Premiership Rugby Highlights - Round 3Sep 26
Matej Vydra punishes wasteful Chelsea as Burnley hold Premier League leaders
Vydra’s late goal cancelled out Kai Havertz’s first-half opener.
Matej Vydra pounced to stun sloppy Chelsea and scramble Burnley a 1-1 Premier League draw at Stamford Bridge.
Czech Republic forward Vydra climbed off the bench to convert the Clarets’ only chance, cancelling out Kai Havertz’s 33rd-minute effort that had seemingly put the league leaders on course for a fifth-straight top-flight win.
The hosts hogged total control for 75 minutes, only for a short lapse in concentration and intensity to cost them two points.
Thomas Tuchel’s men will still see out the weekend top of the Premier League pile, but Liverpool will have the chance to cut the lead to one point with victory at West Ham on Sunday.
Havertz had earlier leapt straight out of the Stamford Bridge stands to head Chelsea in front.
No sooner had Havertz been bundled into the crowd by Matt Lowton than the Germany forward tiptoed free in the box to convert Reece James’ cross.
It was Havertz’s second league goal of the season while James delivered his third assist of the campaign, to add to his four goals, amid another hugely impressive performance.
But what for so long looked like another menacing, imperious march from Tuchel’s well-drilled side ended in a galling draw after Vydra’s 79th-minute leveller.
The hosts offered no early quarter, tearing into Burnley without delay from the start.
Callum Hudson-Odoi saw a low drive parried by Nick Pope and could only blaze the rebound wide.
James had a shot blocked, then Andreas Christensen headed wide from one corner and Antonio Rudiger over the bar from another.
Burnley could hardly cope with that opening nine-minute onslaught, but somehow held out without conceding beyond the half-hour.
Ross Barkley whipped just wide from 20 yards, Rudiger thumped another header over the bar, and James’ teasing cross somehow deflected to safety.
Havertz had hardly dusted himself down from his enforced foray into the crowd when the best chance of the half was delivered on a platter for him.
James’ inch-perfect cross begged to be buried, and the German delivered in typically unfazed style.
Chelsea sustained control after the break, with Thiago Silva heading against the outside of a post and Havertz flicking over from Hudson-Odoi’s cross.
Hudson-Odoi then saw a rasping effort deflected to safety off the line by both Pope and Lowton as Chelsea pressed time and again to improve their lead.
Barkley had a fine chance to toast his first Premier League start of the season with his last act before being replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, only to blaze high over the bar.
Chelsea lost momentum before the job was complete however, and Burnley pounced clinically.
Vydra bundled home a ball headed back across the box, to level the clash at 1-1 with little more than 10 minutes to play.
Tuchel sent on Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic in a bid for a late winner, but to no avail.