Antonio Conte’s mood goes from bad to worse after Chelsea’s opening day defeat to Burnley


Antonio Conte's men slumped to an opening day 3-2 defeat at the hands of BurnleyGETTY

Antonio Conte’s men slumped to an opening day 3-2 defeat at the hands of Burnley

That was nothing compared to his mood not just AFTER the match, or even at half-time.

The Chelsea boss knew, after a far from smooth summer for the champions, that the new campaign was not going to start well when skipper Gary Cahill was sent off in only the 14th minute.

That set up a Burnley-bonus day – and how they made the most of it against nine-man Chelsea with a ruthless and professional performance.

Chelsea also had Cesc Fabregas red carded on a nightmare start to the season.

Burnley capitalised with the inspirational Sam Vokes scoring twice and left-back Stephen Ward hitting the target with a cracker.

Chelsea fought bravely in the second half, with goals from substitute Alvaro Morata and David Luiz.

But that was not enough to prevent Chelsea losing on the opening day of the season for the first time for 19 years.

Conte made his first statement of the day before the kick-off – with his squad for the opening match of the season.

The Chelsea boss has made it clear he is unhappy with the depth of his squad.

And he went into the big kick-off with little-known Jeremie Boga, 20, making his debut and Kenedy, sent home in disgrace from the pre-season tour after his comments in China, on the bench.

Cesc Fabregas was sent off in Chelsea's 3-2 defeat to BurnleyGETTY

Cesc Fabregas was sent off in Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat to Burnley

The mainly-young substitutes’ bench was a further indication of the lack of senior players available to Conte, although it included at the start £70million Morata, who was there because of his lack of match fitness.

So Chelsea started with only six members of the regular title-winning line-up and were soon even more depleted.

The Chelsea bench were already upset at an early booking for Marcos Alonso when captain Cahill was sent off in the 14th minute after lunging into Steven Defour.

It was clearly a foul – but a red card looked harsh.

Chelsea were forced to reorganise and Boga was withdrawn after only 18 minutes of his debut and replaced by central defender Andreas Christensen.

That was a minute after Fabregas was the next Chelsea player in trouble, booked for sarcastically applauding referee Craig Pawson.

And it got worse for the champions when Burnley took the lead in the 24th minute.

Vokes had already had a headed goal disallowed for offside when he swept home a cross from the right by Matt Lowton.

Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois got the slightest of touches to the ball but could not keep it out.

And he was beaten again by a thunderous Ward strike five minutes before half-time after the full-back had moved onto a fine pass by Jack Cork.

Rampant Burnley then surged into a three-goal lead three minutes later as Vokes powerfully headed home from Defour’s cross to stun Stamford Bridge.

But in contrast, Burnley’s fans were happily singing: “We are top of the league!”

Clarets keeper Tom Heaton was not tested until the 48th minute, when he tipped over Alonso’s long-range drive.

Alonso, Chelsea’s best player on the day, also had a superb free-kick turned over by Heaton.

Morata finally came on in the 58th minute and gave the Blues brief hope 11 minutes later when he pulled back a goal with a fine diving header from William’s excellent cross.

Chelsea thought they had scored again when Morata touched in what looked to be a goal-bound Christensen shot – but the Spain striker was offside.

But after an improved performance in the second half, their hopes appeared to be finally extinguished when Fabregas was sent off nine minutes from time for his second bookable offence – a foul on Jack Cork, who had a fine debut for Burnley after his £10m move from Swansea.

Incredibly, though, Chelsea scored again two minutes from time when Luiz fired home from Morata’s flick-on.

And there was still time in an incredible match for Robbie Brady to hit the post for Burnley from a free-kick.

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