Bournemouth 2 Chelsea 2 By Football With Brownie
When the management of Euro Weekly News told me that I could report on any of the 3pm games I was over the moon! However that excitement quickly turned to despair when I actually looked at the fixtures. So being completely honest with you the only reason I choose this game was because I thought Chelsea have more fans in Spain than the other clubs playing.
So with my expectations being at a low then it was up to these two teams to surprise me and provide me with an enjoyable Saturday afternoon.
Going into the game Bournemouth won three of their last four Premier League meetings with Chelsea and were looking to complete the league double over them for the very first time. While Frank Lampard needed a response from his team after they were crushed during the week by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League tie. The home team made four changes from their defeat to Burnley last time out. Ake, Lerma, Cook and Fraser come into the side while Harry Wilson, Francis and Gosling all dropping to the bench, while Andrew Surman missed out altogether.
From the first kick both teams had the attack mentality and iit wasn’t long for the chances to arrive.
In the 3rd minute Biling lacthed onto a cutback from Stacey in the box and went for goal, only to be denied by a fine save from Chelsea keeper Caballero. Then just a couple of minutes afterwards a chance fell for Biling again as he closed down Tomori in the Chelsea box and from an angle he went for goal, but his effort went into the sidenetting.
Then it was Chelsea’s turn to try and brake the deadlock as in the 7th minute Mount lifted a cross to the back post for Alonso, who went for a quick strike, but his efford was blocked by Stacey. Then just seconds later Mount connected with a dipping effort from the edge of the box and it took an awkward bounce ahead of Ramsdale. However, the keeper did enough to palm it past the post.
Bournemouth then responded quickly as they cut the visitors open down the left flank and King fired a low cross into the box. Wilson took a touch before directing his effort towards goal only for Caballero to make a one handed save.
The first ten minutes was all-action and as I collected a beer from the fridge I realised that it was the most action this house have seen for month if you know what I mean. Anyway I digress so back to the action on the pitch.
Then for a lengthy period of time both teams wanted to slow the game down basically to get a breather. However in the 33rd minute it was the blues who struck first through Spaniard Marcos Alonso. James played a one-two with Jorginho down the right flank to open up space for the cross. Giroud got ahead of Ake at the near post, but his strike clattered off the bar. The ball then bounced out into the inside left channel where Alonso smashed it into the top-right corner.
By this time the visitors were starting to move the ball around the pitch with ease and it seemed that the Cherries were being too passive in their approach.
In the 41st Minute Chelsea almost scored a second as they worked a short corner before James lined up a strike from 25 yards. The low strike was heading towards the bottom-right corner but Ramsdale got down to push it away.
Half time then approached so it was time to dart to the fridge once again and at the same time ring my Mum to wish her a Happy Birthday even through her birthday is in November! Clear signs that these beers are starting to go to my head!
The second half started as enjoyable as the first half began and Giroud really should have scored in the 47th minute. Kovacic released Alonso who had acres of space down the left flank. The Spaniard then sent a low cross into the box which Giroud hit first time towards goal, but his effort went wie of the post.
Bournemouth finally started to wake-up and in the 50th minute Stacey latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the box, but he sent his effort over the bar.
Just a few minutes later Bournemouth were back level courtesy of a headed effort from Lerma. Fraser swung a corner from the right into a dangerous area at the near post. Lerma rose above Kovacic to power his effort towards the net. Caballero got two hands to it, but he couldn’t keep it out.
Then just three minutes later the Cherries were ahead as Biling released Stacey down the right flank and he rolled a low ball across the face of goal. Wilson failed to score, but King was right behind him to put it into the net.
Then just a few minutes after that Caballero denied Bournemouth a third. Fraser lifted a cross into the box from the right flank and Ake headed it down towards Wilson. He then turned and shot on the half-volley, only to see his strike blocked by the Chelsea keeper before the visitors cleared the danger.
Lampard needed to make changes and he did a double change in the 64th minute with Jorginho making way for Barkley in the middle of the park and Willian replacing Tomori. He then also made a further change just minutes later as he sent on Batshuayi to replace Frenchman Giroud.
The changes made an instant impact as within seconds of him coming on Batshuayi did put the ball into the back of the net with a fine finish on his left foot, however the flag went up against the Belgian for being offside. He was well beyond Ake after collecting Alonso’s pass.
Just two minutes later Chelsea probed on the edge of the Bournemouth box before Barkley created room for a strike. His effort appeared to be heading towards goal before Ake stuck his head out to divert it past the left post.
As the game was entering the final ten minutes the visitors were really upping the ante as Bournemouth couldn’t find an outball to ease the pressure.
In the 82nd minute the home goalkeeper produced a save as somehow he managed to divert the ball wide of the post after Mount sent a dangerous cross in from the left that evaded Batshuayi.
Then in the following minute another Spaniard Azpilicueta struck from six yards after a Christensen corner but unfortunately for him his effort angled away from goal.
It was only a matter of time now for Chelsea is get back level and they did five minutes before the end and it was Alonso again who scored his and his clubs second of the game. Pedro collected an offload on the edge of the box and shot with power at goal. Ramsdale produced a fine stop, but the ball drifted into the direction of the wing-back who powered his header towards the net and it then burst through the hands of the keeper into the net.
Injury time arrived and Alonso should have had his hat-trick and all three points for Chelsea. Azpilicueta clipped a cross towards the back post for the Spaniard to head at goal. He had a free header but he directed his header wide of the right post.
All in all it really was an enjoyable game and it goes to show that even unattractive fixtures can surprise you from time to time. It’s further proof that the famous ‘It’s a funny old game’ quote from the great Jimmy Greaves really is true.