Britain Football Soccer – Burnley v Chelsea – Premier League – Turf Moor – 26/8/17 Chelsea’s Eden Hazard in action with Burnley’s James Tarkowski Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic
(Reuters) – Chelsea conceded a last-minute equaliser as a late equaliser left them to settle for a 3-3 draw away to Burnley in their Premier League opener on Sunday.
Reuters reported last week that the Premier League will only sanction Chelsea’s fixture against Burnley due to the political climate in the UK regarding the rights of European Union citizens.
The game was delayed, and Chelsea then denied claims that they would only let down a set of fans at the decision to pull the match out of west London.
Burnley received 2,000 fans while a few hundred fans sat near the pitch at Turf Moor, expressing their frustrations to the game as it was being played without them.
Having played Sunday’s game behind closed doors, the Premier League did not give a ruling, although chairman Greg Clarke said Burnley had issued a formal request for the game to be postponed for political reasons.
Sunday’s game took place at Turf Moor as a result of the uncertainty caused by the situation involving thousands of EU citizens.
Chelsea came back from a 1-0 deficit to grab a 2-1 lead with goals by substitute Alvaro Morata and Willian but Jack Cork’s penalty, after a challenge by Marcos Alonso, gifted Burnley a place in the end.
“You are disappointed, you are frustrated, you want to play,” Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri told Sky Sports.
“But there is no response because we play in England and the country has a different system. We cannot do something with football, we cannot do anything in England.”
Cesc Fabregas, who started in midfield following his transfer move to Stamford Bridge, was also disappointed.
“The first-half was fantastic for us and the second half we struggled, but we have to stay positive,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s always difficult, never easy (at Burnley). It was one of the best away games in my time at Chelsea.
“We are disappointed we could not win the game, but the first game you can’t say you are better than the other. We know what we have to do to improve and start winning matches.”
Chelsea next travel to Southampton for the second game of the season on Saturday.