Four takeaways from Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Burnley – Palmer shines again but lack of experience costs Blues victory

Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw by 10-man Burnley on Saturday as their inconsistent season continued.

Here are Dan Evans’ takeaways from Stamford Bridge.


Despite showing flashes of his quality in brief cameos for Manchester City, few could have expected Cole Palmer to have this significant an impact during his debut season at Stamford Bridge.

The England international registered his 20th and 21st goal contributions of the league season with a brace against Burnley – becoming the youngest player to register 20 goal contributions in one season in Premier League history.

And Palmer’s confidence shone through in the way he took both of his goals against the Clarets.

The first was an audacious Panenka penalty after Mykhaylo Mudryk had been brought down by Lorenz Assignon, and despite the nature of the attempt, there was never any doubt that it would find the net.

Palmer’s second goal was a well-taken side foot finish after a Raheem Sterling flick had fallen into his path, similarly, the unerring way in which he found the bottom corner left Arijneet Muric with no chance of saving.

The numbers are impressive, but it is the creative midfielder’s influence on Chelsea’s all-round game that stands out when you watch him.

He registered five key passes, created two big chances, and, at times, looked like he was going to drag Chelsea to victory single-handedly.

Mauricio Pochettino has plenty to be concerned about at the moment but Palmer’s ability to impact games is unquestionable.


There were few other positives on the day for Chelsea, and the way in which they reacted on both occasions that they took the lead were indicative of how intent this young team often seems to spoil their own party.

After Palmer’s opener, Conor Gallagher managed to earn a yellow card for a mistimed challenge on Charlie Taylor within two minutes.

From the free-kick that followed, Benoit Badiashile committed another needless foul, this time on Lyle Foster, allowing Burnley to put a ball into the box that Maxime Esteve headed just wide of the target.

The half-time whistle managed to spare Chelsea any immediate disappointment, although Josh Cullen did equalise just two minutes after the break.

It was a similar story after the second goal. Having just scored what looked set to be the winner, Palmer clipped Cullen on the edge of his own penalty area.

Chelsea just about cleared the initial free-kick but allowed Dara O’Shea a free header from the corner that followed, and it ultimately denied them victory.

The way in which they chased a third goal was also frenetic, with Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez actually coming closest to winning the game as he hit the crossbar with a header.

Perhaps Chelsea require more experience on the pitch to help them through such situations, but Pochettino needs his current crop of players to start maturing if they are going to make anything of this current season.


One of the most mystifying aspects of this confusing Chelsea season has been the inability to forge a workable midfield partnership between Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo.

Both were signed for British record transfer fees and arrived to great acclaim as Chelsea saw off rivals at home and abroad to bring them in.

The pair are both young and have plenty of time to prove they are worth the significant investment that has been made in them.

They were also both involved in friendly matches in the United States over the international break which can perhaps explain their struggles against Burnley.

There have been times when either Fernandez or Caicedo has briefly performed well and started to look capable of carrying Chelsea through this turbulent period in the club’s modern history, yet very few occasions when they have looked a good partnership.

Caicedo is seemingly in the team to break up opposition attacks and guard the inexperienced backline behind him, with Fernandez tasked with being the team’s playmaker, dominating games with his passing.

However, against Burnley Caicedo managed just one interception and did not register a tackle as the visitors found it all too easy to play through Chelsea, particularly before they were reduced to 10 men.

Fernandez toiled against Burnley’s deep-lying defence following the red card. He had more touches than any other player on the pitch and was largely tidy with the ball. But he registered just two key passes, which was less than Burnley midfielder Cullen.

Quite how Pochettino builds a relationship between the two players is not immediately clear, but focusing on getting both to play better individually would surely be a good place to start.


Mykhaylo Murdyk’s recent performances off the bench and in the FA Cup have understandably left Chelsea supporters keen to see him from the start in more Premier League games.

The Ukrainian international has started just 16 league matches since his big money move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January 2023, and is yet to really make his mark in England.

A spectacular goal scored after coming on against Newcastle United, combined with good showings in the cup against Leeds United and Leicester City, encouraged Pochettino to hand him a start for the Burnley game.

But, like many of Chelsea’s current players, it is hard to tell if Mudryk is truly making much progress beyond being a player who excites in moments but struggles to impact a game regularly.

Having passed up a great chance to give his side the lead, a burst of pace from the 23-year-old won Chelsea a penalty and got Assignon sent off.

This was surely a chance for Mudryk to cause havoc for the rest of the game, but the 10 men dropping deep largely nullified him.

It is hard to know if Pochettino will stick with him for Thursday’s game against Manchester United.

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