Chelsea 2-0 Burnley: Azpilicueta and Alonso earn Tuchel first win

By Timothy Abraham 31 January 2021 45
Chelsea 2-0 Burnley: Azpilicueta and Alonso earn Tuchel first win

Thomas Tuchel registered his first Premier League win as Chelsea head coach after a 2-0 victory over Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Cesar Azpilicueta put the Blues ahead shortly before half-time with a crisp finish as Tuchel's side dominated proceedings, assuaging the frustrations of Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Wolves.

Marcos Alonso added a second late on when he spectacularly hooked the ball home after being restored to the side.

Burnley offered little threat at the other end, with Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy spared any attempt at his goal until deep into stoppage time.

The win lifts the hosts up to seventh, four points shy of the top four, with Sean Dyche's side staying 16th.

Chelsea showed the early initiative as they directed much of their attacking play through the lively Hudson-Odoi.

Mason Mount lifted a shot over the crossbar as Chelsea registered five attempts in the first 15 minutes but without really testing Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Timo Werner got his feet into a tangle when the ball dropped for him in the box on the half-hour mark, while Alonso should have done better with a header from a promising position.

Chelsea's persistence was rewarded five minutes before half-time as Azpilicueta burst forward from defence to receive a pass on the overlap from Hudson-Odoi and strike an angled shot high into the net.

It was Azpilicueta's first goal in the Premier League since scoring against Arsenal in January 2020.

Tuchel replaced Tammy Abraham with Christian Pulisic at half-time as he moved Werner into a central position, but it was Hudson-Odoi who was the main threat.

The 20-year-old winger hit the post with a deflected shot and then shortly afterwards teased a low cross into the six-yard box which Pope kept out after James Tarkowski almost turned the ball into his own net.

Hudson-Odoi skinned Erik Pieters again with 20 minutes left but Pulisic swept the ball wide from a good position, while Pope saved well from Reece James' low shot.

Alonso wrapped up the points six minutes from time when he controlled Pulisic's cross and acrobatically whipped the ball past Pope, with Burnley's only effort coming from Tarkowski's last-gasp header over the top.

What does it mean? Blues smoother Clarets

A top-four finish in the Premier League will be the minimum expected from Tuchel this season and this victory got their season back on track as they ended a run of three home league games without a win.

What was most impressive was the manner in which Tuchel's Chelsea smothered Burnley, enjoying 71.5 per cent of possession and making 710 passes to their opponents' 278.

Indeed, Dyche's side only recorded their first attempt of the game in the 94th minute – their longest ever wait for their first shot of a single Premier League game.

Hudson-Odoi sparkles

It was a standout performance from a player who looks set to flourish with the responsibility entrusted in him by Tuchel as Hudson-Odoi produced more crosses than anyone else (six).

He has also been directly involved in five goals in his last eight starts in all competitions, scoring three himself and providing two assists.

Vydra anonymous

It was a tough game for Burnley's attackers, who barely got a sniff of a chance. That their only effort on goal came from a header by Tarkowski, a defender, in injury time emphasised just how little they troubled Chelsea.

Matej Vydra was the most ineffective of Burnley's forward players with just 14 touches in 57 minutes as he failed to make impact before being substituted.

Key Opta Facts

- Chelsea have secured four consecutive wins in all competitions against Burnley for the first time since December 1982.

- Burnley have failed to score in seven of their last nine away Premier League games, netting only two goals in the process.

- Thomas Tuchel is the first Chelsea boss to keep a clean sheet in each of his first two Premier League games in charge since Rafael Benitez in November 2012.

- Chelsea have lost one of their 14 Premier League games against Burnley (W10 D3), losing 2-3 on the opening day of the 2017-18 season at Stamford Bridge as reigning champions.

What's next?

Chelsea come up against former boss Jose Mourinho when they head to Tottenham in the Premier League on Thursday, while Burnley host Manchester City the day before.

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Timothy Abraham