Chelsea show familiar weakness in Burnley draw to highlight lack of Mauricio Pochettino progress


Chelsea were booed off after being left with no hiding place after drawing 2-2 at home to ten-man Burnley.

A controversial, match-changing red card and penalty decision by referee Darren England should have seen the Blues ease to victory and back into European contention.

Cole Palmer, the one bright spark in another painful season, beautifully dispatched the penalty by chipping the ball down the middle to open the scoring, after Lorenz Assignon was shown a second yellow card.

But Burnley equalised shortly after half-time through Josh Cullen, and again when Dara O’Shea headed home moments after Palmer added his second.

Mauricio Pochettino’s future, the owners and certain players will continue to be questioned after Chelsea failed to beat relegation-threatened Burnley.

The Lancashire club could have even won the match after Jay Rodriguez headed against the bar late on, and they will feel robbed of a potential three points by both the referee and VAR.

Burnley took a deserved point away from Stamford Bridge (AFP via Getty Images)
Burnley took a deserved point away from Stamford Bridge (AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea cannot control matches

It was remarkable to see Burnley piling forward and creating chances at Stamford Bridge with ten men in the second half.

Chelsea’s inability to kill teams, control games or perform for 90 minutes can cost them and it was again the problem on Saturday. It is symptomatic of Pochettino's lack of tactical progress.

Chelsea have now conceded twice in each of their last five matches in all competitions and look increasingly fragile at the back.  Pochettino may rightly point to the age of his players, injuries, and other factors beyond his control.

However, to qualify for Europe, they must win three games in a row, which they haven't accomplished all season. Losing Malo Gusto late on to injury is another problem he must now contend with.

Where would Chelsea be without Palmer?

Cole Palmer is now one of just five players to get 20 Premier League goal involvements (12 goals and eight assists) in his Chelsea debut season. He joins the list alongside Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa, and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

The £42.5million signing from Manchester City scored from the spot and added a second after Raheem Sterling’s wonderful flick.

As the only outstanding player in the squad, you have to wonder how bad things would be if Pep Guardiola had prevented Palmer from making the move to west London.

Cole Palmer continues to be the shining light for Chelsea (REUTERS)
Cole Palmer continues to be the shining light for Chelsea (REUTERS)

Mudryk is improving but more needed

Like Sterling did against Leicester, Mudryk blazed multiple long-range shots into the stands. Whether right or wrong, there wasn’t the same anger towards the Ukrainian as when Sterling missed chances.

But he did produce some other good moments. He was fouled twice to get Assignon sent off for two yellow cards, including winning the penalty, and he set up Axel Disasi’s first-half goal, which VAR ultimately ruled out.

The winger looked confident after firing Ukraine to Euro 2024 during the international break.