It couldn’t have been a better performance from Chelsea as they opened their Premier League title bid looking very convincing in what could have been a tricky road match. Cesc Fabregas, above everyone else, looked like the perfect signing, feeling quite comfortable being at the center of everything once again after three seasons of not quite understanding what his role is.
Fabregas wasn’t the only Chelsea player to impress. Diego Costa showed he hasn’t lost his habit of diving and other transgressions, which will be frowned upon quite heavily in the Premier League. Still, he was dangerous, sharp, and got his first goal in England, equalizing en route to a 3-1 win over Burnley who might be in the Premier League, but don’t look like a team that have the ability of staying up for more than a season at the current rate.
Andre Schurrle, backed by his solid World Cup performance, was excellent on the right wing, making cuts into the middle constantly and scoring a beautiful second goal thanks to Fabregas’ wonderful through ball – a one-touch on the half volley to leave the German forward completely open in the box despite the presence of at least six Burnley players in the vicinity.
Ivanovic was the one who got the third goal from a corner kick, but the man who made Chelsea’s dominance possible was Nemanja Matic. He came over last season during the January transfer window, but now that he has a full season to show his ability, Chelsea finally seem like a team with a formidable presence in the middle of the pitch, allowing Fabregas and Oscar (a weak performance) to be more creative and less focused on hard work.
One of the more noticeable things about the Chelsea attack was the movement and position switching. Eden Hazard constantly cut to the middle while Oscar moved to the left. It didn’t create goals directly, but Chelsea were at their most dangerous when Hazard moved to the middle of the pitch while Diego Costa cleared paths for Schurrle to run through. Hazard was shaken up after the World Cup, but it seems like he is in the right place to rebound.
This was just Burnley, after all. A weak team that ran out of enthusiasm quite quickly. Chelsea looked almost perfect through the first 45 minutes but killed the game in the second half, not trying to make things worse or take unnecessary risks. Jose Mourinho should be pleased, but also aware that this is probably nothing like other challenges he’ll see along the way. However, thanks to the arrival of Costa and especially Fabregas, for now at least, he has the best team in the league.