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Chelsea Captain Gary Cahill Sent Off Early, Blues Fall Behind

Chelsea Captain Gary Cahill Sent Off Early, Blues Fall Behind

Burnley were 3-0 up before half-time, Vokes scoring either side of Stephen Ward's goal, and although Chelsea threatened to claim a share of the spoils, the visitors held on to all three points.

The Clarets made their numerical advantage count 10 minutes later as Vokes fired in his first of the afternoon from a Matt Lowton delivery. Alvaro Morata, on as a second-half substitute, reduced the deficit in his first league start since a club-record move from Real Madrid for £58 million (NZ$103 million).

Fabregas then saw red for a second booking - but David Luiz pulled another one back to set up a frenetic finish in which Burnley's Robbie Brady hit the post and Morata failed to touch home late on.

Cahill was sent off for a high tackle leaving Chelsea down to ten men against Burnley on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Antonio Conte was without Eden Hazard, Pedro Rodriguez and Victor Moses for the encuonter.

Chelsea very almost completed a dramatic comeback in the second half, with goals from substitute Alvaro Morata and David Luiz, but a red card for Cesc Fabregas meant that their attempt to recover was carried out with nine men, and Burnley were resolute enough to secure the win.

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The injury luck that afforded him the most settled XI in the division last season abandoned the Blues weeks ago and their lack of squad depth was achingly apparent against Burnley.

Aaron Mooy, who Huddersfield tied down to a permanent transfer following his terrific loan spell with the Terriers, was involved in both of his side's first-half goals.

Chelsea, which won 17 of its 19 home games last season, became the second straight team to begin its league title defence with a loss, after Leicester last season.

Chelsea are the league's best team when it comes to opening the season.

"Before that, we'd kept a good shape and I don't think they opened us up or made too many chances".

"We did everything to win the game but we couldn't", said Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrini, who replaced Claude Puel in the offseason. Vokes had a goal disallowed shortly after - but it was an omen for Chelsea.