Football

Red cards prompt Conte to work on 'new formation with 10 men'

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has accepted he may have to embed a new formation in his team if they continue to have players sent off.

After being reduced to 10 men in both the FA Cup final and the Community Shield, Conte's men finished the opening game of their Premier League title defence with just nine players after Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas were both dismissed in a pulsating 3-2 defeat by Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

It left the Italian concerned by the inability of his players to control their emotions when a teammate was dismissed.

"I saw two faces of my team today," Conte said after a match in which Chelsea were 3-0 down before half-time.

"One positive in the second half, one negative in the first half. We lost our composure after the first red card and we conceded the three goals.

"We have to improve a lot on this aspect because this type of situation can happen."

He added: "We have to think that there is the rest of the game to play and do our best.

"We must also have the right experience to face this type of situation.

"I have to study a new formation with 10 players because this irregularity is worrying."

Conte's sanguine post-match analysis was no doubt inspired by the ferocity of Chelsea's second-half comeback, first with 10 men after Cahill's 14th-minute dismissal and then nine after Fabregas collected a second yellow card.

Conte was also without the injured Pedro Rodriguez, Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko, although new striker Alvaro Morata impressed as a second-half substitute, scoring one goal and setting up another for David Luiz.

Meanwhile, Burnley manager Sean Dyche knows that winning away to the champions in the first game is only a small step in their bid to yet again stay in the Premier League.

Dyche saw Sam Vokes score twice and left back Stephen Ward connect with a stunning volley as his side won away in the top flight at the first time of asking - last season, their only away league win came at Crystal Palace in April.

"This result kills off the away-win story for this season but we're not getting carried away," said Dyche.

"It's a great win for us, brilliant for our players, brilliant for our supporters but we know there's a big season right in front of us, the 'second season' that everyone's telling us about." - AFP

eplCHELSEA (EPL)BURNLEY