Diego Costa scored on his Chelsea debut as the title favourites came from behind to outclass newly-promoted Burnley at Turf Moor.There was the threat of an upset as Burnley’s Scott Arfield opened the scoring with a stunner from distance.But Burnley’s lead was short-lived as Costa levelled with a simple tap-in.Andre Schurrle scored Chelsea’s second after a cute Cesc Fabregas pass and Branislav Ivanovic struck from a corner to put his team in command.While Chelsea were unable to add to their goal tally in the second half – although the returning Didier Drogba did go close with a volley when he came on as a late substitute – it was a performance which fully justified why many expect Jose Mourinho’s men to be Premier League champions in May.The club’s problem last season was in front of goal, with the Londoners scoring 30 fewer goals than Manchester City and Liverpool, the two teams who finished above them in the league. In acquiring Costa for £32m from Atletico Madrid over the summer,the club appears to have addressed last season’s failings. The Spain striker was a dynamic and powerful presence up front and, importantly, more clinical than those who led the line during the last season’s third-place finish.The only blemish on Costa’s opening display was a yellow card for diving when through on goal after a defensive lapse by Ben Mee.But it was a harsh decision by referee Michael Oliver as replays showed the sprawled Tom Heaton had made contact with the striker’s protruding leg and, perhaps, the Spaniard should instead have been awarded a penalty.With the club’s other debutant Fabregas adding creativity to the midfield, Mourinho’s new acquisitions have helped make Chelsea a more potent side.It was Fabregas’s breathtaking first-time pass which set up Schurrle at the far post for a magical 25-pass team goal. And the former Barcelona midfielder was again the provider for his team’s third, taking charge of the corner which led to the unchallenged Ivanovic driving home from close range.Mourinho has also tinkered with his defence, which was the team’s strength last season – they had more clean sheets than any other team and conceded the fewest goals.The Portuguese said he was thinking of the club’s future when preferring 22-year-old Thibaut Courtois to Petr Cech, the club’s first-choice goalkeeper for the last decade.While there was a defensive lapse for Burnley’s goal, with the Belgian caught unaware when Arfield struck from the edge of the box to spark raucous celebrations, Courtois did produce a fine reflex fingertip save to deny Arfield another in the second half.It was not a result for the romantics, who would have hoped for a repeat of Burnley’s feats five years ago when they beat Manchester United under the Turf Moor floodlights in what was their home opener that season. But a team which cost £5m to assemble will, more often than not, struggle against such big-spending Premier League rivals.The financial gulf between the two clubs was neatly illustrated by the value of the two debutants on each side.While Costa and Fabregas were purchased at a combined cost of £59m, the players making their Burnley bows – Matt Taylor andLukas Jutkiewicz – arrived for a combined total of £1.5m.Defeat means Burnley’s wait for a first top-flight victory over Chelsea since August 1973 continues but last season’s Championship runners-up will take heart from this performance.They rattled an experienced defence with their opening goal and refused to cave in in the second half, although Chelsea’s intensity did dip after the break which could be the only slight on Mourinho’s men after an impressive opening victory.
LATEST STORIES The Group G game in Sochi on Monday could be rather lopsided because Belgium, at least on paper, should be a contender for the title. The Red Devils have fallen short of expectations the last four years: Belgium lost in the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup and the European Championship two years later.Panama, meanwhile, has never beaten a European team in nine previous meetings.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe long odds have not tempered the excitement surrounding Panama’s journey to Russia, and the nation has proudly supported the team’s achievement in simply qualifying for the World Cup. The task Monday may be daunting, but memorable for an entire country.“History is going to be made for the first time when we listen to our national anthem at a World Cup,” Panama captain Roman Torres said. “Many people are going to cry. I think I’m going to be one of those people, too, because of the emotion and to feel the significance of listening to the national anthem at a World Cup.” DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced View comments MOST READ Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Belgian players from left, Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Jan Vertonghen and Belgium’s Youri Tielemans pose in front of their aircraft prior to the team departure in Brussels, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. The Belgian national team departs Wednesday for Russia to participate in the World Cup. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)MOSCOW — Panama earned its first ever World Cup berth and couldn’t wait to begin its adventure on soccer’s biggest stage.Then the team drew Belgium for its opening match.ADVERTISEMENT Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Belgium goes into the match with questions about its veteran lineup because of injuries to defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany.Vermaelen was ruled out against Panama by coach Roberto Martinez with a hamstring injury, and Kompany was expected to be a late decision because of a groin injury. He also could miss the game against Panama but return later in group play.The match is at 6 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT; 1500 GMT) at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Spence keeps IBF title at home with quick knockout of Ocampo Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film