Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Chelsea's squad crisis is already threatening to derail title defence

Chelsea's squad crisis is already threatening to derail title defence

Last Sunday, Chelsea played their first official match of the new season in the domestic arena.

Burnley's win, the club's first at Chelsea since 1971, was one of the few surprising results in the opening day of the English Premier League (EPL).

"We must pay attention and try to keep our heads the rest of the game".

"I don't want to comment on the referee, absolutely not".

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My aim is to be involved in a genuine title race-one that lasts until the last few weeks of the season and not until January.

Alvaro Morata has said he is aware of the pressure that comes with being Chelsea's record signing but the Spanish striker insists it will only serve to motivate him even further to succeed. In the next game I don't know if Pedro is able to recover from his injury, but for sure we will have two players out for a ban, Cahill and Fabregas.

Chelsea's hopes of a fightback were hit when Cesc Fabregas received a second yellow card, although David Luiz extended the hope with a late goal from Morata's flick.

But instead of replacing a defensive player for Morata, Conte made it a straight-swap for striker Michy Batshuayi.

Ward doubled the visitors' advantage in the 39th minute with a blistering left-foot strike from Jack Cork's lofted pass and Vokes added a third before half-time, heading in Defour's cross.

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But it wasn't enough as the Premier League champions suffered a surprise defeat at Stamford Bridge. We must have the right experience to face this situation.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp protested that Watford's stoppage-time equaliser by Manuel Britos in an entertaining 3-3 draw should have been disallowed for offside.

And memories of Mourinho's infamous title defence in 2015 came flooding back at Stamford Bridge today when Conte's men were reduced to 10-men and went 1-0 down to the Clarets.

But they were ahead after 23 minutes when Palace failed to deal with an Aaron Mooy corner and the ball deflected in off Joel Ward - and with Palace rocking Mooy crossed again and Steve Mounie headed home.

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Wayne Rooney crowned his first appearance for formative club Everton since 2004 by notching the victor in a 1-0 win over Stoke City, heading in Dominic Calvert-Lewin's cross for his 199th Premier League goal.

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