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When the half time whistle blew with ten men Burnley leaving the field a goal behind to Chelsea, I envisaged a match report title something like ‘Cheated at Chelsea’ but a second half full of everything we would wish from our team won us a point in a 2-2 draw and changed my thinking.

We were behind at half time both in terms of the score and the numbers of players on the pitch because of nothing short of dreadful refereeing but we were bursting with pride as we watched us win the second half and bring home a point that was the least we deserved on a day when both Josh Cullen and Dara O’Shea scored their second league goals for the Clarets.

It was virtually a trouble free journey down, the only concern coming when I realised I’d left home without something important and had to rush back to collect it, eventually catching the X43 to Prestwich in the nick of time from where we travelled down by car to Hillingdon, completing the journey on London Underground. The big decision on leaving the car was whether the coats, very much a requirement on departure, would be required. Thankfully, they were left in the car with shirt sleeves weather during the game.

We were close to Stamford Bridge when we learned that Vincent Kompany had made two changes to the team that had beaten Brentford prior to the international break. Fit again Lyle Foster returned in the one forced change for David Datro Fofana who wasn’t eligible to play against his parent club. The other change was a surprise with Zeki Amdouni coming in for Charlie Taylor which meant the left-back berth for Vitinho.

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Recently, I spotted that there was only one non-Kompany in a Burnley line-up. This time they were all Kompany signings and it was noted too that not one of the players qualified to play for England with London born Cullen an Irish international.

There were a couple of scares early in the game. Cole Palmer shot wide in Chelsea’s first attack and soon after that Arijanet Muric tipped an Enzo Fernández effort onto the woodwork. If we feared that would lead to Chelsea dominating things, we were very much wrong. We more than played out part and Chelsea keeper Dordje Petrovic was forced into an even better save to deny Wilson Odobert.

Muric saved well from Jackson in what was another really good performance from our returning goalkeeper. He had one rush of blood in the first half when he charged out to the right. That could have cost us, but other than that I doubt you could find a mistake in his performance.

Just after the save from Odobert, referee Darren England produced his yellow card for the first time in the game. He showed it to Lorenz Assignon for a supposed foul on Mykhailo Mudryk. To say it was soft is an understatement and it was even more puzzling given that neither Conor Gallagher, at least twice, nor Palmer hadn’t previously seen yellows for clear and obvious yellow card offences.

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With around twenty minutes gone, Axel Disasi scored for Chelsea. For once, the long VAR wait went in our favour for what was a handball by the Chelsea players. Despite the referee not giving it, we did eventually reach the correct decision.

We didn’t five minutes from half time unfortunately. Mudryk went down again alongside Assignon. Maybe that’s why Chelsea paid all that money for him, his ability to fall, because he certainly appears to have very few other qualities.

Referee England fell too, he fell for Mudryk going down and astonishingly awarded a penalty before showing Assignon a second yellow card. Our vantage point was a good one and the Burnley fans were bemused and angry at the decision. You just knew John Brooks would back up his mate, a penalty it was and Assignon had to go. It wasn’t over. Kompany had his own rant and that was the end of him from the touchline with England showing him red. I know he should be able to control himself in a better way than he did but it is really difficult when you see what he and I had seen. I can assure you; I’d have got a red too had England heard me.

Palmer scored from the spot and we quickly got Taylor on for Zeki Amdouni but went in at half time behind. We didn’t deserve to be behind. We’d played well and it was all down to that one downright shocking decision.

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“Cheated at Chelsea” but could my title change during the second half? Josh Brownhill came on for Jacob Bruun Larsen and he had an immediate impact. We worked the ball out to Vitinho on the right and he played it inside for Cullen. The midfielder played a one-two with Brownhill before firing in a superb shot.

We were level and, although Chelsea had a lot of the play, it might have even got better when Foster headed for goal only to force Petrovic into a top save. It was end to end for long periods of the second half. Admittedly, this Chelsea team is nothing like as good as others we’ve come up against at Stamford Bridge, but they are still a decent team and they still had one more player on the pitch, including Gallagher who might have picked up a collection of yellow cards given his antics all afternoon; he did finally get one right on half time.

I’d just about started to believe we might get a point but then Raheem Sterling, who had not long been on as a substitute, set up Palmer for his second which he took so well with a shot into the corner. There were only just over twelve minutes plus stoppage time to go, it was gutting to conceded what I thought was going to be the winner so late in the game.

Just over nine years ago we won a point at Chelsea which so upset their then manager Jose Mourinho who went into a rant. “I prefer to say that this game had four crucial moments, minutes 30, 33, 43 and 69,” he said. But I preferred to say the crucial moment came in minute 81 when Ben Mee headed home our equaliser.

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That day he headed home a corner from the left, placing his header back past the goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Yesterday, it was Dara O’Shea from virtually the same spot on the pitch at the same Shed End who headed home, the one difference being it came from a right-wing corner. And yes, it was in minute 81.

So excited was I when it went in, I even got onto BBC’s Match of the Day as the camera zoomed in on the Burnley fans, but there was still work to do. I suppose a fifth goal of the game was probably more likely at the far end than ours but it’s fair to say we both had one big chance. Chelsea’s was the easiest but Sterling’s header missed the target. From another corner on the right, taken by Cullen as was the one for the goal, Jay Rodriguez, who had come on with Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, almost crowned his excellent show with a header that cannoned back off the bar with him having an almost impossible chance with a shot from the rebound.

Oh, if only that had gone in, but it didn’t and when England blew his final whistle it signalled the very best of earned points. We know it’s been a difficult season and we know our Premier League future is hanging by a very thin thread, but that was all forgotten as the celebrations got underway with the players right in front of us. It’s Ole to O’Shea now and he was one of a number of players to turn in an outstanding performance and he and his defensive partner Maxime Estève so rightly embraced at the end.

Eventually we were back outside on the walk back to Earl’s Court to get back to Hillingdon and on to our stop at Burnham Beeches for the second time this season for some good food and drink before the drive home and finally the bus that left Manchester at midnight. It dropped me off close to home at 12:57 and I walked into the house at 2:01 with the clocks having gone forward.

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We’d had a good day out and this one hadn’t been ruined by the two hours in the afternoon; this had been as good an away performance as I’ve seen from Burnley in the Premier League for some time.

The teams were;

Chelsea: Djordje Petrovic, Malo Gusto (Alfie Gilchrist 87), Axel Disasi, Benoît Badiashile, Marc Cucurella, Moises Caicedo (Raheem Sterling 73), Enzo Fernández, Cole Palmer, Conor Gallagher (Noni Madueke 62), Mykhailo Mudryk, Nicolas Jackson. Subs not used: Marcus Bettinelli, Thiago Silva, Cesare Casadei, Deivid Washington, Jimi Tauriainen, Josh Archeampong.
Yellow Cards: Marc Cucurella, Conor Gallagher.

Burnley: Arijanet Muric, Lorenz Assignon, Dara O’Shea, Maxime Estève, Vitinho, Jacob Bruun Larsen (Josh Brownhill ht), Sander Berge, Josh Cullen, Wilson Odobert (Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson 70), Zeki Amdouni (Charlie Taylor 45), Lyle Foster (Jay Rodriguez 69). Subs not used: James Trafford, Hjalmar Ekdal, Jack Cork, Miké Tresor, Manuel Benson.
Yellow Cards: Lorenz Assignon, Josh Cullen, Maxime Estève.
Red Card: Lorenz Assignon.

Referee: Darren England (Doncaster).

Attendance: 39,535.

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