Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth brought Chelsea’s recent run of good form to a full halt in blitzkrieg fashion as they put three goals past the defending champions at Stamford bridge. In an evening where Chelsea showed an uncharacteristic weakness in defence and a lack of imagination in attack, the Cherries were able to take advantage and grab three precious points to push them to 10th position on the log.
Chelsea’s deadline day signings, Emerson Palmieri and Olivier Giroud could only watch from the bench as the Blues were carefully picked aside and exposed time after time. Chelsea were without a striker as Alvaro Morata was out with injury and Michy Batshuayi out on loan to Borussia Dortmund.
Eden Hazard played down the middle as Chelsea rarely created scoring chances in the first half; it was the kind of game which threatened to end in a goalless result but in the second half, Chelsea’s defence buckled. It took just sixteen minutes for Bournemouth to take advantage and score the first of their three goals in the 51st minute through Callum Wilson.
It was a rather simple counterattacking move and the Cherries were quick to double their advantage as Stanislas beat Courtois again as Cesar Azpilicueta was dragged out of position.
Antonio Conte’s response was to bring on Callum Hudson-Odoi for Zappacosta and a switch to a 4-3-3 as Chelsea looked to chase a game they didn’t look interested in winning. The third goal, produced when Chelsea failed to clear from a corner knocked the stuffing out of the home team in what must count as one of their more embarrassing defeats.