Chelsea roll to confident first-up victory in EPL

Last updated 10:14 19/08/2014
Diego Costa
Reuters

STAR RECRUIT: Diego Costa scored a goal in Chelsea's EPL opener.

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New signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas made an instant impact for Chelsea as they launched their English Premier League title bid with a confident 3-1 win at promoted Burnley today.

Former Arsenal midfielder Fabregas, brought in from Barcelona during the close season, was influential throughout the game, having a hand in all three Chelsea goals and striking up an impressive midfield pairing with Eden Hazard.

Chelsea recovered from conceding a 14th minute goal, quickly turning on the style in an impressive half hour spell to go in 3-1 up at the break.

Jose Mourinho's side were content to see out the game in the second half as Burnley, tipped by many for relegation, put in a creditable professional display after the Londoners had threatened to run away with the game.

In a fiery atmosphere, the home side took a surprise lead in the with a superb drive from Scott Arfield after a fine run and pull back from Matt Taylor.

But any hopes the capacity home crowd at Turf Moor had of witnessing an upset were quickly dashed as Chelsea showed why so many bookmakers have them as favourites to win the title this season.

Three minutes after Arfield's strike, Brazilian-born Spain international Costa, a close season signing from Atletico Madrid, brought the Londoners level on his Premier League debut - firing in after a Branislav Ivanovic cross-shot, following a Fabregas back-heel, had come out off the post.

Four minutes later, Chelsea had the lead - Fabregas providing a beautiful first time pass to German World Cup winner Andre Schurrle who confidently drove home.

Burnley looked shell-shocked and their manager Sean Dyche will be disappointed with the slack defending for Chelsea's third as an unchallenged Ivanovic slotted in a Fabregas corner in the 34th minute.

Mourinho had raised some eyebrows by opting for Thibaut Courtois over Petr Cech in goal and the Belgian showed his quality shortly after the break to deny Arfield a second from a curling shot which he tipped wide.

Lancashire club Burnley, whose entire squad cost just a fraction of Costa's reported £32 million transfer fee, would have taken some heart though from the way they applied themselves after the break, even if they rarely threatened to alter the scoreline.

Chelsea brought on Didier Drogba for his first official appearance of his second spell with the club as a late substitute to the delight of their travelling supporters.

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- Reuters

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