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Chelsea 2-2 Burnley: Jeff Hendrick and Ashley Barnes strike as Blues slip up in the top-four race

Sarri was ordered down the tunnel by referee Kevin Friend and his backroom team became embroiled in a series of arguments with Sean Dyche’s staff at the final whistle.

Antonio Rudiger, injured and unable to play, was also involved as things turned ugly at the end. 

Burnley had dug in and fought hard for the point which will ensue they are playing Premier League football for a third successive season.

They were delighted with the result at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were frustrated by another missed opportunity; a chance to put pressure on others allowed to slip by despite dominating the contest.

Yet, with Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United all misfiring in the Premier League, they remain firmly in the hunt for the top four and in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Sarri was ordered to lead them back to the Champions League and two routes remain open.

Although this was a setback deepened by concerns over an injury to Callum Hudson-Odoi who was forced off in the first half.

And the strain was on display as Sarri became embroiled in a running dispute with the Burnley coaching staff and Gonzalo Higuain reacted angrily when hauled off in the closing stages to be replaced by Olivier Giroud.

Higuain had performed well and scored his team’s second during a frantic first half-hour which was triggered by Jeff Hendrick’s brilliant strike which gave Burnley the lead in the eighth minute. 

Burnley’s set-pieces and aerial strength would cause further problems for a Chelsea defense still without injured centre-half Antonio Rudiger but Sarri’s team were potent in attack and soon level.

A change of pact through midfield by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and a jinking run by Eden Hazard created the equaliser. Hazard twisted full-back Matt Lowton inside and out before rolling a low cross into the path of Kante, who smashed it past Tom Heaton with his left foot.

Chelsea have not reacted well to going behind this season. Only twice have they turned losing positions into victories but, two minutes later, they were ahead.

Chelsea have not reacted well to going behind this season. Only twice have they turned losing positions into victories but, two minutes later, they were ahead.

It was another terrific strike, this time from Higuain, who accepted a pass from Jorginho, turned neatly inside the penalty area, exchanged passes with Azpilicueta and drove a shot in off the bar.

It was only his fourth Premier League goal since arriving on loan from Juventus in January.

He was supposed to make Sarri’s side click and was criticised when his impact was not instant but this front line with Hazard in sublime form to his left and Callum Hudson-Odoi threatening on the right has a pleasing balance. 

Heaton saved from Higuain at one end while, at the other end, Wood missed the chance to punish Jorginho for a misplaced pass in midfield.

Emerson whistled another shot wide of the Burnley goal and Azpilicueta was denied by Heaton.

But at the end of the day, Burnley left with the point they came for.

ajay
Sports freak at your door step

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