Chelsea 2 Burnley 2: Maurizio Sarri sent off as defensive mistakes cost Blues again in top four race

Chelsea squandered the opportunity to replace Tottenham in third place after being held 2-2 by Burnley in a thrilling contest at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. 
Chelsea began the match strongly but was made to pay for some lackluster defending from an eighth-minute corner kick from which Jeff Hendrick opened the scoring with his stunning volleyed effort. 
The goal triggered off a chaotic 16-minute spell in which N'Golo Kante equalized for the hosts, Gonzalo Higuain fired in a fine effort into the roof of the net and Ashley Barnes restored parity with his close-range shot from a free-kick. 
But the Blues could not find a winner as Maurizio Sarri was sent to the stands in injury time before a touchline melee at the final whistle. The result all but guarantees Burnley Premier League safety but, for Chelsea, it was another missed chance to move into third although, with the point, they did rise to fourth place, one point ahead of Arsenal. 
Chelsea knew how important beating Burnley on Monday night would be for their ambitions of securing a top-four spot. But even Sarri could not have conjured up the thought of Chelsea's Champions League rivals in Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal all losing their matches over the weekend, yet that is exactly what happened. 

And that meant Chelsea were handed yet another opportunity to strengthen their bid to finish in fourth although the hosts suffered the worst possible start against Burnley when Hendrick delivered a superb volley that opened the scoring in the eighth minute.
David Luiz, celebrating his 32nd birthday, gave away the corner kick that Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had cleared. But the Spaniard's header instead fell to Hendrick, whose stunning effort flew past Kepa Arrizabalaga. 
Chelsea responded quickly - with Eden Hazard's cross being fired in by Kante just four minutes after Hendrick's effort, which was then followed up by another goal for the Blues.
This time it was Higuain who lifted Azpilicueta's pass into the roof of the net to secure just his fourth goal since joining Chelsea on loan in the winter - and his first since March 3. 
At this point, it seemed as though Chelsea were firmly in control, but it was to be another set-piece - given away again by Luiz - that would prove the hosts' undoing. 
From the free-kick, the ball was headed to an unmarked Barnes inside the area, who finished off from close range to restore parity and cap off a remarkable 16-minute spell which had produced no less than four goals. 
Sarri reacted after the break by, firstly, sending his team out quickly and, secondly, replacing goalscorer Kante with Mateo Kovacic. 
The pace of the match seemed to settle down thereafter as Chelsea continued to create wave after wave of attack but found converting their chances harder to do. 
Then there was the moment when Chelsea felt they should have seen Charlie Taylor sent off for his apparent last-man challenge on the advancing Pedro, but referee Kevin Friend waved away the hosts' appeals. 
It didn't stop the Blues from continuing pressurizing Burnley's back line, exemplified when Tom Heaton was forced to save Azpilicueta's close-range effort.
Sarri was sent off as tempers flared during injury time, but the visitors held on to secure the point that all but hands them another season of Premier League football while Chelsea's hopes of ending in the top four took another blow on a weekend when it was there for the taking.

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