Cesc Fabregas was sent off against Burnley (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea kicked off their Premier League title defence with a 3-2 home loss to Burnley but the scoreline told just part of the story at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were reduced to ten men after just nine minutes when Gary Cahill was sent off for a lunge on Steven Defour.

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Antonio Conte’s men found themselves 3-0 down at half-time thanks to goals from Stephen Ward and a Sam Vokes brace.

Alvaro Morata and David Luiz got Chelsea back into it after the restart but, astonishingly, the Blues were down to nine when Cesc Fabregas was given his marching orders for a second yellow card.

It was clearly an honest attempt to win the ball but the Blues are down to nine men. #CHEBUR

— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 12, 2017

Chelsea fans were utterly convinced they had been put back under Jose Mourinho’s curse  but Chelsea’s official Twitter account seemed as paranoid as supporters after Fabregas’ red card.

The Spaniard received his first yellow card for sarcastically applauding the referee in the first half and was lucky to stay on in the second when a tackle on Jeff Hendrick went unpunished.

‘It was clearly an honest attempt to win the ball but the Blues are down to nine men,’ read Chelsea’s tweet.

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It means Conte faces taking a depleted squad to face Tottenham at Wembley next Sunday.

The Italian has publicly criticised the club for failing to strengthen this window and was furious that Nemanja Matic was allowed to join Manchester United.

The Spaniard received his first yellow card for sarcastically applauding the referee in the first half and was lucky to stay on in the second when a tackle on Jeff Hendrick went unpunished.

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