Chelsea avoid Burnley scare as brutal Mauricio Pochettino gamble pays off

In pictures: Burnley v Chelsea

Chelsea managed to survive an early scare against Burnley to record back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time since March. Mauricio Pochettino’s side went behind after just 14 minutes when Wilson Odobert found the net before an own goal from Ameen Al-Dakhil levelled things up for the visitors.

The Blues turned the screw in the second half, with a Cole Palmer penalty and further goals from Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson wrapping up all three points for the visitors.

Express Sport takes a look at some of the biggest talking points from today’s game at Turf Moor…

Sterling gamble pays off

Sterling was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch, with the 28-year-old leading the attacking charge for Chelsea out wide. His driving runs and positive outlook carried the Blues after they went behind and he eventually got his reward when he forced an own goal thanks to his relentless pressure.

He went on to get himself on the scoresheet after the hour mark with a pinpoint finish into the bottom corner to cap off a strong individual performance on all fronts. Sterling also played a major role in creating Jackson’s late goal with a burst down the wing before whipping a dangerous ball into the area, which was eventually turned home.

It seems as though Pochettino’s decision to swap Mykhailo Mudryk for Sterling was the right one, with the latter’s experience and fresher legs helping him to impress at Turf Moor. It will be interesting to see which of the two wingers will be trusted to start for Chelsea when they will face Arsenal after the international break in their toughest test of the campaign to date.

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Mudryk decision justified

Mudryk excelled against Fulham on Monday night, scoring Chelsea’s first goal and impressing with his direct running out wide, but was hooked at half-time after picking up a slight knock and was not risked in the starting lineup against Burnley.

It will certainly have been a tough decision for Pochettino to leave Mudryk out of the side, with the 23-year-old finally starting to grow in confidence in a Chelsea shirt. However, it was probably smart to give him a spot on the bench in order to reduce the likelihood of him aggravating the issue he suffered on Monday, while Sterling did more than enough to tide things over in his absence.

Caicedo runs the show

Moises Caicedo is yet to really hit the ground running since joining Chelsea over the summer but produced a brilliant showing in the engine room at Turf Moor. The former Brighton ace carried his side’s midfield in both attack and defence, with his range of passing and defensive prowess keeping things ticking for the Blues.

The Ecuador international registered more successful ball recoveries and more chances created than any other player for either Burnley or Chelsea inside the first 45 minutes. He also had a big hand in setting up Sterling’s goal after half-time and will be hoping to keep performing at the same level after the international break.

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Two weak links

Marc Cucurella featured at right-back once again for the Blues, with the likes of Reece James and Malo Gusto still unavailable for selection. The Spaniard was not at the races, though, as he struggled to deal with the pace and trickery of Odobert time and time again.

Cucurella’s frustration was clear to see when he kicked out with a trailing leg after being left for dead by his opposite number, resulting in a yellow card. Levi Colwill also looked sluggish at times and there is every chance that Chelsea’s full-back pairing would have been exploited to a greater degree against better opponents.

Things were much better in the second half, though, as the visitors took full control on their way to a comfortable victory.

Discipline still a concern

Chelsea allowed themselves to be drawn into the dark arts at Turf Moor, with referee Stuart Attwell often dipping into his pocket over the course of the 90 minutes. The Blues saw three players booked in the first half before Caicedo was cautioned after the break for needlessly kicking the ball away.

The west Londoners have already seen Nicolas Jackson pick up a one-match ban this season for receiving five yellow cards and they will be desperate to stamp out the indiscipline within their ranks as a matter of priority.

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