2018/2019 English Premier League
  • N'Golo Kanté (12')
  • Gonzalo Higuaín (14')
  • Jeff Hendrick (8')
  • Ashley Barnes (24')

Chelsea drop crucial points in draw with Burnley as quest for top-four continues

Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw by Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Monday, dropping crucial points in their quest to secure a top-four finish and a Champions League place next season.

Maurizio Sarri's side came into the game knowing a win would send them into third place in the Premier League, but were quickly down a goal when Jeff Hendrick smashed a first-time volley from a poor clearance past Kepa Arrizabalaga to give Burnley an unlikely early lead.

Classy back-to-back goals for the hosts -- one from N'Golo Kante after some fine work from Eden Hazard and an unstoppable close-range shot by Gonzalo Higuain -- had Chelsea back in the lead before the quarter-hour.

The fireworks continued 10 minutes later with Burnley drawing level from a set piece, Ashley Barnes side-footing home a volley at the back post from a flicked-on Chris Wood header.

Chelsea were handed some bad news as half-time approached when Callum Hudson-Odoi limped off the field after picking up a knock, with Pedro replacing him before the teams went to the dressing room locked in a 2-2 draw.

Following the match, Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola said Hudson Odoi's injury was to his Achilles and that it looked serious.

Sarri made one change at half-time, replacing goalscorer Kante with Real Madrid loanee Mateo Kovacic.

Despite dominating possession throughout the second half and Hazard continuing to torment the Burnley defence down the left flank, Chelsea passed the 70-minute mark still searching for a go-ahead goal.

Sarri pulled Higuain in favour of Olivier Giroud for the game's closing 20 minutes -- a move that clearly upset the Argentine -- but Burnley, who were also in search of points in their quest to ensure Premier League survival, dug in and Chelsea could still find no way through.

Tempers flared in extra time with both teams coming together on two occasions and Sarri being sent off right before the final whistle for leaving his technical area as the game finished 2-2.

The result puts Chelsea one point ahead of Arsenal in fourth place with 67, but also having played one more game than the Gunners. Chelsea are also level on points with Tottenham, but trail Spurs on goal difference, while Manchester United remain in sixth place on 64 points and a game in hand over the Blues.

The point was massive for Sean Dyche and Burnley, who are now on 40 points, nine clear of the drop zone and Cardiff City in 17th.

English Premier League Standings