Bournemouth opted for a change in formation as they looked to frustrate Chelsea’s attack, and put in a very resolute performance. However, they gave Chelsea over 70% of the ball and offered very little in attack, as goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard secured a comfortable victory for Maurizio Sarri’s men.
Chelsea have won all four league matches this season, and look to be improving every week.
Key Talking Point
For all Chelsea’s possession, they will be very disappointed with the lack of clear chances which they created. Their time on the ball rarely posed any serious threat to Bournemouth’s defence, who were happy to sit back and frustrate Sarri’s men.
It was a similar story against Newcastle. Chelsea’s level of possession was fantastic, but their use of the ball will certainly have frustrated their manager, who needs to help his team find ways to deal with defensive opponents.
However, they completely deserved the three points, and it appears as though the team are becoming more comfortable with Sarri’s preferred tactics.
Starting XI: Kepa (6); Azpilicueta (6), Rudiger (6), Luiz (7), Alonso (7); Jorginho (7), Kante (8*), Kovacic (7); Willian (7), Morata (6), Hazard (6).
Substitutes: Giroud (6), Pedro (7), Loftus-Cheek (6).
STAR MAN – N’Golo Kante
Chelsea’s most creative players struggled to find space against Bournemouth’s back three. However, this gave N’Golo Kante a chance to shine. The diminutive Frenchman looks to be thoroughly enjoying his new role under Maurizio Sarri, as he is now able to exert his influence at both ends of the field.
He was as defensively solid as ever, and was a constant threat with his offensive runs from deep in the midfield. Kante appeared to be everywhere on the pitch, as has come to be expected of him. His manager will be very impressed with his performance, just like many fans on Twitter.
Kante meandering bow to box, ubiquitous, Archaeological midfield play, seamless transitions from defence to attack. Covering every vertex angle symmetrically. Very aesthetic to watch.
— Leo Sat (@ItsMrBlueGuy) September 1, 2018
We underestimate @nglkante’s pace & dribbling.
He makes himself closer to the ground while running, which gives him good control of ball, a feature common in players like Silva, Isco etc.
No wonder Sarri was surprised by his technical abilities#CHEBOU #CFC
— Khubaib Khan (@khoobabe) September 1, 2018
WORST PLAYER – Kepa Arrizabalaga
With all Chelsea’s possession, their defence and goalkeeper were barely involved. No player deserves to be labeled as the side’s worst performance, but Kepa will be frustrated that his passing and clearances often left a lot to be desired.
However, it must be stressed that this certainly does not mean that Kepa played poorly.
Key Talking Point
The Cherries will be disappointed to come away from Stamford Bridge empty handed. They opted to change formation to a 3-4-3 to try and counter Chelsea’s attacking threat, and were mostly successful in their endeavours.
Their performance shows that they do have the ability to counter some real attacking threats and, whilst this will certainly not be their most memorable display, they may find themselves returning to this formation in the future.
Starting XI: Begovic (6); Francis (7), Cook (7), Ake (7); Smith (6), Lerma (6), Gosling (6), Rico (6); Fraser (5), Wilson (5), King (4).
Substitutes: Ibe (6), Mousset (6), Cook (N/A)
STAR MAN – Steve Cook
Bournemouth barely had any real chances in attack, so it is unsurprising that their defenders will take the credit from today’s result. Francis and Ake were both solid, but Steve Cook just edges them out thanks to his impressive long throws.
The 27-year-old was incredibly resolute and made it very hard for Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud to control any of Chelsea’s long balls, and also asked questions of Chelsea’s defenders with his throw-ins.
WORST PLAYER – Josh King
Callum Wilson and Joshua King were completely starved of opportunities against Chelsea. Wilson was often given the impossible task of tackling Chelsea’s defence alone, and King was rarely available to help.
The Norwegian certainly needed more help from his teammates, as he can hardly be expected to dominate Chelsea’s defence by himself. Not a day to remember for Bournemouth’s attack.
Bournemouth will welcome Leicester City to the Vitality Stadium in two weeks, and will be hoping to bounce back with a more positive performance in a game which they will believe they have a real chance of winning.