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Chelsea vs Bournemouth result, highlights and analysis

Chelsea vs Bournemouth result, highlights and analysis

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter said Reece James’ latest injury disrupted his players as they ended their six-game wait for a Premier League win and gained ground on the top four with a comfortable victory at home to lacklustre Bournemouth.

James had impressed on his return from a knee problem that forced him out of contention for England’s 2022 FIFA World Cup squad, only to sustain a leg injury early in the second half that left the fullback lying on his back disconsolately before making his way off the pitch.

“We’re going to have to see in the next 24-to-48 hours,” Potter told Amazon Prime Video when he was asked about the extent of James’ issue. “We’re disappointed to lose him as quickly as we did. The situation affected us a little bit.”

The incident was a blemish for Chelsea on a night when Mason Mount marked his 150th start for his boyhood club with a brilliant long-range goal to double their first-half lead, striking after Kai Haverz had scored the first by sliding in to convert Raheem Sterling’s cross.

Among a string of saves, visiting goalkeeper Mark Travers denied James, Sterling and Mount to preserve Bournemouth’s faint hopes of a comeback in Gary O’Neil’s first match as permanent head coach.

Chelsea, who travel to Nottingham Forest on January 1, avoided the ignominy of losing four league games in a row for the first time since 1998 and moved six points behind Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand on the side occupying the final Champions League qualification place.

Bournemouth’s fifth defeat in six league games kept them three points above the relegation zone before the visit of Crystal Palace on December 31.

Chelsea revolve attacking options

Without a goal in more than five-and-a-half hours in all competitions, Chelsea also started the game shorn of an out-and-out striker as Potter started Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench.

Mount schemed behind them, sending Sterling away inside the penalty area on the right with a through-ball that allowed his recipient to swing an excellent low cross beyond Bournemouth’s backline and on to the run of Havertz in front of goal, who slid his finish narrowly under Travers’ dive.

Mount’s goal was a glorious one, curling his classy shot expertly beyond Travers’ dive from outside the box with an air of confidence that permeated Chelsea’s play for much of the rest of the match.

Havertz showed quick feet to set up Mount’s strike and is now Chelsea’s top scorer under Potter with four goals. “He gives me the freedom to go wherever I feel comfortable on the pitch and I like that,” Havertz told the broadcaster about Potter.

“I like to be free, to get the ball often, to be in the box and just to play. He gives me a lot of confidence. This period is crucial for us and we know we need the points.”

Potter explained that deploying Havertz as a number nine gives Chelsea “variation” and allows Sterling and Pulisic to remain high up the pitch.

“We wanted a performance in front of our supporters – we weren’t happy with our performances,” said the manager, adding of his side’s packed oncoming schedule: “It’s fun, it’s challenging. There’s no point me complaining about it, that’s for sure.”

Potter praises ‘fantastic’ Boehly

Potter was appointed on 9 September and made a strong start as Thomas Tuchel’s successor but had faced increased pressure because of a run of three successive top-flight defeats before the break for the World Cup.

The manner of their performances had also drawn criticism from some supporters, losing limply to two of the teams they are chasing in Arsenal and Newcastle after a 4-1 hammering at Brighton – Potter’s former club.

That led to rumours during the finals that Potter’s bosses have already contemplated his potential replacements amid recent results that have not rewarded their vast investment in the squad.

“I don’t feel any pressure from them other than that we all want to win,” said Potter, discussing new American chairman Todd Boehly and his board.

“The pressure is that it’s Chelsea Football Club and we’ve been through a huge transition and had to deal with quite a lot.”

Potter emphasised that he did not want to make “excuses” but added that the unprecedented winter pause for the World Cup had not helped his cause as he introduces his ideas to his players.

Bournemouth were poor and there will be far sterner tests for Chelsea in January, including meetings with reigning champions Manchester City in the Premier League and FA Cup and a trip to Liverpool.

Relief will likely be Potter’s overarching sensation, given the severe scrutiny that anything other than a first league win in two-and-a-half months would have entailed.

 

Chelsea vs. Bournemouth result, score

1H 2H Final
Chelsea 2 0 2
Bournemouth 0 0 0

Goals: Chelsea – Havertz (16), Mount (24)

Chelsea vs Bournemouth result, highlights and analysis
Chelsea vs Bournemouth result, highlights and analysis
Chelsea vs Bournemouth result, highlights and analysis
Chelsea vs Bournemouth result, highlights and analysis

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