Chelsea Football Club entered their 2017-18 campaign looking to defend the Premier League title after a dominant 2017 season.
They certainly didn’t get off to a great start, though.
The Blues took home a 3-2 loss in full time at the hands of Burnley FC on Saturday to open their year at Stamford Bridge, becoming just the second-ever Premier League defending champions to drop their season opener the following year.
To make matters worse, the first team to do so did it just last year – and the way Leicester City followed up their Cinderella-esque championship doesn’t exactly offer much in the way of reassurance to Chelsea and Antonio Conte.
The English side isn’t expected to have a poor season, simply based on their lineup alone. They aren’t exactly the same side that collapsed in spectacular fashion during Jose Mourinho’s final days overseeing the roster from the side of the pitch; at the very worst, they’ll look uninspired but competent.
They lost out on Romelu Lukaku, though, who scored in his Manchester United debut during the Super Cup against Real Madrid last week. They added a trio of strong players in Álvaro Morata, Tiémoué Bakayoko and Antonio Rüdiger, but didn’t do much to address improvement beyond those three, who serve as replacements for already-departing club members as it is.
Expect things to improve as Eden Hazard returns to full strength, but this is far from the way fans wanted to see this season kick off.