Chelsea kicked off their Premier League campaign against a newly promoted Burnley side, who are considered among the favourites to face relegation come May.
Jose Mourinho is hoping to lead his Chelsea side to the Premier League title, after two seasons without a trophy for the Portugese manager.
Much of the talk before the match focused on Chelsea’s wealth of talent in the goalkeeping department, with a choice to be made between club legend, Petr Cech, and young talent, Thibaut Courtois. Mourinho opted to start Courtois, which could signal the end of Cech’s reign between the Chelsea goalposts.
The £32million Diego Costa was also handed his Chelsea debut, while Filipe Luis starts on the bench.
Burnley started the game positively, attempting to stop Chelsea taking the game by the scruff. It was back and forth between the two clubs throughout the first 10 minutes, with the best opportunity coming from Andre Schurrle, who had a shot deflected just wide of the post.
However, Burnley wouldn’t stand down and a lapse in concentration allowed Michael Kightly to dink the ball into the box to Scott Arfield, who volleyed the ball into the top left corner, past a stunned Thibaut Courtois.
Burnley’s lead didn’t last long. Diego Costa got his Premier League career off to a flying start, after a Branislav Ivanovic cross evaded everybody, before connecting with the post. Costa found the ball at his feet and tucked it away.
Costa’s opening goal means that it took him 715 minutes less than Fernando Torres to open his goalscoring account for the Blues.
Arfield’s goal seemed to have sparked Chelsea, who began to dictate the game. It didn’t take long for the away side to find the back of the net once again. Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Andre Schurrle linked up to amazing effect, with a one-touch pass from Fabregas setting up Schurrle to slot the ball into the back of the net.
The World Cup winner looked strong down the right throughout the first half, and could very well make the spot his own this season.
Diego Costa was booked for diving in the 30th minute, when he appeared to be taken down following a 1-on-1 with Tom Heaton in the box. Replays showed that the keeper, who was lucky to escape a red card, did make contact with the Chelsea striker.
Burnley couldn’t cope with the Chelsea onslaught, and Ivanovic took advantage of some sleepy defending from a Fabregas corner, getting his foot to the ball and putting it away after 34 minutes.
Burnley appeared stronger after the half-time break, and Atfield nearly grabbed himself another goal early on in the second half, with Courtois stretching to turn a curling shot behind.
It didn’t take Chelsea long to begin dictating play again, with the ball being passed around inside Burnley’s half in a way that will surely please Roman Abramovich, but they couldn’t quite find that final ball.
Chelsea seemed to close up shop in the second half, with Mourinho eventually swapping Oscar for John Obi Mikel, changing to a 4-3-2-1 formation to see out the game.
Didier Drogba also made his second debut for Chelsea, coming on in the 83rd minute amid cheers from the away crowd. A Courtois goalkick fell to Drogba late on, but the club legend was unable to get his shot on target.
A 3-1 victory for Mourinho’s side puts them top of the table, with Manchester City in second place. Despite conceding early on, Chelsea came back strong and showed why they are considered title favourites, but there’s still a long way to go.