Chelsea continue an unwanted champions trend

Chelsea’s title defence is off to a shaky start following a 3-2 loss at home to Burnley. Captain Gary Cahill was controversially sent off before Sean Dyche’s men netted three times to lead 3-0 at the break. Despite clawing two goals back, the reigning champions got off to the worst possile start.

Chelsea’s loss to Burnley not only means they are already on the back foot, but it marks a third straight loss on an opening day fixture for defending champion. Leicester City were upset 2-1 by newly-promoted (now relegated) Hull City last season, and the Blues drew 2-2 with Swansea in 2015-16.

Out of 25 seasons the champions have started the following season with a victory 19 times, drawing four, and losing two. They have also scored a whopping 54 goals to 16, and before Chelsea’s draw with Swansea in 2015-16, the defending champs were undefeated in 22 consecutive opening matches.

This is where it starts to get personal for Antonio Conte’s men:

  • They suffered their first opening fixture loss at Stamford Bridge in 15 attempts
  • They suffered their first loss against Burnley in seven matches
  • Chelsea conceded three first-half goals for the first time since September last year, and conceded three first-half goals at home for the first time ever
  • They also became the first reigning champs to concede three goals in their opening match
  • Chelsea have received four red cards in their past three matches, the sending off of Cahill and Cesc Fabregas saw them reduced to nine for the first time since March 2014

It’s going to be a long week for Chelsea who face Tottenham away at the weekend, not only will be a tough derby fixture, but the Blues will be facing the prospect of becoming the first defending champions to lose their first two matches.

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