets fans knew we were capable of playing better and it was that thought in particular that made the journey back from London all the more bearable.
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan, Alexander (McDonald 74), Blake (Guerrero 78), Elliott, McCann, Fletcher, Paterson (Gudjonsson 59).
Subs Not Used: Penny, Eagles, Kalvenes, Thompson
Booked: Mears 49
Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Essien, Carvalho, Lampard, Drogba (Kalou 76), Ballack (Mikel 83), Bosingwa (Belletti 66), Deco, Terry, Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Hilario, Ivanovic, Malouda, Sturridge
Ref: M Clattenburg
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Date:Sunday August 30 2009
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