Premier League leader Chelsea dropped points for only the third time since September after getting pegged back by dogged Burnley in a 1-1 draw at a snowy Turf Moor on Sunday.
The result meant Chelsea extended its lead to 10 points over second-placed Tottenham, which lost 2-0 at Liverpool on Saturday, but this was one of the most uncomfortable games that Antonio Conte’s side has experienced for some time.
Pedro Rodriguez finished off a rapid counterattack to put Chelsea ahead in the seventh minute, only for Burnley to equalize through Robbie Brady’s curling, 25-meter free-kick in the 24th.
Burnley had the better chances to win the game, with its physical presence causing Chelsea problems throughout.
Since losing 3-0 to Arsenal on Sept. 24, Chelsea has won all of its games except for a 2-0 loss to Tottenham on Jan. 4 and a 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Jan. 31.
Manchester City will go second and trim Chelsea’s lead to eight points if they beat Bournemouth on Monday.
This was always going to be a testing game for Chelsea, not least because of the conditions at the atmospheric Turf Moor. Burnley had won nine of its previous 10 games in all competitions at its ground, with its only home loss since early October coming against Man City.
And by the time they had recovered from a shaky opening 20 minutes, the hosts hurt Chelsea with their direct style, relentless work rate and threat on the counterattack with quick striker Andre Gray.
After Brady equalized with his exquisite free kick on his first start for the club since a club-record move on Jan. 31, Burnley created the better chances, with Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saving low from Matthew Lowton and Gray either side of halftime.
Pedro’s goal came from one of Chelsea’s few openings, the Spanish winger running onto Victor Moses squared pass to take one touch _ wrong-footing Michael Keane in the process _ and finishing low into the corner.