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HomeSportChelsea thrash Burnley: Five things we learned as Reece James inspires Blues...

Chelsea thrash Burnley: Five things we learned as Reece James inspires Blues victory


Chelsea were back to their best against Burnley despite having a rocky first half. However, Thomas Tuchel irradicated any fears from the restart as the Blues found themselves ahead in a matter of minutes, and the floodgates then opened.

Chelsea came out flying in the second half to punish a wasteful Burnley side and take all three points at Turf Moor after a 4-0 win.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were on the back foot for a large part of the opening 45 minutes, but came out inspired in the second half as Reece James showed Chelsea exactly what they had been missing in his absence.

The 22-year-old broke the deadlock with a fabulous solo effort down the right-hand side before being involved in both attacks that resulted in two quick-fire Kai Havertz goals just minutes later.

Chelsea wrapped up the game within ten minutes of the restart, but there was still an opportunity to strike a fourth as James Tarkowski’s error gifted Christian Pulisic with a tap in from close range.

As Chelsea recorded their biggest league win since November, Express SPORT looks at five things we learned as Tuchel’s side punished Burnley.

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Saul isn’t the answer to Tuchel’s problem

Thomas Tuchel was handed yet another blow defensively as Cesar Azpilicueta picked up a knock against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final, just as Reece James made his return from injury.

With Ben Chilwell already out, and Marcos Alonso not in the squad, Tuchel was left with little option at wing-back, and he stuck Saul Niguez out wide in a very unfamiliar position.

Although it wasn’t a poor effort from Saul over the course of the game, to say that he looked out of his depth would be an understatement, and if Burnley were more clinical then they would have scored on multiple occasions in the first half.

However, they weathered the storm and went on to win comfortably, but moving forward Tuchel continues to run out of options, and the German will be hoping that Azpilicueta is back as soon as possible.

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Reece James is so important

Reece James has only just returned from injury, and Tuchel only brought him on for the final 30 minutes against Liverpool, although he ended up playing almost 70 due to extra time.

But with Tuchel’s squad stretched, James was thrown back into the starting line-up and he flourished with a goal and an assist on his return to Premier League action.

James was Chelsea’s top scorer earlier in the season, and it took him just 47 minutes to add to his tally, before adding an assist shortly after.

The 22-year-old is now one of only three English players with both five goals and five assists in the Premier League this season, along with Jarrod Bowen and Mason Mount.

Burnley too good to go down

Burnley may have lost the game in a rather damning manner, but it wasn’t a true reflection on their efforts in the first half.

Sean Dyche’s side may be down the wrong end of the Premier League table, but despite an underwhelming season by their standards, they have still been revived since January.

The Clarets looked doomed when they let striker Chris Wood join Newcastle for £25million, but they reinvested well and their recent form proves that they are more than cut out to be in the top flight.

They bothered Chelsea for the majority of the first half, but they couldn’t sustain the pressure.

Havertz proves he has to start

Havertz has emerged as Chelsea’s main man recently as club-record signing Romelu Lukaku continues to be on the bench.

But the German keeps providing the goods, and a quick-fire double against Burnley extended his recent streak, with heaps of talent watching on from the bench.

After a poor performance away against Crystal Palace, Tuchel dropped Lukaku and hasn’t looked back since.

Havertz continues to successfully lead the line for Tuchel, and on current form he cannot be dropped.

Chelsea are mentally strong

There are a lot of serious matters dominating the headlines at the moment as Russia continue their invasion of Ukraine, but the crisis has spilled into football, especially at Chelsea.

Long-term owner Roman Abramovich has been forced into selling the club after 19 years due to his involvement with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, which may have disrupted matters at Chelsea.

But they came out firing and proved that mentally they will not let matters affect them, and they can still produce the goods on the field.

Regardless of who comes in as the new owner, Tuchel has a very impressive side, and they appear to still be improving.



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