Chelsea 2-2 Burnley: Blues up to fourth after draw with Clarets

Gonzalo Higuain celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Burnley

Chelsea moved above Arsenal into fourth position in the Premier League as they were held by Burnley in a thrilling game at Stamford Bridge.

With rivals Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United all losing over the weekend, Chelsea will be frustrated that they could not take full advantage – a win would have lifted them into third, two points ahead of Spurs.

All the goals were scored in the opening 24 minutes with Jeff Hendrick giving Burnley an eighth-minute lead before N’Golo Kante equalised after wonderful skill by Eden Hazard.

Gonzalo Higuain put Chelsea in front six minutes and 14 seconds after Burnley’s opener.

However, the visitors were level when Ashley Barnes scored from close range, his 11th league goal of the season.

On a frustrating night for Maurizio Sarri’s side, Callum Hudson-Odoi ruptured his Achilles tendon and Kante went off with a rib injury, while the Chelsea boss was sent to the stands towards the end.

Burnley are now almost certainly safe from relegation with three games to go, holding a nine-point advantage over 18th-placed Cardiff and with a goal difference 17 better than the Welsh side.

Chelsea frustrations boil over after missed opportunity

Chelsea started the weekend in fifth place but, despite failing to win for the second successive league game, end it in fourth, with Arsenal dropping out of the Champions League spots.

However, this was a missed opportunity for the Blues, who have played one more game than the teams around them.

Frustrations boiled over towards the end with David Luiz and Barnes involved in an altercation on the pitch, Sarri ordered away from the dugout and a scuffle taking place near the tunnel entrance at the final whistle.

Chelsea were unhappy with what they perceived to be time-wasting tactics by the visitors yet that failed to disguise the hosts’ poor defending, Burnley scoring from their only two shots on target in the first half.

Race for the Premier League top four
ArsenalChelseaMan UtdTottenham
24 April Wolves (A)24 April Man City (H)23 April Brighton (H)
29 April Leicester (A)28 April Man Utd (A)28 April Chelsea (H)27 April West Ham (H)
4 May Brighton (H)4 May Watford (H)5 May Huddersfield (A)6 May Bournemouth (A)
12 May Burnley (A)12 May Leicester (A)12 May Cardiff (H)12 May Everton (H)

Midfielder Hendrick was left unmarked when he produced a delightful curling finish to put Burnley ahead with his third league goal of the season.

In a remarkable passage of play, Chelsea quickly levelled when Hazard got the better of Matthew Lowton before pulling it back for Kante to smash home from 12 yards out.

Chelsea were ahead through Higuain’s beautiful first-time finish after Cesar Azpilicueta’s backheel into his path.

Burnley were back level when Chelsea failed to deal with a free-kick, Barnes pouncing inside the six-yard area after a flick by Chris Wood.

Chelsea have now conceded seven times in the past three games, a big concern for Sarri as his side also look to seal a Europa League final spot.

Burnley show spirit to all but secure safety

After losing 5-1 at home to Everton on 26 December, Burnley were third bottom in the table, three points from safety following a sixth defeat in seven games.

Fast forward 16 games and eight wins, the Clarets are as good as safe with three matches to spare after a spirited performance against Chelsea left Cardiff requiring an extraordinary set of results to overhaul Burnley.

Having won 3-2 at Chelsea on the opening day of last season, they swept into the lead through Hendrick’s fine finish before showing their character to respond after falling 2-1 behind.

Tom Heaton’s yellow card in the 32nd minute was the earliest for time-wasting by a goalkeeper in a Premier League match for five years.

Yet this was far from a conservative performance by the visitors, Burnley producing six shots in total – half on target – and Sean Dyche can now start planning for a fourth successive season in the Premier League.

Man of the match – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Eden Hazard

Match stats – Hazard beats three-year assists haul

  • Chelsea have only lost one of their 21 Premier League matches played on a Monday at Stamford Bridge (W15 D5) – a 3-2 defeat by Manchester United on Boxing Day in 1994 under Glenn Hoddle.
  • Since their 3-2 victory against Chelsea in this fixture last season, Burnley have failed to win any of their past 11 Premier League away games versus ‘big six’ opposition (D5 L6).
  • Chelsea conceded two goals from set-pieces (excluding penalties) in a single Premier League game at Stamford Bridge for the first time since May 2011 v Newcastle.
  • Jeff Hendrick’s strike for Burnley’s opener was the 1,000th goal Chelsea have conceded in the Premier League – the ninth club to do so.
  • Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has provided 13 assists in the Premier League in 2018-19, the most in the competition this season and one more than he registered in his previous three seasons combined (12).
  • Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante has scored four goals in 34 Premier League games this season, one more than he netted in his previous three campaigns combined (three goals in 106 appearances).
  • Ashley Barnes has scored 11 Premier League goals this season, the joint-most by a Burnley player in a single campaign along with Danny Ings in 2014-15.
  • Chelsea’s Gonzalo Higuaín has scored 10 or more league goals in each of his past 11 seasons (four for Chelsea, six for AC Milan in 2018-19).

What’s next?

Chelsea will now start preparing for Sunday’s match at sixth-placed Manchester United (16:30 BST) – a game which will a long way to deciding who finishes in the top four. Burnley also have a big match on the same day – at home to title-chasing Manchester City (14:05).

Line-ups

Chelsea

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 27Christensen
  • 30David Luiz
  • 33Emerson
  • 7KantéSubstituted forKovacicat 45′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 5Jorginho
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 20Hudson-OdoiSubstituted forPedroat 41′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 9HiguaínSubstituted forGiroudat 77′minutes
  • 10E Hazard

Substitutes

  • 8Barkley
  • 11Pedro
  • 13Caballero
  • 17Kovacic
  • 18Giroud
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 24Cahill

Burnley

  • 1HeatonBooked at 32mins
  • 2Lowton
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 6Mee
  • 3Taylor
  • 13Hendrick
  • 18Westwood
  • 4Cork
  • 31McNeil
  • 10Barnes
  • 11Wood

Substitutes

  • 7Berg Gudmundsson
  • 12Brady
  • 14Gibson
  • 20Hart
  • 23Ward
  • 27Vydra
  • 28Long
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
40,642

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamBurnley
Possession
Home76%
Away24%
Shots
Home22
Away6
Shots on Target
Home9
Away3
Corners
Home10
Away1
Fouls
Home9
Away4

Live Text

Full Time

Booking

Booking

Substitution

goal

World Championship 2019: Ronnie O'Sullivan behind against James Cahill

Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 20 April-6 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is in danger of falling victim to one of the biggest shocks in Crucible history as he trails amateur James Cahill 5-4 in their World Championship first-round match.

Cahill, 23, settled immediately against the world number one to go 1-0 up.

He then trailed the five-time champion 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3, but came back on each occasion and pinched frame nine.

Cahill needs five more frames for victory when the match resumes at 10:00 BST on Tuesday.

Debutant qualifier Cahill, the first amateur to play at the Crucible, showed great resilience to stay in the match when many would have crumbled.

A confident start saw him win the opening frame with a brilliant pot on the black.

The 43-year-old 36-time ranking event winner responded, pouncing on Cahill mistakes to go 2-1 ahead with breaks of 51 and 86.

Cahill kept his composure with a fine 71 to level at the mid-session interval and the pair then exchanged frames.

O’Sullivan’s performance was becoming increasingly error-strewn and he was fortunate to fluke a snooker and steal frame seven, but Cahill once again showed his backbone, winning two tense frames for a first-session lead.

Meanwhile, four-time champion John Higgins beat Mark Davis 10-7 to progress.

Scotland’s Higgins was in impressive form to see off his fellow veteran in an intriguing match.

Analysis

Six-time world champion Steve Davis on BBC TV

It was probably the worst session of snooker Ronnie O’Sullivan has played this season.

I just think he is playing too quickly. It’s as if he wanted to get out of there. It didn’t look like he was enjoying being there.

James Cahill’s attitude has been brilliant. He has played with rhythm and confidence.

Higgins holds off Davis fightback

Last year’s runner-up Higgins fended off a spirited effort from the 46-year-old Davis to reach the second round.

Higgins, making his 25th consecutive Crucible appearance, led 6-3 overnight only for his advantage to be cut to 7-6.

But two superb tons helped him get to within one frame of the victory target and he closed out the win in frame 17.

“I was really happy with the first session and to be 6-3 in front,” said Higgins. “I felt really focused.

“But the pressure began to hit a little bit and Mark came back really strongly and I was thinking it would get away from me. I think I was lucky to win the game because Mark let me off the hook a few times.

“I was missing some unforgivable balls but I made a good break after the interval and then a good break to go 9-7 so I am pleased with that.”

Super League: St Helens 62-16 Hull FC

Kevin Naiqama has scored six tries for St Helens since joining from NRL side Wests Tigers from the start of this season

Betfred Super League
St Helens (30) 62
Tries: Lomax 2, Naiqama 4, Swift 3, Coote, Welsby Goals: Coote 8, Richardson
Hull FC (10) 16
Tries: Westerman, Tuimavave, Litten Goals: Sneyd 2

Adam Swift and Kevin Naiqama scored a hat-trick of tries each as St Helens ran in 11 tries to hammer Hull FC.

Joe Westerman and Carlos Tuimavave gave Hull the lead early on but Saints raced back through two Jonny Lomax tries.

Naiqama, Swift and Lachlan Coote also crossed before the break but Jez Litten cut the deficit for the hosts.

Swift completed his hat-trick while Naiqama scored twice more either side of Jack Welsby’s try as Saints wrapped up a stunning Easter Monday victory.

Despite their early setback through Westerman and Tuimavave’s tries, Saints soon took control of the game, with Lomax registering two tries on his 200th Saints appearance.

The win caps off a fine Easter period for Saints, who enjoyed a thumping derby win against Wigan on Friday.

Their third victory in a row in Super League ensures they maintain their four-point lead on second-placed Warrington at the top of the table with 12 games played.

Hull also won their respective local derby against city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers, but were undone by a stunning display from the league leaders.

Naiqama has now scored six tries since joining from NRL side Wests Tigers at the start of this season.

St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook:

“It was looking tough at 10-0. They started very well and we lost (Luke) Thompson and we slowly got on top, which was great.

“It’s a tough ask through Easter, especially in this heat and we’ve got through it.

“It was hard losing Thompson and it’s not looking very good for him.

“We’ll have to assess his ankle. The injuries are mounting a bit but all teams get them.”

Hull FC head coach Lee Radford told BBC Radio Humberside:

“It was a very tough afternoon. We started really well for that first 10-minute period then they kicked into another gear and unfortunately for us we didn’t go anywhere near that.

“Their middles blow holes in us all afternoon and that’s a worry.

“It’s advertised some weaknesses that we’ve got to fix up. Six blokes got rested today so those six blokes will probably come back in on Sunday.”

St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Naiqama, Grace, Richardson, Roby, Thompson, Paulo, Knowles, Swift, Lees, Coote, Batchelor.

Interchanges: Amor, Peyroux, Ashworth, Welsby.

Hull FC: Faraimo, Tuimavave, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Hadley, Minichiello, Westerman, Connor, Matongo, Manu, Scott, Naulago.

Interchanges: Fash, Green, Thompson, Litten.

Tour of the Alps: Tao Geoghegan Hart claims first victory with Chris Froome sixth

Tao Geoghegan Hart

Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart claimed the first senior win of his career at the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps, while his Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome came sixth.

Geoghegan Hart, 24, edged out Alexander Aranburu of Spain and Switzerland’s Roland Thalmann at the end of the 144km ride around Kufstein in Austria.

“I’m really happy to take my first professional win,” he said.

This was the first of five stages in the event, which finishes on 26 April.

Froome, who finished fourth in this race last year, is trying to hit top form in time for the start of his bid for a fifth Tour de France title on July 6 in Brussels.

The 33-year-old had raced only twice previously this season, finishing 91st and 94th at the Tour of Colombia and Tour of Catalonia respectively and withdrew from February’s UAE Tour.

This will be the final stage race for Team Sky with their current sponsor. Ineos, a chemicals firm owned by Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, takes over on 1 May.

Tour of the Alps – stage one result

1. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB/Team Sky) 3hrs 30mins 48secs

2. Alexander Aranburu (Spa/Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) same time

3. Roland Thalmann (Swi/Team Vorarlberg Santic)

4. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Astana)

5. Nikita Stalnov (Kaz/Astana)

6. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)

7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus/Gazprom-Rusvelo)

8. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe)

9. Giovanni Carboni (Ita/Bardiani CSF)