Chelsea beats Burnley 4-0 putting aside off-field turmoil

Chelsea's Jorginho, center, and Burnley's Dwight McNeil, right, battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor, Burnley, England, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

BURNLEY, England (AP) — Chelsea scored four goals in a 21-minute burst at the start of the second half in a 4-0 win at Burnley in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Kai Havertz had two of the goals along with one each from Reece James and Christian Pulisic as Chelsea put aside the off-field turmoil sparked by its Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, who put the club up for sale this week.

Some Chelsea fans interrupted a pre-match minute’s applause, held to show solidarity with Ukraine, by chanting the name of Abramovich and that was condemned by manager Thomas Tuchel.

“It is not the moment to give other messages,” Tuchel said. “It’s the moment to show respect. We want to do this. As a club we need our fans to commit to this minute of applause. We do it for Ukraine and there is no second opinion about this situation.”

Burnley could have climbed out of the relegation zone with a win, and had the better of the chances in the first half, only to be ripped apart in the second half — starting with conceding three goals in seven minutes from the 48th.

James, playing his first league match in 2022, twisted and turned to create space in the penalty area before firing a low shot into the far corner.

Havertz, preferred up front to Romelu Lukaku, headed in Pulisic’s cross in the 53rd then bundled in a cross from James two minutes later.

A shellshocked Burnley conceded a fourth, in the 69th, when a cross from the left was diverted into the path of Pulisic, who was standing right in front of goal. The American had the simple task of converting the loose ball into the corner.

Chelsea consolidated third place, moving six points ahead of Manchester United in fourth.

“It shows for a me a lot of character,” Tuchel said. “It shows the guys have what it takes to play for Chelsea.

“It shows we have the environment to focus on football. We believe we are allowed to focus on football and we do it as good as possible.”

Burnley stayed in third-to-last place.