A first Premier League goal for Hakim Ziyech set Chelsea on their way as they cruised to a 3-0 victory over struggling Burnley at Turf Moor.
Strikes from Kurt Zouma and Timo Werner in the second half added to Ziyech’s opener capping an impressive display from Frank Lampard’s side.
Another clean sheet means it is now four in a row, meaning Édouard Mendy is yet to concede in the Premier League, as he continues his excellent start to life in a Chelsea shirt.
Following the shift in formation on Wednesday night which changed the game against Krasnodar, Lampard decided to continue with the 4-3-3, with N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz making up the numbers in midfield.
Pre-game, Lampard was keen to stress the need for rotation following their late return from Russia, so it was no surprise to see Timo Werner’s name amongst the substitutes. However, due to an injury in the warm up to Christian Pulisic, the German was called upon to take up his position on the wing, alongside Tammy Abraham and Hakim Ziyech in the front three.
Despite sitting in the bottom three with just a single point, Burnley are still a very tough team to break down, as Tottenham realised on Monday night, so Chelsea knew they had to be patient in their build up play.
But as expected, Chelsea dominated possession and were creating plenty of openings, especially from wide areas with James and Ziyech providing the crosses. Chilwell from the other side was also threatening and it was clear to see the plan was to spread the play as much as possible.
Burnley were struggling to get on the ball and it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken. Ziyech opened his Premier League account with a left footed strike after 26 minutes following some slick linkup with Werner and Abraham. His effort seemed to wrong foot Nick Pope in goal but nevertheless it was a smart finish to put Chelsea ahead.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with Chelsea asserting their dominance and creating the majority of the opportunities. Kurt Zouma doubled the lead just after 60 minutes with a free header, Mason Mount the provider. Given Burnley’s lack of threat going forward, that goal effectively settled the game with half an hour to play.
If there even was any, all doubt disappeared as Timo Werner expertly finished into the bottom right corner latching onto Ziyech’s perfectly weighted pass to complete the scoring.
After brilliant defensive displays against Sevilla and Man United, the aim was to find the right balance between defence and attack. Recent performances have shown signs that the team is starting to click and with a favourable fixture list coming up it is the perfect opportunity to gather momentum and start climbing the table.
Whilst it was ‘only Burnley’, they are still a stern test for any side but eventually they were one Chelsea beat with ease. There is still plenty of room for the team to grow but there is certainly a lot of promise.
A home game against Rennes on Wednesday awaits before Sheffield United are welcomed to the Bridge next Saturday.
Man of the Match – Hakim Ziyech
Fresh from his man of the match winning display against Krasnodar, Hakim Ziyech continued his fine run of form as he grabbed a goal and assist on his first Premier League start. Such was the quality of the overall performance, a case could be made for any of the players on the pitch to be named man of the match. However with Ziyech’s attacking prowess it is clear to see why Lampard is such a keen admirer of the Moroccan. Now with two goals in two, he is looking increasingly lively and is starting to shine in this star-studded attack. Linking up well with Reece James on the right, we could be seeing the beginnings of what will soon be a formidable partnership.