Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Conte favourite to become first Premier League manager to be sacked

Antonio Conte's side began the defence of their Premier League crown with an embarrassing 3-2 defeat against Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The Blues got off to a bad start as they were reduced to 10 men in the 14th minute when Gary Cahill was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Steven Defour.

Record signing Alvaro Morata may have been able to come off the bench to briefly give Chelsea hope, but the remainder of Conte's subs looked rather uninspiring, such as Fikayo Tomori, Charly Musonda and Kyle Scott.

Sam Vokes scored his second goal to make it 3-0 for the visitors in the 43rd minute.

Morata had just 30 minutes to somehow help spark a revival from three-goals down and pulled one back in the 70th minute with a neat header, diving in to nod Willian's cross into the far corner.

"We scored three good goals and I think when you are talking about who you are playing against and where you are playing, that's up there as one of the best 45 minutes of my time here", said the manager, who joined Burnley in 2012.

Nevertheless, Burnley managed to see out the closing stages to claim a famous victory at Stamford Bridge.

Goals from substitute Alvaro Morata and David Luiz brought Chelsea back into the game, but Cesc Fabregas's dismissal for two bookable offences meant Conte's men finished the game with nine men.

Bakayoko was absent through injury against Burnley, along with star man Eden Hazard, while striker Diego Costa has been frozen out after being deemed surplus to requirements.

"I am not anxious", Conte said.

Chelsea have the added pressure of Champions League football this season, and could find themselves fielding a string of inexperienced youth players across all four competitions they will take part in, if they don't strengthen their ranks. They're heavily tipped to end the season rock bottom, but the Terriers could give the first indication today that they're prepared to spring a surprise.

As for Liverpool, they conceded a 94th minute goal at Watford in a 3-3 draw. "I have to start to study a new formation with 10 players because this irregularity is worrying".

"It's the set up from the manager", Carragher told Sky Sports. Why do I have to send a message? But it's a big win. As for the transfer market, the club is trying to do the best.

West Bromwich Albion beat Bournemouth 1-0 thanks to a goal on his debut by defender Ahmed Hegazi.

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