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Stuttering Chelsea held 2-2 at home by 10-man Burnley

Stuttering Chelsea held 2-2 at home by 10-man Burnley

LONDON :Chelsea suffered yet another setback in their erratic season when they were held to a 2-2 home draw on Saturday by 10-man, relegation-threatened Burnley who almost claimed all three points in the dying moments.

Mauricio Pochettino’s expensively assembled but young side looked in the driving seat when Burnley’s Lorenz Assignon was shown a second yellow card for tangling with Mykhailo Mudryk and top scorer Cole Palmer netted the penalty in the 44th minute.

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany was also shown a red card for protesting against the spot-kick decision.

But Clarets’ captain Josh Cullen stunned Stamford Bridge by scoring two minutes into the second half with a shot off the outside of his boot from 20 metres.

Chelsea struggled to make their numerical advantage count before they restored their lead in the 78th when Palmer netted again, this time with a low shot after collecting a neat back-heeled pass from substitute Raheem Sterling.

Burnley refused to give up though and were level again three minutes later when Dara O’Shea’s powerful header from a corner squeezed through Djordje Petrovic’s gloves.

Chelsea searched for a winner but their defence remained fragile and Burnley substitute Jay Rodriguez hit the bar from another corner in the 88th minute.

It was the fifth match in a row that Chelsea conceded two goals, three in the Premier League and two in the FA Cup.

Pochettino said he was “upset and disappointed” at the way his side had failed to show the fight he expects of them when not in possession of the ball.

“We didn’t show the capacity, the energy, the hunger, not the minimum to compete in the Premier League,” the Argentine told reporters. “Sorry, but I am not happy with the performance today when we don’t have the ball.”

Boos rang out from some of the home fans on the final whistle although there was no repeat of the anger directed by supporters at Pochettino and Chelsea’s American owners which was evident earlier this month in a 2-2 draw at Brentford.

The draw left Chelsea in 11th place in the table on 40mpoints. Burnley are second-bottom with 18 points, four points behind 17th-placed Nottingham Forest in the safety zone.

Burnley assistant manager Craig Bellamy – stepping in to speak to reporters in place of the dismissed Kompany – said the team were focused on securing the results needed to avoid relegation having been promoted only last season, starting with the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers to Turf Moor on Tuesday.

“We still have belief, we still have a great chance,” Bellamy said. “You can only control what you can control and on Tuesday we have another opportunity to get another result.”

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