top of page

Bournemouth 2-2 Chelsea: Alonso rescues Chelsea again.


A rainbow spread over the Vitality Stadium in the second half and still Frank Lampard cannot help but plant his feet in pots of muck.

That seems to be Chelsea's way at the moment, where every second step is either a wobble or a fall. This was merely a stumble, but irrespective of how Marcos Alonso dressed the windows with his late equaliser, the result was a continuation of a long-standing difficulty.

Chelsea quite simply cannot find a workable stride pattern. Every time the jog looks like becoming a sprint in this weird season, they face plant, and for that reason it is almost four months since they last recorded back-to-back wins in the Premier League.

That they are still well placed in the race for the top four is testament to their start to this campaign and the fallibility of the other horses, but you suspect they are on borrowed time unless something changes, particularly in regards to their robustness amid adversity in games.

On that, it was notable again how, just as in midweek against Bayern Munich, when one goal went to Jefferson Lerma for 1-1, a second came soon after for Joshua King for 2-1. Those blips in concentration have become a troubling pattern.

Credit, though, for the recovery. They were in horrible difficulty after giving up the lead from Alonso's first-half strike, and at 2-1 down a familiar tale was playing out - for whatever reason, Eddie Howe is the stone that Chelsea cannot quite remove from their shoe. Three Bournemouth wins in the past four runs of this fixture was on the cusp of becoming four in five, before Alonso struck again with five minutes remaining. It was his third goal in two games and went with a red card against Bayern Munich - a one-man mirror of his club's fluctuations.

The point is important for Bournemouth - in the past five games they have shown signs of revival, even if they do only have two wins in 11 since they last beat Chelsea in December. For Lampard, Chelsea have two wins in eight in all competitions and badly need to step up the pace again.

'You can be happy with the reaction and the fact that we score, but over the whole game I think we should win it,' Lampard said before pointing to statistics that showed Chelsea had 73 per cent possession and 23 shots to Bournemouth's nine.

'They (missed opportunities) are costing us. Everyone wants to point at the defence. But at the same time if you are going to create or have 23 chances, and balls flashing across the face, and chances where we need to stick it away, that's what creates the nervousness.'

He insisted pressure on young shoulders was not a factor in recent form. 'I don't think it's the pressure,' he said. 'I just think it is more that this Premier League is tough, we are fighting for fourth against teams that are pushing the same as us and we really are striving for a little run of form where it's win, win, win. That's where we haven't been for a while.'

If there was good fortune for Chelsea it was in not going a goal down to either of two very good chances that went to Philip Billing. The first was saved by Willy Caballero in a vindication of a fifth-straight start over Kepa.

From there, Chelsea stabilised and led through Alonso before their collapse early in the second half. The first goal was purely a towering header from Lerma off a set-piece - Mateo Kovacic was beaten to the Ryan Fraser delivery but blame would be harsh.

The second, finished by King after a Jack Stacey's ball across the box, survived a VAR

referral, but three points ultimately became one when Alonso headed in a rebound after 15 minutes of solid Chelsea pressure.

Howe said: 'I think we are in a better place than a few weeks ago. We are not where we want to be in the table and it is going to be a battle but I am seeing signs that the team is ready for the challenge.'

2 views0 comments


bottom of page