The Cherries fall at Chelsea
Written By: Robert Halter
Chelsea looked to continue their hundred percent winning start to the new season against AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge, beginning of September. After Jorginho was dispossessed by Dan Gosling, the ball across from Ryan Fraser, was just too far over for Callum Wilson, as the Cherries first shined in the afternoon sunshine. In the third minute, a blast from distance by Cesar Azpilicueta, sprayed high and wide of the left side frame of the net. In the seventh minute following a short corner with Eden Hazard, on two occasions, Willian had two bites at the Cherries, as he was fended away twice with stops from Bournemouth keeper, Asmir Begovic, through an assist by Mateo Kovacic. In the tenth minute, Willian’s cross on the left ricocheted off Jefferson Lerma, before squeezing in between Lerma and Nathan Ake, a tame strike from Alvaro Morata, was stooped upon by Begovic. A minute later from a Willian corner, the ball was ballooned over off the head of Antonio Rudiger. In the sixteenth minute from a long throw in by Steve Cook, in the area the ball was put back out through a header by Joshua King, which was latched up from Dan Gosling, whose left footed strike flew high over the upright. Midway through the first half, a square pass by Willian, was struck by Jorginho past the left post from outside the box, which took a deflection off Fraser. On the half hour mark, a dangerous ball into the box by Diego Rico, was bundled over the bar by Wilson. After Marcos Alonso got cautioned for tugging Adam Smith, the resulting free kick by Rico, was met with a downward header from Cook, which went straight into the safe keeping of Kepa Arrizabalaga. Then in the thirty fifth minute through an assist by David Luiz, striding forward Kovacic’s right footed strike from outside the area, clipped Cook and went wide of the left post. Just before the break, Hazard pulled the trigger for Alonso, whose low drive struck the left post, before bouncing away for safety which kept the Cherries on equal terms at half time. In the fifty fifth minute, from a pull back by Hazard, a well connected strike by Alonso, was blocked at speed with a save from Begovic. A bookable offence by N’Golo Kante for a reckless challenge on Wilson, resulted in Rico’s free kick being headed behind for a corner by Alonso, which was taken by Rico and with a clear sight of goal, Ake could not get the vital touch as the ball bounced over. The Blues then took off Morata for Olivier Giroud before Pedro replaced Willian. In the sixty ninth minute, Giroud dropped to the ground clutching the air, as his strike agonisingly bobbled over off his team mate Pedro. After Lerma was penalised for a foul on Hazard, the Belgian’s free kick was headed high and wide to the right by Rudiger, in the seventy first minute. But within sixty seconds, Chelsea got the breakthrough, when Alonso orchestrated the move, and after playing a one two with Giroud, the ball was fired into the left side of the goal by Pedro. On seventy six minutes, Gosling spilt open the Blues defence but Fraser could not exploit the opportunity with a miscue going out to the right. Chelsea then changed Kovacic with Ruben Loftus-Cheek while the Cherries brought on Jordan Ibe for Smith and Lys Mousset for King. In the eighty third minute, Loftus-Cheek pressed forward, and Pedro could have added to his tally, but shot straight into Begovic. But Hazard had the final say in the eighty fifth minute, by drilling the ball into the bottom right corner, after linking up play with Alonso. Then from a neat touch by Loftus-Cheek, the ball was fried over from Jorginho, before the Cherries brought on Lewis Cook for Lerma. Bournemouth responded with Mousset combining with Rico, before Fraser drove across the face of goal, and he then had another chance when Gosling found him in space, but Fraser’s strike looped over off Rudiger, as the Cherries finished second fiddle to the Blues, who maintained their impressive run of four victories in a row before the international break with a 2-0 win over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.