Chelsea earns their first win under Thomas Tuchel with a 2-0 win over Burnley, thanks to goals from Azpilicueta and Alonso.
The hosts led 1-0 at the break, it was Azpilicueta’s first goal for more than a year and the first goal of Tuchel era in 40 minutes.
Burnley never really got going and only had one chance, which came right at the very end of the game.
Meanwhile, Chelsea should have scored a few more, with Hudson-Odoi hitting the post before Alonso wrapped up the win late on with a superb volley.
This win moves Chelsea up to seventh in the table as they face Tottenham in their next meeting. Meanwhile, Burnley drops to 16th will welcome Manchester City to Turf Moor on Wednesday.
It’s only Chelsea third win in 10 Premier League games and will restore spirits ahead of the derby against Tottenham on Thursday. There probably should have been more goals but Tuchel is learning about his squad.
There were four changes made to the lineup he selected for his first game in charge, against Wolves. In came Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham, Alonso and Mason Mount. In place of Olivier Giroud, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech.
Ziyech was relegated from starting line-up to not in the match-day squad and seemingly with no injury involved.
Alonso returned for the first appearance since replaced at half-time at West Brom in September.
Werner struck the first save of the game from Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope but the Chelsea striker’s low levels of confidence stayed clear. The left him out against Wolves because he found him in low esteem.
The £54million signing from Leipzig came into this game without a Premier League goal for nearly three months. Tuchel deployed him a little deeper, giving him the chance to operate in his preferred inside left-wing but he didn’t earn the goal to restore confidence.
Werner missed a glorious chance just before the half-hour. Callum Hudson-Odoi, continuing in the role of wing-back, picked him out with a low cross, about 12 yards out, but Werner missed the ball, and it deflected to safety off his standing leg. It seemed to sum up his form in front of goal.
More chances fell to him in the first half. Pope saved another of his low shots and Tuchel made his frustration known with a series of bemoaning screams.
When Mason Mount skied horribly over from the edge of the penalty area, the Chelsea head coach yelled: ‘Take a second touch, it’s about accuracy’.
Azpilicueta found the breakthrough in the 41st minute. Mount released Hudson-Odoi and he drifts with the ball before rolling a pass to his captain, arriving on the outside, having sprinted 75 yards to join the attack.
His first-time finish from an angle flew past Pope, above his right shoulder.
The introduction of Christian Pulisic at half-time injected more pace to Chelsea as an attacking force.
Burnley was persistent as ever and yet were unable able to threaten Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal.
Goals are the main problem for Sea Dyche. Only 13 in 20 Premier League games this season and they did not manage a single endeavour at Edouard Mendy’s goal until James Tarkowski headed over in stoppage time.
Dyche was not helped by an injury to Chris Wood in the second half and Alonso effectively ended any hope of a late comeback when he scored the second. At last, Tuchel was able to sit down and unwind.