Football

Moses strikes as Chelsea win at Burnley

Chelsea maintained their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at European hopefuls Burnley.

Kevin Long's own goal set Antonio Conte's men on their way in the first half, but Ashley Barnes deflected Johann Berg Gudmundsson's wayward shot to equalise for Burnley at Turf Moor.

Victor Moses' right-footed shot into the bottom corner proved decisive and ensured the Blues, who trailed fourth-placed Tottenham by 10 points last week, narrowed the gap to five points.

Chelsea have the opportunity to increase the pressure on their London rivals when they travel to Swansea on 28 April.

Mauricio Pochettino's team face Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday and do not play in the league again until they meet Watford on 30 April.

Sean Dyche's Burnley remain seventh and on course for the Europa League with an eight-point advantage over Leicester City in eighth.

With one eye on the semi-final, Chelsea's strength in depth afforded Conte the luxury of making six changes to his starting XI without it impairing his team's performance.

They were accomplished going forward despite the absence of Cesc Fabregas and Willian, while Eden Hazard appeared only as a second-half substitute

Chelsea fielded a two-man attack – in the form of Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud – for the first time in seven years.

While Chelsea's finishing was profligate at times – particularly when Morata missed a one-on-one with Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope after N'Golo Kante sent him clear – they were exemplary in their defensive work, restricting an obdurate Burnley to only two shots on target.

It allowed for a comfortable conclusion and back-to-back league wins for first time since December.

'Burnley remain on European path'

While this result ended Burnley's run of five consecutive victories, it did nothing to dampen their hopes of European football next term.

It has been a season of spiralling ambitions in east Lancashire since Dyche's side beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the opening day.

However, not even the most optimistic Clarets fan could have anticipated being stationed on the brink of European football – for the first time since taking part in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1966-67 – with four games remaining.

Barring an unthinkable collapse, a place in the Europa League second qualifying round between 26 July and 2 August appears a probable destination.

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