Ruthless Chelsea Cruise Past Chelsea  (Sky Sports)

Burnley 0 Chelsea 4

Reece JamesChelsea tightened their grip on a top-three finish as a stunning second-half salvo floored relegation-threatened Burnley 4-0 at Turf Moor.

The Blues needed just seven second-half minutes to take full advantage of the first-half reprieve handed to them by Burnley's wastefulness, with Reece James' slaloming, solo effort opening the floodgates before Kai Havertz's double sealed the Chelsea victory with 35 minutes to spare.

Burnley should have gone into the break at least a goal to the good but were punished for their profligacy, with Dwight McNeil guilty of missing an open goal after Thiago Silva had cleared an effort from Wout Weghorst off the line in an encouraging, yet fruitless, first period for the Clarets.

The victory sees Chelsea open up an eight-point cushion over fifth-placed West Ham - who have played a game more - in the race for Champions League qualification, while Burnley stay in the bottom three, a point from safety having sustained a severe blow to their goal difference.

Player ratings

Burnley: Pope (5), Roberts (6), Tarkowski (5), Collins (6), Taylor (6), Lennon (6), Brownhill (6), Westwood (6), McNeil (4), Rodriguez (5), Weghorst (5).

Subs: Cornet (6), Barnes (n/a).

Chelsea: Mendy (6), Chalobah (6), Thiago Silva (7), Rudiger (6), James (8), Jorginho (6), Kante (6), Saul (6), Mount (6), Pulisic (7), Havertz (8).

Subs: Kovacic (5), Werner (5), Loftus-Cheek (5).

Man of the Match: Reece James

Dyche called on his players to rekindle the form which had seen Burnley claim seven points from three games before Tuesday's defeat to Leicester and, after weathering a positive Chelsea start, the Clarets rose to that challenge in the first half.

Charlie Taylor had to block a James' shot on the goal line on the quarter-hour mark but from there on the goal-mouth action was concentrated on the Chelsea goal, with Thiago Silva coming to the visitors' rescue on 17 minutes when he thwarted Weghorst's goal-bound effort.

Burnley's dominance should have been rewarded on the half-hour when Edouard Mendy flapped at Ashley Westwood's deep cross and presented the ball to McNeil but, with the Chelsea goal gaping in front of him, he ballooned a shot over the bar.

Connor Roberts produced a crucial headed clearance to prevent Jorginho's rasping drive from handing Chelsea an undeserved lead on the stroke of half-time, but that defensive resoluteness escaped Burnley within seconds of the restart as the visitors ran riot.

James bewildered McNeil with a superb weaving run into the Burnley area before lashing the opener past the hapless Nick Pope, and the Clarets stopper was picking the ball out of his net five minutes later when Pulisic's sumptuous cross was nodded in at the far post by Havertz.

Burnley's collapse was complete when two became three on 55 minutes as Havertz doubled his Premier League goals tally for the season with the simplest of tap-ins from James' centre, and further salt was added to the wounds when Pulisic capitalised on James Tarkowski's error to slot in a fourth.

Chelsea fans chant 'Abramovich' during Ukraine tribute

Chelsea fans chanted owner Roman Abramovich's name during the planned show of solidarity with Ukraine ahead of their Premier League clash against Burnley.

Premier League clubs are showing support for Ukraine this weekend following Russia's invasion of the country, but home supporters at Turf Moor booed Chelsea fans for their decision to pay tribute to Abramovich during the minute's applause ahead of kick-off.

Worrying outlook for Burnley

Sky Sports' Jack Wilkinson:

"It was a case of what might have been, and a case of what might be to come for Burnley. Miss chances like they did in the first half and defend like they did in the second half and their Premier League status could expire come the end of the season.

"The Clarets were superb in the first period, but you cannot afford to miss chances like the one Dwight McNeil squandered in the first period. Chelsea were off colour and there for the taking, but Burnley let them off the hook and paid a heavy price.

"The opportunity to climb above Everton and out of the bottom three was not seized and their goal difference is now worse than the Toffees, who have two games in hand. The outlook is bleak."

What next?

Burnley travel to Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm, while Chelsea travel to Norwich on Thursday at 7.30pm, before hosting Newcastle on Super Sunday at 2pm - live on Sky Sports Premier League.


Burnley Pope, Roberts, Tarkowski (c), Collins, Taylor, Lennon, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil, Rodriguez (Cornet 63), Weghorst (Barnes 78)
Subs Not Used Hennessey, Lowton, Bardsley, Long, Cork, Thomas, Richardson
Booked Barnes, Westwood

Chelsea Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger, James (Kovacic 70), Kante (Loftus-Cheek 70), Jorginho (c), Saul, Pulisic, Havertz, Mount (Werner 78)
Subs Not Used Kepa, Christensen, Kenedy, Sarr, Ziyech, Lukaku
Goals James 47, Havertz 52, 55, Pulisic 69

Attendance 19,439

Referee Andre Marriner

VAR Mike Dean