With a Champions League spot up for grabs, and the likes of Manchester United fighting for our fourth-place spot, a win was drastically needed at the Vitality Stadium.
However, after a 1-0 lead and strong first half from the Blues, two costly mistakes meant the Cherries managed to go 2-1 up with Frank Lampard’s side only managing to secure a draw on Saturday. Here are five things we learnt from Chelsea’s latest trip to the South coast…
Credit to the Wing-backs
Marcos Alonso has made the headlines this week – and for his performance against Bournemouth, it was for all the right reasons. The left-back, who has secured valuable game time under Lampard in recent times, managed a brace against the fellow Premier League side – firstly with a powerful left footed shot and then with a late header after Pedro’s saved attempt. However, Reece James was also one of the bright sparks on the pitch that afternoon. Chelsea’s favourable right-back was constantly getting forward and putting crosses into the box, creating superb chances. Throughout the entirety of the game, he posed an attacking threat against Bournemouth.
Goal Scoring Issues Remain
Although James was creating chances for his teammates, no one was able to make the most of these opportunities. Like many occasions this season, Chelsea have lacked the ability to finish – and this game proved no different. Olivier Giroud was unable to find the back of the net and when Michy Batshuayi came on, the forward only managed an offside attempt. The fact our fullback was the only player who managed to score during this match says a lot about our scoring abilities, especially with Tammy Abraham currently out of the squad.
A Good Game for Pedro
Pedro has struggled to get into the squad this season but his latest performance against Bournemouth proves he still has something to give. The Spaniard looked lively from the moment the first whistle blew and gave us that much-needed pace that we’ve been lacking on the wings in recent times, thanks to injuries to both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic. The 32-year-old crossed in a good ball for Giroud in the early moments of the second half and was also highly responsible for Alonso’s second goal. All in all, it was a great game for the winger.
Fikayo Tomori Looked Vulnerable
When Fikayo Tomori’s name appeared on the team sheet for the weekend fixture, Chelsea fans were relieved to see him finally back in the squad, after spending the past months on the sidelines. However, perhaps due to his lack of game time, the youngster appeared to struggle in the latest game – looking rusty against the Cherries. The centre-back often got exposed and took a while to get into Saturday’s game, with Lampard replacing him in the final 25 minutes. It could be a performance which sees him on the bench for the next match.
Defensive Struggles (Yes, Again)
Chelsea have not had much luck (or skill) when it comes to defensive capabilities this season and once again, the Blues were unable to keep a clean sheet. Bournemouth’s first goal came from a corner – and set pieces have, without a doubt, been Chelsea’s biggest weakness this campaign. Our sloppy defending therefore meant the Cherries were able to claim a quick turnaround, resulting in some nervy latter moments for the away side.