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Match Reports

Burnley 1 Chelsea 1

12 February 2017

Burnley 1 Chelsea 1

Record buy Robbie Brady showed his worth with a stunning free-kick to stop Chelsea’s title charge and extend the Clarets’ remarkable Turf Moor record.

Brady marked his full Burnley debut with a brilliant 25-yard strike to make it six home Premier League games without defeat for Sean Dyche’s never-say-die side.

Chelsea have swept almost all before them this season in opening up a 10-point gap at the top of the table.

When Antonio Conte’s all-conquering side went 1-0 ahead early on through Pedro’s fine strike they might have expected Burnley to go the same way.

But the Clarets responded to produce one of their best performances of a wonderful season - capped by Brady's wonder strike - to push the leaders all the way and get the reward they deserved in the shape of another point to take them to the 30-point mark.

As well as a first start for Brady, Ashley Westwood also made his full Clarets’ debut in a midfield missing the suspended Jeff Hendrick.

But in a flying start from the title favourites it was Chelsea who called the early shots.

Eden Hazard has lit up the league this season and the Belgium international had a chance to add an 11th goal of the campaign after just six minutes.

Diego Costa’s through-ball was perfectly delivered but Hazard’s finish lacked the pace and direction to beat Tom Heaton.

That proved to be only a brief reprieve for the Clarets, though, as Chelsea went ahead with their next attack.

From a throw-in deep in their own half the visitors broke at lightning speed and when Victor Moses played the ball inside to Pedro, the former Barcelona forward burst into the box to slot home his sixth league goal of the season.

His goal was the earliest Burnley had conceded at Turf Moor this season.

But rather thank buckle under the force of the apparent champions-elect, the Clarets responded superbly.

Ashley Barnes led the fightback with two efforts on goal as Chelsea were harried and hassled out of their stride.

And when Joey Barton was tripped by Nemanja Matic 25 yards from goal with almost as many minutes on the clock, Brady stepped up to announce his arrival in stunning style as his former youth team coaches from the St Kevin’s Boys Club in Dublin watching proudly from the stands.

The Republic of Ireland international joined Burnley from Norwich on deadline day with a reputation as a dead-ball specialist.

And he lived up to that billing with a gem of a free-kick which he curled around the wall and past Thibaut Courtois into the top corner of the net to make it 1-1 as the Chelsea keeper was beaten directly from as free-kick for the first time as a Premier League player.

Suddenly Burnley were in the ascendency and Courtois just managed to keep out a Matt Lowton effort after the full-back had run onto Barton’s inch-perfect pass to go clear in the penalty area.

Former Clarets’ loanee Gary Cahill then threw himself in front of a George Boyd pile-driver and even the half-time break couldn’t stop the Clarets’ momentum.

Again Barnes drove Dyche’s men forward on the break and when David Luiz’s error allowed the striker’s through-ball to reach Andre Gray, it took another smothering save from Courtois to keep Chelsea level.

Chelsea countered with a spell of pressure which saw Cesar Azpilicueta send a long-range effort just over the bar.

But the Clarets defended superbly to limit the visitors to nothing more than half-chances, substitute Cesc Fabrgas also missing the target from outside the penalty area.

At times it was all hands to the pump as Boyd almost dropped into the Burnley back four to lend his weight to the effort to keep Chelsea at bay.

But such was the determination and discipline of Burnley’s defending that Heaton didn’t have a save to make.

And with the Barton and Westwood working tirelessly to try and keep the Clarets moving the other way, Burnley never allowed Chelsea to dominate as they once again stood up to the best the Premier League can offer and came away with a fitting reward.

Burnley: Heaton, Ward, Mee, Keane, Lowton, Brady (Arfield 65), Westwood, Barton, Boyd, Barnes, Gray (Vokes 82). Subs: Robinson, Flanagan, Darikwa, Tarkowski, Gudmundsson.

Booked: Westwood, Lowton, Barton.

Chelsea: Courtois, Alonso, Kante, Hazard, Pedro (Batshuayi 86), Moses (Willian 73), Costa, Matic (Fabregas 67), Cahill, Azpilicueta, Luiz. Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Ake, Chalobah.

Booked: Luiz, Fabregas.

Referee: K Friend
Attendance: 21,744

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