Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth – Willy Caballero started in goal for the fourth consecutive PL match while Fikayo Tomori started for the first time this year for Chelsea. Bournemouth have lost 12 of their last sixteen games but have a good record against Chelsea having won three of the last for meetings between these sides.
This one didn’t delay in terms of chances as the first two chances came to Philip Billing inside seven minutes but the midfielder failed to capitalize on both occasions. Mason Mount saw a fine volley from outside the box saved by Aaron Ramsdale in goal.
The home side were completely dominant in the first twenty minutes as the visitors struggled to get any sort of rhythm. Truth be told, the first half was pretty boring at times that is, until Reece James sent a whipping cross in off the right flank and Marcus Alonso was on hand to volley home in the 33rd minute after Giroud’s flick came off the crossbar.
The visitors had been operating down that flank for much of the game so it was no surprise when the goal came from that avenue.
Chelsea suddenly woke up after goal and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and would could have easily been two nil up at half time but for some fine goal keeping and defending by Bournemouth.
Olivier Giroud missed a chance to double the advantage in the first minute of second half but his effort was just narrowly off the mark. The Stamford Bridge outfit had clearly been the better team up till now but, Bournemouth were certainly in the reckoning and they would go on to equalize in the 54th minute as Jefferson Lerma’s power header beat Caballero after Ryan Fraser swung in a corner kick.
Bournemouth Suddenly took the game to the visitors and were ahead two minutes later through Joshua King who swept home Jack Stacey’s low driven cross. And how many times have we seen Chelsea capitulate in games this season? Too many to count for a team of their pedigree.
But this is the Premier League and pedigree means nothing here because every team looks to win against any and every opponent. The home side suddenly looked a completely different team as it began to rain heavily with gusty winds at the Vitality Stadium, and Frank Lampard responded by sending on Willian and Barkely for Jorginho and Tomori.
Batshuayi came on in the 71st minute and immediately scored with his first touch of the game but was correctly ruled out for offside. The visitors promptly piled on the pressure and camped at Bournemouth’s goal area the remainder of the game and may very well have equalized but Nathan Ake seemed to always arrive just in time to sniff out danger.
Bournemouth would eventually crack in the 85th minute and Marcos Alonso got his second of the afternoon with a fine headed effort after the goalie had parried Pedro’s effort in to his path. The Spaniard could have had a hat-trick on the day had his 92nd minute header been on target.
This was one of those games that could have gone either way but in the end this result was just about as a fair a result for both managers.