Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea had only themselves to blame as the Premier League leaders were held to a surprising 1-1 draw by struggling Burnley on Saturday. Tuchel’s team led through Kai Havertz’s header in the first half and were 11 minutes away from moving five points ahead before Matej Vydra stunned Stamford Bridge in silence. It was a cruel blow for Chelsea given their territorial dominance, but they had no reaction as their winning streak of four league games came to an end. The Blues are three points ahead of Manchester City, who won earlier on Saturday against Manchester United. Third-placed Liverpool could move within one point of Chelsea if they beat West Ham on Sunday.
Although Chelsea are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions, this setback underscored their lack of lead without injured goal scorers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.
Burnley must have been dead and buried before Vydra’s late invention.
But a good performance from Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope and some wasteful Chelsea finishes allowed the visitors to escape with a point.
It was just the second goal Chelsea have conceded in their last seven games in all competitions.
“It’s our fault. We should have scored more. We created so many chances,” Tuchel said.
“Of course I’m disappointed. If we had played this game 100 times, we would have won 99 times.
“You have the opponent where you want them. But we make them believe it’s possible to steal a point by pure luck and that’s what happened.”
Tuchel will hope that Lukaku and Werner will be available soon after the upcoming international break.
“We’re in a good place. It was a fantastic 90 minutes. We deserved more. On another game we might be happy and steal some points,” Tuchel added.
Chelsea’s failure to take three points overshadowed a good performance from Ross Barkley.
Barkley, who borrowed from Aston Villa in exile last season, has never looked home with Chelsea since his move from Everton in 2018.
But, with Mason Mount only available from a bench after a tooth infection, the midfielder put on one of his most influential performances in a Chelsea shirt.
The 27-year-old, who was deployed in a ‘false nine’ role, ran to the Burnley area and took Callum Hudson-Odoi for a shot saved by Pope before the wing fired the rebound wide.
It was the sign for a period of sustained Chelsea pressure, with Andreas Christensen looking a header just wide.
Jorginho threatened with a header that pushed Pope away on full stretch, while Barkley now curled wide from the edge of the area.
Barkley’s crunchy foot-on challenge on Ben Mee sparked a tussle between Tuchel and Sean Dyche, with the Chelsea boss jumping out of his seat in a finger-pointing rage that sparked a furious reaction from the Burnley boss before they were kept apart.
The Blues’ dominance paid off in the 33rd minute.
Just moments before, Havertz needed treatment after tipping over a billboard in the Matthew Harding stall, but the German forward was clearly unaffected by that painful landing.
N’Golo Kante selected James on the right and the defender’s crossing point reached the unmarked Havertz, who struck a clinical kick past Pope for his fourth goal this season.
With Chelsea pushing for the knockout, Thiago Silva headed in early in the second half against a post from another precise James cross.
Hudson-Odoi’s low attack was repelled by Pope and Barkley broke off from a good position before leaving with a standing ovation when he was replaced.
It was a peculiar decision by Tuchel given Barkley’s influence and Burnley took advantage to snatch an equalizer completely by the end of the game in the 79th minute.
Matthew Lowton kicked the ball off for Ashley Westwood and his cross put the Chelsea defense to sleep.
Jay Rodriguez kicked it back over the goal for Vydra to steal from close range home.
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