Chelsea gains ground on the rest of the Premier League, but maybe not by as much as they would have hoped.
The Blues pummeled Burnley through the final 20 minutes in the snow at Turf Moor, but could not find a winner as Robbie Brady‘s free-kick strike past the half-hour mark was enough for the Clarets to continue their fine home form with a point against the league leaders.
Chelsea forced the hosts onto their heels straight away, and Eden Hazard forced the first save on six minutes as Diego Costa threaded him through but the low shot was in range for Tom Heaton to collect. Just a minute later, the Blues had their opener as a counter featured beautiful movement to ease the ball into the Burnley half, and Victor Moses fed Pedro who beat Michael Keane one-on-one and passed the ball into the back of the net.
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It was all too easy for Chelsea, who following the goal seemed content to sit back, let Burnley possess, and hit back on the counter. That strategy would haunt them, however, as the hosts struck to even things up in the 24th minute. An exquisite free-kick from January signing Robbie Brady in his first start for the club beat Thibaut Courtois and buried into top-left corner to bring it back level the score at 1-1.
Burnley continued to look dangerous, forcing Chelsea to take back the initiative. The Clarets nearly went in front in the 36th minute as Joey Barton delivered a brilliant ball to Matthew Lowton who had snuck free near the right post but Courtois saved well. The Blues had a chance of their own minutes later, as a ball into the box by Marcos Alonso screamed just millimeters above the head of Diego Costa who rose high to meet it.
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The Clarets seemed in to take the lead just minutes after the halftime break as Ashley Barnes skipped past Gary Cahill on the right wing and then fed Andre Gray, and while the ball scooted through the legs of David Luiz embarrassingly, Courtois was there to save the poor effort on goal.
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Chelsea gained control through the final 20 minutes, as they pushed for an opener with substitute Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings, but they could not find a way through a well-organized and hard-working Burnley defense. The point pushes Chelsea 10 points above Arsenal and Tottenham, while Burnley pulls 10 points away from the relegation zone, jumping Watford into 12th position. The draw snaps a five-match home winning streak for Burnley, without a loss at Turf Moor since November 26th against Manchester City.