Classy Chelsea beat Bournemouth, get back to winning ways
LONDON -- Chelsea eased past Bournemouth to get back to winning ways as Graham Potter’s side showed off their extra class at Stamford Bridge.
Quality first half goals from Kai Havertz and Mason Mount did the damage and Bournemouth were spirited but lacked the cutting edge to cause Chelsea too many problems.
This wasn’t the best Chelsea performance in history but it was all about the result. However, it may have come at a cost as Reece James hobbled off with a knee injury and that could be a huge blow after his recent recovery from a serious knee problem.
The win is Chelsea’s first in six Premier League games and moves them on to 24 points, six points off the top four but they have a game in-hand over fourth place Tottenham. As for Bournemouth, they have now lost five of their last six Premier League games and sit just two points above the relegation zone.
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What we learned from Chelsea vs Bournemouth
Potterball is clicking in: For 60 minutes we saw Chelsea rip Bournemouth apart down the flanks and that was Potterball in full flow. The final 30 minutes weren’t great but Chelsea are missing a lot of key players through injury and the loss of Reece James during this game impacted them too. After a torrid run before the World Cup break, this game was all about getting the result. Chelsea got it and they also got a glimpse of what things look like when Pulisic, Mount, Havertz and Sterling click into place and James and Cucurella support them from out wide. The first goal Chelsea scored was a perfect example as to why they hired Graham Potter. Now comes the hard bit: doing it week in, week out.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Stars of the show
Kai Havertz: Lovely movement throughout and got his goal early to set Chelsea on their way. Maybe he can start up top and they don’t need a new signing?
Mason Mount: Superb finish from outside the box and never stopped wanting the ball.
Chelsea head to Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Jan. 1, while Bournemouth host Crystal Palace on Saturday, Dec. 31.
How to watch Chelsea vs Bournemouth live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30 pm ET, Tuesday, Dec. 27
TV: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
📈 Graham Potter’s Chelsea back to winning ways. Extra class in attack was the difference.— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) December 27, 2022
“Potterball” worked well for 60 mins or so today, then Reece James came off injured. Reaction ➡️ https://t.co/S4xt3PimKJ
My thoughts on Chelsea’s win v Bournemouth ⤵️ #CFC #AFCB #CHEBOU pic.twitter.com/IJ1yXgKvlH
FULL TIME - Bournemouth came close to pulling a goal back late on but the damage was done early on. Chelsea 2-0 Bournemouth and the hosts deserved the victory.
Big chance for Ryan Christie but the substitute is denied as his low shot is saved by Kepa at his near post. Pretty slack from Chelsea there, as they looked very casual and played themselves into trouble.
Pulisic has a shot from distance but snatches at it and it flies way over. He then surges down the left but his cross is straight at Mark Travers.
Decent counter from Chelsea as Mason Mount’s low shot is pushed away. Apart from that, pretty subdued second half. So far.
Much better from Bournemouth now. They are winning the ball back high up the pitch and Jaidon Anthony’s deflected shot is saved by Kepa.
The atmosphere has dipped a bit after that injury to Reece James. We will have the latest update for you from here at Stamford Bridge.
Really horrible moment as Reece James goes down holding his right knee. After a lengthy spell out as he missed the World Cup, Chelsea fans were delighted to have him back today. But he’s gone off and is replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta. Big blow for Chelsea as James had been fantastic today. Hopefully that is nothing too serious.
Second half is underway. Let’s see if Bournemouth can make things interesting...
HALF TIME: Chelsea 2-0 Bournemouth - The Blues are cruising and look so dangerous when Mount, Havertz, Sterling and Pulisic get going in attack. Bournemouth have had a few half chances but this looks like Chelsea could score four or five.
No goal! Christian Pulisic has the ball in the back of the net... but the referee rules it out for a foul by Havertz on Smith. Not a lot in that. Nice finish by Pulisic though. He can’t believe it. He is doing his best ‘angry man yells at cloud impression right now.
43rd minute: Bournemouth have had a lot of the ball after going 2-0 down. They’ve had a lot of corners but haven’t made the most of them.
38th minute: Pulisic is caught again and is slow to get up. Bournemouth can’t handle his pace.
GOALL! Mason Mount sweeps home. Lovely finish into the bottom corner. Kai Havertz found him on the edge of the box. Chelsea have been relentless. Not letting Bournemouth settle on the ball at all. 2-0 to Chelsea.
GOALLL! Chelsea go 1-0 up and it is a lovely team move. Mason Mount turns and finds Raheem Sterling and his fine cross picks out Kai Havertz to tap home. Brilliant goal. Deserved lead for Chelsea and that is what Potterball is all about!
Christian Pulisic has his shirt pulled as he gets free in the box. His shot flies over as he was off balance and he wants a penalty kick. Nothing given. The home players, coaching staff and fans are not happy.
Chelsea have had a few decent attacks. Kai Havertz heads a cross from Cucurella over. Graham Potter is applauding a lot on the sidelines. He likes what he sees.
KICK OFF: We are underway here! First chance of the game falls to Bournemouth but Billing’s free kick from distance is easily saved by Kepa.
Light rain is falling here in west London (shock!) and that makes it a perfect evening for a game. Teams are out warming up and there is a party atmosphere around the bridge.
The team news is here and for Chelsea it looks like a 4-2-3-1 with Havertz up top and Mount, Pulisic and Sterling behind him. As for Bournemouth, they go with a 4-4-2 with Moore and Solanke up top.
There is a real buzz in the air among the home fans. You get the sense they’re expecting a big home win today and want to see the confidence flow through Graham Potter’s side. So far they’ve been pretty clunky and it’s tough to know whether or not the World Cup break was a good thing for any team. Perhaps Chelsea needed it?
Welcome to west London as the festive action continues! Can Chelsea kick on after a poor run of form before the World Cup break? Or will Bournemouth spring a huge shock?
Key storylines & star players
A rash of long-term injuries plagued Chelsea from the moment the season began, as N’Golo Kante (174 minutes), Wesley Fofana (180), Ben Chilwell (418) and Reece James (558) all featured in less than half of the 1,260 minutes played thus far. Due to form and managerial selection, Christian Pulisic (415) and Conor Gallagher (501) were also used sparingly. With three goals each, Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling led the way scoring goals.
Kieffer Moore and Philip Billing (4 goals each) provided fairly consistent goals, for a newly promoted side, when the Cherries’ defense could keep them in games (five games with three or more goals conceded) to have a chance at points.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee), Armando Broja (knee), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (calf)
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: David Brooks (thigh), Neto (thigh), Marcus Tavernier (illness), Ryan Fredericks (illness)