Burnley 0 Chelsea 3: Ziyech scores on full Premier League debut as Blues power past shot-shy Burnley
FRANK LAMPARD hasn’t dumped that much of a burden on Hakim Ziyech after all then.
He believes that the £37M attacker can become the Stamford Bridge successor to Eden Hazard.
Quite a load to carry, you would have thought, given that the Belgian playmaker headed off to Real Madrid last year as a Chelsea icon in a move that cost up £137M in add-ons.
That’s £100M more than Ziyech cost this summer from Ajax.
Yet the Dutch Moroccan produced his second goal in two games to suggest he’s not that fussed by his manager’s glowing estimation of his talents.
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The opener against a Clarets team that has completely lost its colour this season wasn’t a wonder goal, hardly Hazardesque.
And England goalkeeper Nick Pope went down for the shot like a sack of spuds.
Yet the strike on his first Prem start perfectly underlined the 'inner confidence' that Lampard suggests can make him so important to his side.
Ziyech also scored on his first Champions League start for the Blues in the midweek 4-0 mauling of Krasnodar.
Lampard says he loves him. The winger – cum No10 is loving him back – and life in English football having overcome the series of injury set-backs that delayed a proper entrance.
The Bridge boss also says he needs players who believe they can live up to his challenge of bringing he title back to West London for the first time since 2017.
Which could be construed as a back – handed insult to Kai Havertz.
Chelsea spent £224M this summer on a hugely expensive re-boot an Kai Havertz, at £72M the most expensive of the new arrivals, has struggled display anything like the self-belief of Ziyech.
Nowhere to be seen at Turf Moor yesterday was goalkeeper Kepa, who cost £71,600,000 two years ago but played like he thought he needed to be hands – free.
When Christian Pulisic injured himself in the warm – up, Timo Werner was named as his replacement and 19 year old Karlo Ziger was added to the bench as back – up ‘keeper alongside Willy Caballero.
That makes Kepa fourth choice and is an indication of how brutal life can be for any Chelsea star who does not live up to his demands.
Edouard Mendy appears to be doing that as the new No 1 but the jury is still out on Havertz – who was far more lauded than Ziyech when he got in from Bayer Leverkusen.
But the German may also be pleased to see the new Hazard.
The German had Ziyech on the right of him and the pair are clearly developing an understanding of playing together.
Havertz looked far happier, far more relaxed and games like this one, against a side that has lost its identity and doesn’t know where to find it, would help any stressed – out Chelsea star to chill out.
Ziyech, 26, struck in the 26th minute and there was no surprise that Chelsea took the lead.
Ashley Barnes did make a mess of a far earlier opportunity, running onto Matt Lowton’s route one delivery but lifting over Mendy when he should have tucked away low.
But that was the last touch any Burnley player had in the opposition box before Werner cut the ball back for Tammy Abraham to find Ziyech lurking 20 yards out.
Pope should have read the low shot but looks to be suffering from the same crisis of confidence that has gripped all of Sean Dyche’s team.
Game over was signalled in the 63rd minute as Kurt Zouma scored with the kind of goal that will have left Dyche livid.
The DNA of the Clarets is to win headers in both box but the centre back was left free as a big bird to soar onto Mason Mount’s corner and bullet the ball past Pope.
Timo Werner, another who Lampard will believe has the belief to be a star, made it three soon after.
The £45m striker’s fifth goal since his summer purchase from RB Leipzig was a parting gift from Ziyech who was about to be subbed.
He picked up a pass from Reece James and threaded through for the striker who despatched in style.
Meanwhile it is now 299 minutes plus stoppage time since Ashley Westwood became the last Clarets player to hit the net – and that was in a 3 – 1 defeat to Newcastle United.
With just one point and only three goals in six games Dyche and his club are in freefal.
The Burnley manager started the game one day into his ninth year in charge at Turf Moor and it is beginning to look like a horriblis one for him.
He was without a clutch of his most important players for this Chelsea stroill including centre-back Ben Mee and Jack Cork, who ignites the side’s midfield spark.
But there was not even a splutter of life far less a spark once Barnes lobbed that chance over.
A £200m takeover from Egyptian businessman Mohamed El Kashashy and sports lawyer Chris Farnell is on the cards.
If they come armed with bundles of cash for the January transfer window then Dyche, badly denied transfer funds, might still be able to buy his team out of trouble.
If not then Burnley will lose their place in the Prem – having already appeared to have the lost the heart to stay there.
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