Chelsea FC came from behind to win their first match of the Premier League season. Newcomers Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas were two bright spots as the Blues went top of the league after opening weekend. Costa, Andre Schürrle and Branislav Ivanovic were the goalscorers in the 3-1 win over newly promoted Burnley.
Chelsea, starting the season on the road, fell behind after 14 minutes and responded with a flurry of goals in the next 25 minutes. Costa was in the right place at the right time to slot in the rebound after an Ivanovic shot that bounced off the post. Schürrle’s goal was the result of an absolutely beautiful move, and Ivanovic scored the third goal after 34 minutes off of a corner. The Blues slowed down in the second half, but Fabregas and Nemanja Matic controlled the tempo for most of the match. (Via Chelsea FC)
The 4,000 supporters that traveled to Lancashire were extremely pleased with how the day went, but this match was much more important than a mere three points from opening weekend. Chelsea had two glaring weaknesses last season, an inability to break down stubborn defenses and no true goalscorer. Jose Mourinho, in his second season back at the helm, knew that overcoming those two weaknesses could mean the world for Chelsea this year.
Mourinho was a man on a mission during the summer transfer window and made sure his all his concerns were addressed. Fabregas was brought in to ease losing club legend Frank Lampard and revitalize the central midfield. Time and time again, Mourinho’s squad failed to penetrate weaker teams that would put ten men behind the ball. Fabregas is a midfielder who plays box-to-box and has the vision for dangerous passes. Costa was the man that Mourinho thought could score important goals. Both Spaniards proved in the opening match that Mourinho knows what he’s talking about.
The Chelsea squad from last year could have easily lost against Burnley. Who would’ve broken down a stubborn Burnley defense who was just content with a goalless draw? Who would’ve provided that ever important first goal to ease the pressure off the squad? The Blues struggled to answer those questions. Mourinho was supposed to deliver a Premier League title in his first season back, but realistically he didn’t have the team he wanted.
Chelsea’s second goal against Burnley showed how this season could be different, and exponentially better, than the 2013-2014 campaign. Eden Hazard had one of his unbelievable runs and gave the ball to Ivanovic. The Serbian slid the ball across to Fabregas, and the midfielder played a perfect through ball over the back line right to Schürrle’s feet. The German put a low, right-footed shot past the keeper from a tight angle. It was only twenty minutes into the season, but the Blues had truly arrived. It was a beautiful piece of footballing, and one that showed this Chelsea squad has the pieces it missed last year.
Fabregas is the man that can break defenses down with his impeccable passing. Hazard is the man that will dazzle with every run he makes. Costa will score goals left and right. Schürrle has the confidence of winning the World Cup and the luxury of being a super-sub during Germany’s victorious run. These players responded to adversity against Burnley and showed that this Chelsea team is the real deal.
It may be only one match into a very long year, but Chelsea has already gone a long way to answering the questions the team faced last year.