Chelsea vs Burnley match report: Ben Mee earns Clarets shock draw at league leading Blues after Nemanja Matic was sent off

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The Independent Football

In the end, Burnley took Chelsea’s “game for equality” rather literally, although Jose Mourinho was again left furious over perceived unfair treatment of his side as they slipped to a shock draw following Nemanja Matic’s red card and a series of penalty calls.

The Serbia midfielder will receive a three-game and miss next Sunday’s League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur following his dismissal for a furious reaction to Ashley Barnes’ 69th-minute challenge. Thereafter, Burnley pressed on and claimed an equaliser to Branislav Ivanovic’s opener through Ben Mee’s late header.

The frustration was all the greater for the league leaders because they had seemed in such control during a match in which little was happening beyond the penalty calls. That was reflected in Mourinho’s comments, even if they were intended to describe the drab nature of the game.

“This game had four crucial moments,” he said. “Minute 30, minute 33, minute 43 and minute 69. This is the story of the game.”

Mourinho was referring to, in order, a shove by Barnes, a handball in the box by Michael Kightly, a push from Michael Keane on Diego Costa in the area and the Matic red card, which proved pivotal.

The Chelsea midfielder had challenged Barnes, only for the Burnley player to leave his studs up. Matic was caught and immediately jumped to his feet before shoving Barnes.

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Branislav Ivanovic headed Chelsea into an early lead after good work from Eden Hazard

Burnley manager Sean Dyche called it a “coming together”, although he admitted he’d still seen the incident only once. Mourinho had far stronger words about the incident as well as Barnes and referee Martin Atkinson.

“Minute 69 has a big relation with minute 30 because normally the player, if I can call him a player, was involved in minute 30 and minute 31 should be in the shower.

“No minute 69 if the man in charge does his job in minute 30.”

When asked if Chelsea would appeal against Matic’s dismissal, Mourinho responded sarcastically.

“Have you ever seen Chelsea win an appeal? I don’t remember.”

He also stated he couldn’t remember “a run like this” when asked about a series of perceived incorrect calls going against Chelsea.

Dyche responded with laughter when asked about the 30th-minute incident Barnes was involved in.

“Involved in what, playing football?” Have they anything else [to complain about]? Is the grass too short?

“C’est la vie,” the Burnley manager quipped. “Over a season, we all know, we hope, it brings balance.”

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Nemanja Matic is sent-off

“There was more to the game than that. I thought we were excellent. I felt we deserved a point.”

There could be no disputing Burnley’s grit and bravery, even if Mourinho did have justifiable complaints against the decisions that went against his team.

The league leaders should still have put the game out of sight and this was a poor two points dropped, especially since they started well.

Chelsea were ahead after 14 minutes, with Juan Cuadrado heavily involved on what was a productive first start. He fed Eden Hazard, who danced through the Burnley defence to set up Ivanovic for what seemed yet another key goal.

He stabbed it past Tom Heaton, and Chelsea proceeded to control the game. Mourinho would say they would have been out of sight had it not been for the Kightly and Keane decisions, but Cuadrado could have added a second in the second half, only for Mee to divert the ball away.

At that point, it didn’t seem like it would be costly. Then, as a result of one challenge, chaos ensued.

If Atkinson can be criticised for the decision, however, Burnley must be praised for taking full advantage. They quickly went for Chelsea.

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Benn Mee powered home a late header to give Burnley a shock point

On 81 minutes, they had their reward as Mee got above the home back line to head past Thibaut Courtois.

“We want to attack the game,” Dyche said. “Whatever happens in a season, you don’t want to regret anything. We’ve had a go in every game bar Arsenal away but it doesn’t suit us.”

They could have won it as Danny Ings blazed over a late chance.

“Let’s not get greedy,” Dyche laughed, in reference to that. Mourinho was not smiling, as he felt his side deserved to get a lot more.

Chelsea: (4-2-3-1) Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Filipe Luis (Drogba, 86); Matic, Fabregas; Cuadrado (Willian, 63), Oscar (Ramires, 72), Hazard; Costas.

Burnley: (4-5-1) Heateon; Trippier, Keane Shackell, Mee; Boyd, Arfield, Barnes, Jones, Kightly (Vokes, 79); Ings.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Man of the match: Hazard (Chelsea).

Match rating: 5/10

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