Reece James stood out on his return to the starting lineup as Chelsea beat Burnley 4-0 at Turf Moor to consolidate their position on the table.

The first half was a frustrating period for Chelsea, who had to bide their time patiently, with Burnley hardly giving them an inch. In fact, the Clarets mustered the more clear-cut openings in the opening period, only for Dwight McNeil to inexplicably direct his shot off target from close range.

But the tide turned after the break, with Chelsea finally breaking the deadlock in the 47th minute through a brilliant solo effort by Reece James. The Englishman then linked up superbly with Christian Pulisic in the build-up to Chelsea’s next goal five minutes later, with Kai Havertz converting a cross at the far post from close range.

James turned provider for Chelsea’s third shortly after, with Havertz bundling home the ball from point-blank range. The Blues rounded off the win midway through the second half, as Pulisic was in the right place at the right time to turn in a stray ball after James Tarkowski failed to clear Saul Niguez’s low cross.

There was no late drama in store, with Chelsea eventually cruising to a 4-0 win over Burnley. The result helped Chelsea strengthen their grip over the third spot on the Premier League table.

Edouard Mendy: 6/10

Mendy did not have to make a single save in the game, but he nearly conceded a goal in the first half, only for Dwight McNeil to fluff his lines. Otherwise, the Senegalese goalkeeper had the best seat in the house to witness the second half blitzkrieg.

Trevoh Chalobah: 7/10

Chalobah returned to the starting lineup after regaining his fitness and had a busy game at the back. The young defender completed several tackles and clearances to alleviate the danger, but one moment almost left him red-faced when he failed to let the ball roll over the line, allowing Jay Rodriguez to snatch it. But he made amends by finding Reece James for the opener.

Thiago Silva: 7/10

Silva was typically industrious at the heart of Chelsea’s central defensive unit, keeping the backline disciplined, particularly when Burnley threatened in the first half. The Brazilian made a few crucial clearances while being top-notch in the air. Silva also helped build up play from the back, completing 95 per cent of his attempted passes.

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Like his defensive partner, Rudiger hardly put a foot wrong, completing two clearances and two tackles while also producing a big block. As ever, the German international was also accurate with the ball at his feet, completing 111 passes in the game.

Reece James: 9/10

James returned to the Chelsea starting lineup for the first time since recovering from a hamstring injury. And after a slow start to the game, the English international was back to his best, breaking the deadlock by twisting and turning before unleashing a fiery shot that beat Nick Pope with ease. James was then involved in the build-up to the next two goals, even grabbing the assist for the third.

N’Golo Kante: 7/10

Kante was another player returning to the side, and the Frenchman was a bundle of energy in the middle of the park, as he so often is in a game. Kante constantly looked to push Chelsea forward, playing a game-high three key passes. He was also solid off the ball, winning five duels and completing two tackles.

Jorginho: 7/10

Jorginho was a solid customer in the middle of the park, pulling the strings effortlessly while keeping Chelsea in control. He mustered Chelsea’s best shot in the first half, only for Connor Roberts to stand in his way. Jorginho continued to keep his team on top of the proceedings after the break, upping the tempo in the dominant period in the second half.

Saul Niguez: 7/10

In a surprising call, Tuchel deployed Saul Niguez as the left wing-back ahead of Marcos Alonso. And the Spanish international repaid the Chelsea manager’s faith by putting in the hard yards off the ball while also retaining a threat down his flank. Saul sent in some enticing crosses, and one such delivery eventually opened up for Christian Pulisic for Chelsea’s fourth goal.

Mason Mount: 6/10

Mount hardly ever lost the ball throughout the game, completing all but two passes. But for some reason, the English international was not at his creative best and was instead forced to leave it to James and Kante to engineer the openings. Mount needs to get back to his top-most level to inspire Chelsea to a strong end to the season.

Kai Havertz: 8/10

Havertz struggled to get into the game as much as he would have liked in the first half, with his touch also deserting him. But the German international became a proper poacher in the box, converting two close-range efforts to seal all three points for Chelsea. He seems to be a better option to spearhead the Chelsea attack than Romelu Lukaku at the moment.

Christian Pulisic: 8/10

Pulisic was a surprise pick ahead of Timo Werner from Tuchel. And the USMNT international initially struggled to make his mark before making himself useful after the interval. He linked up superbly with James in the build-up to the second goal, before setting Havertz up with a dangerous cross. But Pulisic saved the best for last, scoring from close range after Saul’s cross fell to him kindly.

SUBSTITUTES

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6/10

Loftus-Cheek replaced James as the right wing-back in yet another change of position for him this term and largely kept things simple.

Mateo Kovacic: N/A

Kovacic helped see the game out in the game’s final quarter, keeping things simple in the middle of the park.

Timo Werner: N/A

Werner did not have many opportunities to leave his mark on the game after replacing Mount.

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