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Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Morocco winger Ziyech stars as Chelsea sweep aside Burnley

Morocco winger made a dream Premier League debut as he scored and provided an assist for Chelsea against Burnley

AFP , Saturday 31 Oct 2020
Hakim Ziyech
Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, right, celebrates after he scored his side's opening goal during an English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Chelsea at the Turf Moor stadium in Burnley, England, Saturday Oct. 31, 2020. Photo: AP
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Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech scored his first Premier League goal on his maiden English top-flight start as Chelsea powered to a 3-0 win at Burnley on Saturday.

Frank Lampard's side dominated from start to finish thanks to an influential display from Morocco playmaker Ziyech.

Ziyech scored his first Chelsea goal in their midweek Champions League rout of Krasnodar and a cool finish in the first half at Turf Moor got him off the mark in the Premier League as well.

The 27-year-old, who joined from Ajax in the close-season, is the first player to score in his first two starts for Chelsea in all competitions since Diego Costa in 2014.

Kurt Zouma doubled the lead after half-time and Ziyech teed up Timo Werner to seal Chelsea's first win in three Premier League games as they climbed to fourth place.

After the tiring trip to Russia, this was a confident performance from the Blues, with new boys Ziyech, Werner and Kai Havertz showing they would not be intimidated by a chilly, wind-swept afternoon against physical opponents.

Well marshalled by Thiago Silva, Chelsea kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions, banishing the defensive woes that haunted them earlier this term.

It is the first time Chelsea have kept successive league clean sheets since Lampard took charge last year and they are now unbeaten in six games in all competitions.

Winless Burnley sit bottom of the table after losing five of their opening six top-flight matches for the first time since 1927-28.

Chasing shadows

There was a late change to Lampard's starting line-up after Christian Pulisic was injured in the pre-match warm-up, with Werner moving from the substitutes' bench into the team.

Chelsea were nearly caught cold when Ashley Barnes got behind Zouma to reach Josh Brownhill's long pass, but the Burnley striker couldn't keep his composure as Edouard Mendy rushed off his line to force him into a wayward shot.

Quickly recovering from that early escape, Chelsea appealed in vain for a penalty after Ben Chilwell appeared to be pushed in the back by Brownhill as he tried to reach Reece James' cross.

Tammy Abraham's looping header was tipped over by Burnley keeper Nick Pope.

Lampard's team were well on top and the goal their pressure deserved arrived in the 26th minute.

Werner took Ziyech's pass and played it back into the Burnley area for Abraham.

A deft layoff from Abraham teed up Ziyech and he drilled his low shot past the wrong-footed Pope from 18 yards.

Werner almost made it two just before the break, with a last-ditch block from Kevin Long taking the sting out of the Chelsea forward's close-range effort.

Mason Mount fired straight at Pope after a flowing Chelsea move early in the second half.

Burnley were chasing shadows for long periods, but they almost equalised against the run of play when Barnes shot just wide from long range.

Zouma put the result beyond doubt in the 63rd minute, the French defender meeting Mount's corner with a thumping header for his third goal of the season.

Werner got Chelsea's third in the 70th minute with a clinical finish from Ziyech's pass for his fifth goal of an impressive start following his close-season move from RB Leipzig.

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