Victor Moses’s winner ensured that Chelsea kept their chances of finishing in the top four alive by securing all three points with a narrow victory over Burnley.
Chelsea went ahead in the 20th minute after a Victor Moses cross was deflected into the back of the net by Kevin Long. The Blues continued to dominate proceedings as they had from the start of the game, but couldn’t make the most of the good chances they created.
A wayward shot from Burnley in the 64th minute took a huge deflection off of Ashley Barnes’s foot and headed straight for Thibaut Courtois’s top right corner. However the Clarets’ celebration was short lived as Emerson Palmieri found Victor Moses in the box and the Nigerian made no mistake from close range.
Chelsea are now only five points away from Tottenham Hotspur, who are fourth and the Blues have a real chance of making it into the top four with four games left to play. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Antonio Conte’s men.
Thibaut Courtois: 6
Could do nothing for the goal as it took a wicked deflection. Burnley had only two shots on target the whole game, so had very little to do throughout the match. In fact, Courtois spent most of his time making some routine saves and recoveries, and distributed fairly well.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
The Spaniard had a good game in defence. He distributed well, tried to get forward as much as possible and could do nothing for the goal. Cut a composed figure on the right side of the back-three and was always at hand to provide cover for Victor Moses.
Gary Cahill: 9
A top performance from the Chelsea skipper at the heart of defence. Cahill finally seems to be finding the kind of form that has eluded him for a large part of the season. Was tidy in defence, didn’t let any Burnley player get the better of him, was dominant in the air and made some key interceptions.
His performance on the night can be summed up best by one instance, where he threw himself at the ball to head it away from danger and got kicked in the face by Ashley Barnes. A top performance from the Englishman, who has given Conte a big selection headache for Sunday.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
Rudiger had a good game in the left side of the back-three. The German international put in a good, solid shift and ensured that the hosts would have no luck on his flank. Dealt with everything that came his way in a calm and composed manner. Got better as the game went on.
Victor Moses: 9
His good work on the right flank forced the own goal from Kevin Long and then he was there at the right place and the right time to score what would prove to be the winner. Moses did some good defensive work down the right wing as well. Perhaps his best game this season.
Tiemoue Bakayoko: 7
The Frenchman had arguably his best game this calendar year. It was his first Premier League start since getting sent off against Watford back in February and he put in a solid shift alongside N’Golo Kante. Distributed well, defended nicely and was always at hand to put pressure. Kept things moving in the middle of the park and this performance will do a world of good to his confidence.
Started in an unfamiliar, deep role in behind Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud and he didn’t disappoint. Showed a lot of energy in the middle of the park and pulled the strings for his side. Was his side’s creator-in-chief and was Chelsea’s most exciting players going forward. Was a constant menace for the hosts and it was a positive performance from the Spaniard.
N’Golo Kante: 9
Fabregas’s absence in the middle of the mark meant that Kante was allowed to flex his creative muscles a bit more and the Frenchman seemed to relish it. Distributed very well, dominated midfield and ensured that things kept moving in the middle of the park. Could have had an assist had Morata worn his shooting boots. Another near-perfect performance from the 27-year-old.
Emerson Palmieri: 8
Handed a rare start after Marcos Alonso was given a three match ban by the FA and the former AS Roma defender did not disappoint. Was eager to impress from the start and he worked hard. Was lively going forward, but didn’t ignore his defensive duties. Showed pace, energy and good ability on the ball.
Whipped in a fair few crosses into the box and ultimately provided the assist for Victor Moses’s winner. That’s now two assists in two starts for Chelsea so far and the 23-year-old is almost sure to start against Southampton based on this performance. Marcos Alonso should watch out.
Olivier Giroud: 7
A good game from the Frenchman. Linked up with Morata well in the early stages, kept putting pressure on defenders, used his body well to hold up the ball and was always at hand to draw players away from his teammates. Couldn’t contribute with a goal or assist, but it was a good shift nonetheless.
Alvaro Morata: 5.5
Worked hard both on and off the ball. Was expected to be a bit more mobile in this 3-5-2 formation with two strikers upfront and put in a good shift, but he failed to take his chances. Morata linked up well with Giroud for the most part and Conte seemed to be pleased with his performance off the ball.
Could’ve doubled his side’s lead after finding himself one on one with Nick Pope in the 55th minute. He put pressure on the players around him and won most of his duels. But the lack of end product meant all that good work was for nothing and he was hauled off in the 71st minute. Doesn’t look like he’s going to start against Southampton on Sunday.