A lacklustre Chelsea slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday, with Dan Gosling scoring a sublime winner six minutes from time.
Both sides began brightly, but it was the hosts who had the first chance. Mason Mount was put through by Jorginho, but he saw his shot well kept out by Aaron Ramsdale. The Cherries began to sit deep and looked to make life difficult for the Blues, which they did.
As the half wore on, frustrations grew as Frank Lampard’s men struggled to create many openings. Josh King wasted an opportunity to give his side the lead early in the second half as he was put through on goal. However, his touch took him wider than he would have hoped and he saw his shot blocked.
Eddie Howe’s men continued to grow into the game, with King wasting two more clear chances. Chelsea should have taken the lead midway through the second period through Emerson, but his header was sensationally kept out once more.
Instead, it was the away side who opened the scoring with just five minutes remaining. Following a corner, the ball came back into the area, which Dan Gosling flicked sublimely over Kepa and into the net. It went to VAR, but the goal stood. The Cherries held on to secure a much-needed win.
Key Talking Point
Although Chelsea were largely dominant against a much-changed Lille side in the Champions League in midweek, they only scored twice and were made to play out a nervy final 15 minutes after conceding. While it was job done on that occasion, Lampard will have been looking to see his side improve against Bournemouth.
However, they never got going in the first half against the Cherries, making countless sloppy mistakes. It appeared as though fatigue was an issue, with the Bournemouth defence content to watch them pass the ball without any real purpose. It was slow and passive.
The majority of the play came through the middle of the park and although Lampard attempted to change the game with his substitutions, they did not have the desired impact. Ultimately, they were undeserving of the three points and deservedly published by their opponents.
Starting XI: Arrizabalaga (5); Azpilicueta (5), Rüdiger (7*), Zouma (7), Emerson (5); Jorginho (6), Kanté (6), Mount (5); Willian (5), Abraham (5), Pulisic (5).
Substitutes: Kovačić (5), Hudson-Odoi (5), Batshuayi (4).
STAR PLAYER – It was a dismal afternoon for Chelsea, but Frank Lampard will be delighted to have Antonio Rudiger back from injury.
Chelsea’s two best players on the day were, in fact, their two centre-backs, but it is Rudiger who was the standout performer. He was assured in his work, playing with confidence and authority.
After making a sliding challenge, he showed his leadership qualities as he screamed at his players in an attempt to spark them into life. However, he was equally impressive going forward, spreading the play and looking to make things happen.
Just don’t need any words to describe Rüdiger. He has been brilliant in this 1st half. He has shown clearly that he is what we need at the back there & am sure if we sign a quality top CB to partner him, goals shipping in might reduce a lil.#CHEBOU ⚪ #CFC
— micky (@micky_chelsea) December 14, 2019
Key Talking Point
They have done it!
Bournemouth came into the game in poor form, having lost their last five games in a row. This woeful losing streak saw them slip to 14th, just one point above the relegation places. The team were in desperate need of a win – and they got one.
From the off, Eddie Howe’s men looked to get forward and take the game to Chelsea, creating a number of openings early on. As the first half wore on, they sat in their shape and looked to play on the counter. The Cherries made life difficult for the hosts, who struggled to create many clear openings.
The team continued to create a number of openings going forward and although they wasted some glorious opportunities, they eventually did take the lead late on through Dan Gosling – with VAR playing an important role. And it was fully deserved. It was an exceptional team display.
Bournemouth have played an excellent match but you have to finish that there. #CHEBOU
— TW Johnston (@t__johnston) December 14, 2019
Starting XI: Ramsdale (7); Stacey (6), Mepham (6), Francis (6), Rico (6); Gosling (7), Lerma (6), L.Cook (6), Billing (8*), Fraser (6); King (5).
Substitutes: Solanke (5).
STAR PLAYER – Bournemouth were resolute in their defending while they were outstanding in the transition. This was largely down to the work of Philip Billing, who was very impressive.
The midfielder was there to meet every ball that came into the Cherries box, helping alleviate the pressure on his defence. He was also sublime in carrying the ball and acting as the link between the defence and the attack.
It was a dominant display by Billing and his work was crucial in keeping the potent Chelsea attack out.
Chelsea next travel to take on London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday in the Premier League, before hosting Southampton on Thursday.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, host Burnley on Saturday. They then take on Arsenal on Thursday evening.