Sarri’s Chelsea frustrated by Burnley, denting UEFA Champions League hopes

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Xinhua/Tim Ireland

LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea suffered a setback in their push for a Champions League spot when they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Burnley in the Premier League on Monday.

Jeff Hendrick gave Burnley an early lead before goals from N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain put the home side ahead by the 14th minute. However, the Londoners failed to hold on to the lead as Ashley Barnes drew the visitors level 10 minutes later.

After Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal all lost at the weekend, Chelsea had an opportunity to tighten their grip on the Premier League’s top four places.

But it was Burnley – seeking to avoid being sucked back into the relegation fight – who struck first when Hendrick volleyed home in the eighth minute after a headed clearance found him in space on the edge of the penalty area.

Chelsea hit back with two goals in two minutes. First, winger Eden Hazard bamboozled Burnley’s defence before cutting the ball back for Kante to sweep home. Then Higuain blasted a shot in off the underside of the crossbar in the 14th minute.

Ten minutes later, Burnley were level again when Barnes evaded his marker at the back post to connect with a headed flick-on from Chris Wood.

After the end-to-end drama of the first 45 minutes, Chelsea dominated possession in the second half but failed to break down Burnley’s defence.

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi confirmed that his season is over after he ruptured his Achilles’ tendon.He was helped off the pitch shortly before halftime and said on social media that he would play no further part in Chelsea’s campaign.

The draw pushed Chelsea up a place into fourth spot in the Premier League, level on points with third-placed Spurs and one point ahead of Arsenal, both of whom have a played a game less. Burnley remained 15th.

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