Cherries pip the Blues
Written By: Robert Halter
Premier League and Championship winners, Chelsea and Bournemouth featured at Stamford Bridge, beginning of December. In the opening minute, Willian cleared the path for Eden Hazard, after exchanging passes but the Belgian was thwarted by a double handed block from the Cherries goalkeeper, Artur Boruc. In the fifth minute, Hazard sent the ball out to the right and this time Willian tested Boruc, with a low cross. But Bournemouth responded in the eleventh minute, when Joshua King cleared the way for Junior Stanislas, and his first time shot in the area, produced an instinctive stop from the recalled Blues keeper from injury, Thibaut Courtois. Then on fourteen minutes, Dan Gosling put the ball out to King, and his fierce drive was kept out by an incisive save from Courtois, as he turned the ball behind his near post. In the twenty ninth minute, Stanislas laid the ball off to Gosling, whose attempted lob, clipped Nemanja Matic, as his strike sailed over the bar. Although on thirty four minutes, from a Pedro pass, Hazard cut in from the right and his in swinging strike was diverted away from the danger zone by Boruc, at full stretch. But a minute later, as King went through on the right edge of the area, his low shot was stopped by the legs of Courtois, at the right post, as the Cherries responded once again. In the thirty ninth minute from a Hazard assist, a first time shot by Pedro, richocted off Adam Smith, after the Spanish playmaker reacted by drilling in an effort which Boruc, turned away at full stretch. Three minutes later, Boruc had to protect the left side of the target, with a strong block to fend away Oscar’s strike, who had been played through by Pedro. After half time, Diego Costa replaced Oscar. But the Cherries were the quickest out of the traps, as King interlinked with Harry Arter, who won the ball off Gary Cahill, and it fell into the path of Matt Ritchie, who smashed an effort over the upright, a minute into the second half. The Blues tried their own their own theatrics on forty eight minutes, when a pull back from Baba, found Pedro, who with his back to goal, tried an overhead kick, but to no avail. On fifty three minutes, Willian’s right wing cross, cannoned off Steve Cook’s head but Matic nodded the ball over. But a minute later, from Willian’s corner, a Costa headed had to be hooked away by Gosling. The Blues kept up the pressure, with a lopping ball over from the left by Willian, which reached the Blues captain, Branislav Ivanovic, whose snap shot was parried away by Boruc, on fifty six minutes. Although on the hour mark, the Blues had a penalty claim turned away as Costa’s shot struck the arm of Cherries captain, Simon Francis, who was rooted to the floor. On seventy four minutes, after Hazard spread the ball out to Ivanovic, his low cross was too far over for Pedro and Costa. Within two minutes, a floating ball by Cesc Fabregas found the outstretched leg of Costa, but his connection was pushed behind by Boruc. A minute later, from a cross by Ivanovic, the ball rebounded off Adam Smith back onto Andrew Surman, as Pedro raised his hands, to appeal for another penalty. The Cherries then replaced King with Glenn Murray, and incredibly his appearance resulted in a goal, as from a Stanislas corner, a flapping Courtois, gave the ball to Cook, whose shot deflected off Ivanovic, and a close range header by Murray in line with Charlie Daniels, crashed into the net, on eighty two minutes. The Blues then changed Baba with Bertand Traore and Fabregas with Loic Remy. But within two minutes, the Cherries threatened as Ritchie charged through from a Murray pass, but he was unable to find the target as his low shot went past the left post. In stoppage time, after Arter started the move and Stanislas won the ball off Cahill, the crowning moment fell to Arter but he struck the ball wide. More Cherries pressure was applied at the end, after Gosling cut inside the right from a quickly taken free kick by Ritchie but Courtois smothered his effort, after Hazard fouled Smith, as Bournemouth recorded a famous 1-0 victory over Chelsea.