For 45 minutes of their opening game of the new Premier League season, Chelsea were fantastic as they dismantled Burnley on their way to a 3-1 half time lead. The second half was not so impressive, however, and as good as the first 45 minutes were, it could be what was missing from the second half that may ultimately be most crucial for Chelsea in the future.
Goals from Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic were enough to give Chelsea an emphatic lead at half time, and ultimately, the win they were looking for. Although, that was after Burnley took had took an initial shock lead after just 14 minutes through Scott Arfield. But the class of Chelsea was far too much for the Premier League new boys overall, and if truth be told, Chelsea could have won by a bigger margin than just 3-1.
They could have really piled on the pressure and racked up the goals in the second half but, as he usually is, Jose Mourinho was content to just win the game by any margin. It has been seen in the past just how important goal difference can be in the Premier League, and especially after Manchester City actually won the league title on goal difference in the 2011-12 season. It’s never really something to rely on, but it is something a team should take advantage of if it’s on offer.
It was definitely there for Chelsea to take advantage of against Burnley, and you would have to think that if that was City on that pitch instead of Mourinho’s men, you can be sure that City would have been firing for five or six goals and to win by the biggest margin possible. A late goal for Burnley could even have made for a tense conclusion to the game, which is exactly why you can’t settle and especially not in the Premier League.
The win will be the most important thing for Chelsea, but some games in the future may become harder than they should at times if Mourinho is happy to just protect any lead the team gets — not to mention that if the league was to astonishingly come down to goal difference again. Either way, even with the number of wins that Chelsea will obviously achieve this season, their lack of killer instinct could still come back to hurt them in the future.