Debuting the new Eton blue kit against Bournemouth today, Chelsea wanted to add some good luck to the new design as well in a way to overcome a 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest that was somehow both promising and worrying. Doing so would require surpassing not just the Cherries at Dean Court but also the heavy rain that made it rather difficult to keep the ball on the ground and build up plays like we usually do.
With Mykhailo Mudryk playing as left winger instead of vice-captain Ben Chilwell, most of offensive moves concentrated on the right side instead thanks to good interplay between Malo Gusto, Conor Gallagher — who took the armband today — and Raheem Sterling. Gallagher was definitely the standout as an outlet not just to build up attacks but also getting into the box and finishing our best chances of the first half.
But more was definitely required for Chelsea to take the three points back home. We nearly got that early on in the second half with a beautiful Sterling top bins free kick that somehow didn’t make it past the goal line.
As stamina ran out on both sides, good chances to score were few and far between. Chelsea’s volume of shots is very deceptive as most of them were made very easy for Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto to either parry or claim due to lacking power and/or direction.
- A clear 4-2-3-1 with Mykhailo Mudryk as left winger instead of Ben Chilwell.
- Subs are Cole Palmer for Mykhailo Mudryk, Ian Maatsen for Enzo Fernández, and Ben Chilwell for Levi Colwill.
- In a few more weeks, those triangulations between Raheem Sterling, Malo Gusto and Conor Gallagher should be deadly.
- There was some good stuff from Mudryk given all the criticism surrounding him. But there’s still a lot for him to improve to justify a regular starting place for us, even if the alternative is playing Chilwell in his natural position instead.
- That Sterling free kick is just bad luck. There’s no other way to go on about it.
- One of the major issues of having such a young squad is how they don’t manage their stamina very well. After the 60-minute mark this Chelsea team look like their batteries are just depleted, and their cohesion follows.
- Another weekend of baffling refereeing, especially against Chelsea. Got to wonder why and how teams don’t just wage war against the PGMOL at this point.
- Next up: Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.