Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso gave the Thomas Tuchel era lift-off, but let’s be frank: It was the yawn of a brave new era.
Skipper Azpilicueta’s first goal for more than a year, and recalled wing-back Alonso’s slick finish after 84 minutes, handed Tuchel his first win as Chelsea manager.
It is to Tuchel’s credit that his team was so dominant that Burnley – normally so rugged and durable – were reduced to lame ducks.
The Clarets ventured down Fulham Broadway on the back of ending Liverpool’s 68-match unbeaten run at Anfield and a resolute fightback to beat Aston Villa.
But for 94 minutes, they didn’t even manage a single shot at Stamford Bridge – the first ceasefire in any Premier League fixture this season.
For the visitors’ armistice alone, it was not a classic. Pathologists have probably come across more racing pulses in the mortuary.
That does not diminish Chelsea’s superiority – measured in the shot count of 19-1 in the Blues’ favour – but it did not make for much of a spectacle.
After the tippy-tappy Tommy rot of 860 passes on the road to nowhere in his baptism against Wolves, Tuchel can be satisfied that his reign is up and running.
Two clean sheets for starters can’t be bad, and Chelsea head for Thursday night’s reunion with Jose Mourinho at Tottenham with the battle for sixth place hotting up.
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Frank Lampard’s team made waves during the summer by splashing over £250million to bring in the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva.
It has given them one of the Premier League’s most potent attacks – but behind them remains a defence that continues to leak goals, with 3-3 draws against West Brom and Southampton already behind them.
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Introducing himself to supporters in his programme notes, Tuchel admitted: “Without the fans, it is not even half the experience it should be.”
For long periods, the same could be said of the German revolution at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel’s first two teamsheets have had the air of a tombola, with England full-back Ben Chilwell the latest surprising fall-guy.
Chilwell was left out at the expense of Alonso, who had not featured since he was hauled off at half-time in the 3-3 draw at West Brom in September.
Alonso took his late goal superbly and looked comfortable in a role he played with distinction in Antonio Conte’s title-winning side.
And Tuchel’s restoration of Timo Werner and Mason Mount to the starting XI was a qualified success.
But Werner is so down on his luck that if he was a dentist and you went to see him with raging toothache, he would perform the perfect extraction – only to discover he had removed the wrong gnasher.
The £45 million striker hasn’t scored in the Premier League for almost three months, and when chances came his way here, he shovelled them too close to Nick Pope or, in one case, miskicked Hudson-Odoi’s inviting low cross.
Azpilicueta, whose last goal was more than a year ago, showed him how it was donefive minutes before the break, firing Hudson-Odoi’s neat lay-off high beyond Pope – although it sailed close to the Clarets keeper, who will be miffed he could only wave at it.
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Hudson-Odoi, who has been an early beneficiary of Tuchel’s benevolence, was Chelsea’s best attacking outlet, firing one deflected effort against a post and giving Erik Pieters a guided tour of SW6.
And Chelsea shoud have had the points wrapped up long before Alonso collected Christian Pulisic’s chipped pass on his chest, spun and volleyed into roof of the net.
Burnley, almost non-existent as an attacking force, had to wait until the last minute of added time to muster anything resembling a threat, James Tarkowski heading wastefully over the top.