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Chelsea Captain Gary Cahill Sent Off Early, Blues Fall Behind

12 August 2017

Having gone down to 10 men following Gary Cahill's red card after 15 minutes, Sam Vokes gave the away side a surprise lead, before Irish defender Stephen Ward doubled his side's advantage with a stunning half-volley from the edge of the box. 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).

Any hopes of an unlikely comeback looked to have disappeared when midfielder Cesc Fabregas was red-carded in the 81st after receiving his second booking.

It is only one game, yet the parallels with Chelsea's last defence of a Premier League title two seasons ago under Jose Mourinho were uncanny.

Asked whether he sensed the champions were vulnerable without Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Pedro and Tiemoue Bakayoko, he added: "I don't think so".

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And Conte says he isn't anxious about his squad depth. Little contact was made, but intent was enough for a sending off.

Spanish global Alvaro Morata came from the bench to score the first goal for the Blues in the 69th minutes before David Luiz netted at the death as the match ended 3-2 in favor of Burnley.

"First half better, second half not as well, but they're a good side - their physicality, they're a strong side, they press high, fast, and it can put you off kilter".

Kick-off is just under a half hour from now.

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Burnley went for the fourth goal but the post kept out a 90th minute freekick as the defending champions sought an equaliser.

Nevertheless, Burnley managed to see out the closing stages to claim a famous victory at Stamford Bridge. Vokes had a goal disallowed shortly after - but it was an omen for Chelsea.

"A lot was made of our away form last season", Vokes said.

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