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Premier League leaders Chelsea were held at Turf Moor after Burnley came from a goal down to draw 1-1.

The result means the Blues’ lead at the top of the table could be cut to just eight points if Manchester City beat Bournemouth.

Meanwhile, Burnley edged closer to safety and now have 30 points.

But what did Thomas McIlroy learn from the game?


Burnley’s home form will keep them up

It is a credit to Sean Dyche and his Burnley side that no-one is talking about them being relegated, and they haven’t been in danger of relegation all season.

There is only one real reason for that, and that is their home form.

Turf Moor is a fortress, and that is exactly what the smaller clubs in the Premier League need to do.

After Burnley equalised, Chelsea didn’t really look like scoring, and it’s a real credit to the home side that a draw was not the worst result in the world for the visiting side.

Dyche’s side have picked up a massive 29 games at home this season, and haven’t lost there since November.

Indeed, before today, they had won their last seven games in all competitions at Turf Moor, so you could argue it was actually Burnley who were disappointed with a draw!

The only concern is that they have only picked one point up away from home all season. That is not acceptable.

Their home form will be the thing that keeps Burnley up, but going into next season, they will need to sort themselves out away from home because otherwise the Clarets could find themselves in trouble.


January signings have only made Burnley better

It was Robbie Brady who will get the headlines out of Burnley’s January signings after scoring a fantastic free-kick.

Undoubtedly, the former Norwich man will prove to be a good signing and will justify becoming the Claret’s record buy after arriving for a fee that could rise to £13million.

But it was Ashley Westwood and Joey Barton who really caught the eye today.

The midfield pair were up against N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic, who have been up there with Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama as the best duo in the middle of the pitch Premier League.

But neither Kante or Matic were unable to reach their usual high levels, and that was down to Westwood and Barton.

They may not have offered too much going forward – although Barton played a lovely through ball that Matt Lowton should have scored from – but they showed tactical nous to stop them playing and win the battle in the middle of the pitch.

Barton in particular, is showing that Burnley is the club for him after returning to Turf Moor after his Rangers nightmare.

He won five out of his nine tackles, and while this may sound questionable, he gave away good fouls – most notably on Willian, who was finding space towards the end, but Barton ensured the Brazilian didn’t get away from him by cynically challenging him.

It may not be ‘fair play’ but it’s exactly what Burnley want Joey Barton.

Chelsea defender Cesar AzpilicuetaChelsea will not be returning to 4-2-3-1

Antonio Conte has switched formation so well when Chelsea have needed to in games this season.

Early on, his substitutions against West Ham and Watford handed Chelsea late victories.

But taking off Victor Moses and bringing on Willian seemed to nullify the Blues’ attacking threat more than anything.

Indeed, after switching to the 4-2-3-1 you would have associated with Chelsea before this season, the Blues had just one shot, and it wasn’t on target.

Gary Cahill and David Luiz did not look as comfortable as part of a back four, while Marcos Alonso’s attacking threat was nullified.

Willian was also completely unable to get into the game.

Conte says he’s a tailor and likes to pick the formation around his team.

The squad may have previously been built for a 4-2-3-1, but it’s clear it’s the 3-4-3 that has served them so well which is the best formation for the Blues.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte


Youth may eventually have a chance at Chelsea

Chelsea have a reputation for not bringing youth players through very well.

They may have a small army out on loan, but it does look like Conte is willing to give his youngsters a chance.

If you looked at Chelsea’s bench against Burnley, there were four players aged 23 or under.

While Michy Batshuayi may have been a big money signing in the summer, Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah have worked their way up from youth squads at Chelsea.

Kurt Zouma is also 22, and you can see a younger revolution at Stamford Bridge.

What was an aging squad is considerably younger, with players like Branislav Ivanovic, who has now moved on, and John Terry, who surely will, come the end of the season, no longer stalwarts of the team.

In the years gone by, when Chelsea failed to win, it would have been because of Terry, but he was not missed today.

And with Andreas Christensen coming back from his loan spell in the summer, Chelsea’s youth project may finally start to pay off.

Cesc Fabregas and Ashley Barnes during Burnley 1-1 ChelseaA front two may be the way to get at Chelsea

Burnley forwards Ashley Barnes and Andre Gray caused Chelsea a number of problems all game.

They managed to find space away from Azpilicueta, Luiz and Cahill, especially in the 20 minutes or so either side of half time.

Gray could have given Burnley the lead in the early stages of the second half.

Since Chelsea switched to a 3-4-3, so many teams have tried to find a way to beat Chelsea, but maybe an old-fashioned front two will cause them the most problems.

It’s a compliment to Burnley that Conte felt he needed to change formation, switching to a 4-2-3-1 in the second half.

It would be no surprise to see other clubs, especially those not chasing Europe, try two up front against Chelsea’s back three.

Now you've read the five things we learned from Burnley 1-1 Chelsea, check out our player ratings.

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