A second-half Victor Moses strike saw Chelsea beat Burnley to keep their hopes alive for a Champions League spot.
The Blues took the lead early on as a Moses cross led Kevin Long to tap the ball into his own net.
Alvaro Morata had a glorious chance to put the game to bed in the second half. He found himself one on one with Nick Pope after a wonderful pass from N’golo Kante but fired just wide of the target.
They were left to rue that chance as a Johan Berg Gudmundsson shot took a deflection off of Ashley Barnes to draw Burnley level.
However, their joy didn’t last long, as Moses squeezed a shot through Pope’s legs to put Chelsea back in front.
This result sees Antonio Conte’s side close the gap on Tottenham to five points with only four weeks of the season remaining.
A disappointing night for the Clarets
Coming into to this game, Burnley were the number one form team in the Premier League, with 5 wins & a draw in their past six matches. A win tonight would have seen them overtake sixth placed Arsenal. Having already toppled Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the season, hopes were no doubt high on strengthening their position for a European place.
This certainly was not their best performance, however. While they didn’t play badly, they allowed Chelsea to pass the ball around them far too much. They failed to establish their tightly packed, suppressive play that has led to them being so effective this season.
The first goal, in particular, highlighted their sloppiness. The back four simply did not do enough to deal with Moses’ run in behind them, leaving them helpless to the cross that filtered its way between them.
Despite losing, Burnley still have a nine-point cushion on eight placed Leicester but are two behind Arsenal. If Southampton fail to win the FA Cup, their Europa League spot will go to seventh in the Premier League instead. Clarets fans will no doubt be cheering on their opponents on Sunday to significantly boost boos their chances of European football at Turf Moor next season. However, Burnley travel to Arsenal on the penultimate weekend of the season. They will need to perform better than this however if they want to leapfrog the Gunners into sixth.
The Victor Moses show
Victor Moses was by far Chelsea’s leading light at Turf Moor, flourishing in his usual wing-back role. Not only did he net their second goal, but his elusive running confused the Burnley defence and allowed his cross to slip through their back four.
It was an impressive attacking performance from the Blues. N’Golo Kante as ever was proficient in midfield, his pass to Morata for that chance just one example of how he influenced play. Olivier Giroud also had a good game, working through the Burnley defence and getting on the end of some good crosses from his teammates.
However, Morata still seems to be struggling with his age-old problem of failing to put chances away. He really should have done better in the second half as it seemed far easier to score his shot than to miss by mere inches.
Chelsea managed to get the job done however and secure a vital three points. With their FA Cup semi-final against Southampton on Sunday, Antonio Conte rested players such as Hazard & Willian. This result highlights their excellent strength in depth and begs the question why the Blues are so far off the pace for a Champions League squad.
Rumours have been circulating for months about Conte losing his job at the end of the season. Given Roman Abramovic’s ruthless record when it comes to managers, Chelsea will almost certainly have to get top four if Conte wants any hope of keeping his job next season
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