Chelsea defenders Alonso and Azpilicueta lead the way with 8/10

Thomas Tuchel recorded his first win as Chelsea manager after his side defeated Burnley 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were dominant throughout, with midfielders Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho pulling the strings from the middle of the park. The breakthrough finally came in the 40th minute when Callum Hudson-Odoi picked out the overlapping run of Cesar Azpilicueta — who fired decisively past Nick Pope. And the home side wrapped up the win in style with five minutes left, after Marcos Alonso acrobatically swept his shot into the back of the net.

Positives

Chelsea dominated proceedings from start to finish. The home side seldom gave the ball away, remaining patient in possession until they were able to manoeuvre shooting opportunities. Defensively they were also impressive, with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy not tested at all in the Chelsea net. Much of the praise should go to the midfield pivot of Jorginho and Kovacic, who kept the ball ticking over beautifully.

Negatives

The one big negative for Tuchel will be the slight lack of cutting edge in the final third. Chelsea created some decent openings, but all too often the finishing was wayward, or the final ball lacked conviction. Burnley never really posed a threat going the other way, but on another occasion, the Londoners may have been punished for their inability to kill the game off earlier.

Manager rating (out of 10)

8 — The one thing that can be said about Tuchel’s new 3-4-2-1 system is that it has seemingly strengthened the backline and stemmed the flow of goals conceded. Very little, if anything, got past Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger or Cesar Azpilicueta, who have already formed a good understanding at the back. In addition, the deployment of attacking wing-backs gives Chelsea good width and overloads in wide areas. In fact, it was the fine overlapping run of captain Azpilicueta that led to the opening goal.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK: Edouard Mendy, 6 — Unlike his opposite number in the Burnley net, the keeper was barely called into action all afternoon. He did distribute the ball quite well, however.

DF: Cesar Azpilicueta, 8 — A fine display from the captain, who scored Chelsea’s opening goal. Dynamic when venturing forward, all the while remaining solid at the back.

DF: Thiago Silva, 8 — Hardy put a foot wrong in the heart of the backline and helped nullify Burnley’s potent aerial threat.

DF: Antonio Rudiger, 7 — Calm and composed for the duration, passing the ball out from the back very nicely.

WB: Marcos Alonso, 8 — Early on, the Spaniard looked slightly nervy in possession, which is perhaps fair enough given his recent lack of match time, but as the game wore on he appeared to grow in confidence. Took his late goal superbly well to seal the three points.

WB: Callum Hudson-Odoi, 8 — A menace down the right side of the pitch. Playing as an attacking wing-back, his crossing and overall link-up play created many fine openings for his teammates, which is how Chelsea’s opening goal came about.

MF: Mateo Kovacic, 8 — Inventive and industrious in the middle of the park. Was the instigator of many Chelsea moves in the final third.

MF: Jorginho, 7 — Assured in possession throughout, whilst also working hard for the cause. An impressive return to form.

FW: Mason Mount, 7 — The midfielder was everywhere in his return to the starting XI. Linked-up especially well with Hudson-Odoi, taking up intelligent positions in and around the box, but a lack of quality in the final third cost him.

FW: Timo Werner, 7 — His overall play was good, but the German forward still looks devoid of confidence. Any shots he did have at goal were tame.

FW: Tammy Abraham, 6 — A frustrating afternoon for the striker, who couldn’t quite manufacturer any decent chances of his own. Was replaced at half-time.

Substitutes

Christian Pulisic, 7 — Added some zeal and pace to the Chelsea attack in the second half. Wonderfully teed up Alonso for his goal.

Reece James, 6 — Not quite as impressive as Hudson-Odoi in the wing-back position but did provide a handful of decent crosses late on.

Kai Havertz, N/A –– Introduced with 10 minutes to go. Looked inventive on the counter and nearly played Werner clean through on goal.

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