They say money can’t buy you success or happiness. Try telling that to billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abromovich.
The riches lavished on Jose Mourinho’s squad at Stamford Bridge could well have purchased both. The smiles on the faces of 4,000-plus Blues fans housed in the David Fishwick Stand at Turf Moor testified.
Chelsea culminated the 2013/14 term just four points behind champions Manchester City - without a goalscoring striker. The £32m spent on Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa has seemingly addressed that elusive piece in the jigsaw.
And in Spanish team-mate Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea could have one of the signings of the summer. That’s what the financial clout of the Premier League’s elite is capable of engineering.
That realism was cruelly inflicted on Sean Dyche’s Clarets in East Lancashire on Monday evening. To say the fixture was a baptism of fire for the Championship runners up would be somewhat of an understatement.
Mourinho’s men were imperious, glorious, emphatic. The “Special One” has manufactured a spectacularly special group. The athleticism, pace, power, fluidity, penetration and movement of the away side was a joy to behold. Performances of that magnitude will dazzle more than just Burnley this season.
For the Clarets, promotion provided a romantic return to England’s top tier and even drew shades of the 2009/10 triumph over Manchester United.
Just before the quarter-of-an-hour mark, John Terry played Matt Taylor onside from Dean Marney’s header and the former Hammer picked out Scott Arfield with precision on the box and the midfielder reciprocated with a swift volley in to the roof of the net, beyond a flat-footed Thibaut Courtois.
It was the first competitive goal the Belgium international had conceded since Gonzalo Higuain netted for Argentina in the World Cup quarter-final clash at Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha.
The strike raised comparison’s to Robbie Blake’s phenomenal winner past Ben Foster, though that’s as far as the similarities went.
Within three minutes the visitors were level. Branislav Ivanovic, preferred to new boy Filipe Luis, provided the centre, Jason Shackell turned the ball on to the post and Costa reacted quickly to smash home off Michael Duff.
The equaliser arrived with a stroke of fortune, but Chelsea’s second four minutes later is already a contender for goal of the season and exemplified every exceptional facet of the Blues’ quality. Eden Hazard conveyed individual brilliance to skip past his markers, Ivanovic then moved the ball to Fabregas and the Spaniard’s pass - the 24th of the move - fell exquisitely in to the stride of Andre Schurrle and the World Cup winner guided the ball nonchalantly in to the corner.
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton avoided punishment on the half-hour mark when seemingly upending Costa after the striker raced on to Ben Mee’s unconvincing back pass. Instead, referee Michael Oliver opted to book Costa for simulation though replays suggested that contact was made.
Then, if Chelsea had already shown numerous sides to their arsenal, they added a set-piece to their frightening and unrelenting repertoire. Fabregas sat the ball on to the edge of the six yard box from the corner and Ivanovic glided past Mee to sidefoot the ball in to the corner.
The Clarets held firm before the break, though, with Danny Ings swinging an effort around the upright after the striker found Taylor from Lukas Jutkiewicz’s cushioned pass.
After the break the hosts appeared more forceful, though Chelsea arguably stepped off the gas.
Once Ings dragged an effort wide, Arfield forced a mesmeric save from Courtois when shaping a shot towards the far corner that the 22-year-old did exceptionally well to turn around the post at full stretch.
An array of subs saw both managers make changes, with Dyche introducing Ashley Barnes and Michael Kightly at the expense of Jutkiewicz and Taylor while Mourinho withdrew Schurrle and Oscar for Schurrle and John Obi Mikel respectively.
Marvin Sordell later replaced Ings for the Clarets and then Didier Drogba replaced Hazard - towering above Duff in the 85th minute to register his first touch for the club since scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the 2011/12 Champions League final.
And he almost sealed his comeback in typically stunning fashion when taking the ball down with the outside of his boot before volleying wide from the edge of the box.
The Clarets move on to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday where they’ll take on Swansea City.