A Jay Rodriguez thunderbolt and Dwight McNeil’s first goal of the season saw the Clarets at least finish with a flourish on a dramatic night at Turf Moor.
Chelsea continued their winning streak under Frank Lampard as they chalked up a seventh successive victory in all competitions to stay firmly in the Premier League’s top four.
But Sean Dyche’s men were spared a repeat of the 4-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Blues 12 months ago by two goals inside the last five minutes.
By then the damage had been done – largely self-inflicted as the Clarets were culpable in allowing Christian Pulisic to claim his first hat-trick in English football.
A second home defeat of the season extended Burnley’s frustrating record against established top-six opponents as Chelsea followed Liverpool in leaving with maximum points on what threatened to be a chastening evening.
Rodriguez’s long-range effort and McNeil’s deflected strike didn’t quite paper over the cracks as the Clarets came up short in both penalty areas.
But the sniff of an improbable comeback and a late show of character at least rattled the Blues and gave the home supporters some late cheer in Burnley's 200th Premier League fixture.
The Clarets had made two changes to the side controversially denied at Leicester a week earlier as their unbeaten four-game run was ended.
Chris Wood’s injury absence was compensated for by the return of Ashley Barnes as Jack Cork also returned after two games out to face his former club.
Cork’s return saw Jeff Hendrick move back outside into a wide position and Hendrick was instrumental – along with McNeil on the opposite flank – in a whirlwind start for the Clarets which had Chelsea on the back foot.
But the visitors rebuffed the early pressure and were gifted control of the game.
Matt Lowton’s mistake presented Pulisic with the ball and the American’s run at the Clarets’ defence ended with a shot squeezed through a crowd of bodies and past an unsighted Nick Pope.
The Clarets’ response was impressive but once again they let Chelsea off the hook with the lack of a killer instinct in front of goal.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was forced into one sharp save when he kept out a deflected volley from Eric Pieters on the defender’s 200th league appearance in English football.
But the Blues’ keeper should have been picking the ball out of the net when a well -worked free-kick saw Ben Mee head back across goal where Barnes - perhaps put off by the presence of Tammy Abraham - nodded wide at the far post from no more than a couple of yards out.
Chelsea had been forced to play on the break but went close to second goal when Pulisic’s angled strike was well stopped by Pope low to the goalkeeper’s low.
And having drawn the string out of the Clarets with a lengthy spell of possession, the visitors then all but killed the game with a second goal on the stroke of half-time.
Again, Burnley didn’t help their cause as James Tarkowski’s attempted pass out from the back was intercepted by Willian.
Pulisic was once more the grateful recipient, although after accepting Willian’s pass he still needed a slice of luck to complete the finish as his shot deflected off Mee to wrong-foot Pope and roll into the bottom corner.
The Clarets needed something special to get back into the contest and again they asked questions of the Blues’ back line straight after the re-start.
But Barnes couldn’t capitalise on another sight of goal and strike partner Rodriguez struck an effort at Kepa.
And the difference between the sides was underlined by two goals in three minutes as Chelsea seemingly moved out of sight with an hour gone.
Pulisic completed his hat-trick when he headed in a Mason Mount cross after a corner had only been cleared as far as Mount for a second bite at the cherry.
And the Blues then launched an attack from deep in their own half which ended with Abraham laying the ball off for the classy Willian to drill an angled shot across Pope and into the far corner of the net.
Rodriguez’s initial attempt to restore some pride was snuffed out by Fikayo Tomori’s immaculate challenge as the Clarets’ striker burst into the penalty area, before Ashley Westwood saw a shot blocked.
Chelsea thought they would then get the chance to add a fifth when referee Michael Oliver awarded a penalty when substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi went to ground as he weaved his way into the penalty area.
This time VAR ruled in the Clarets’ favour as the England international was shown to have dived – getting a booking to add to his embarrassment.
It was of little consolation to the Clarets, who would rather VAR had backed their case at Leicester a week ago when it mattered.
But at least the decision stemmed the tide and allowed Dyche’s men to end the night on a high thanks to a stunning long-range strike from Rodriguez who claimed his first Premier League goal at Turf Moor in style.
And the scoreline took on an even more respectable look when McNeil – also released by substitute Robbie Brady - got the goal his performance deserved two minutes from the end.
The teenager was never daunted in taking the fight to such lofty opponents and was rewarded with a deflected strike that briefly hinted at the most dramatic of comebacks on an eventful night which ended with the Clarets slipping back into the league's bottom half.
Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Hendrick (Brady 83), Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Barnes (Vydra 63). Substitutes: Hart, Taylor, Lennon, Bardsley, Long.
Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso (James 63); Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian (Hudson-Odoi 72), Mount, Pulisic; Abraham (Giroud 69). Substitutes: Caballero, Pedro, Batshuayi, James, Guehi.
Booked: Willian, Hudson-Odoi
Referee: Michael Oliver