“Oh no, not this crap again”. That’s the first thought that crossed my mind after Chelsea had their pants pulled down in front of their home crowd. Bournemouth marched into town and left with all three points, beating the home side by three goals to nil. That’s right. The final score read Chelsea 0-3 Bournemouth.
Without dwelling further on the misery, let’s see what we got from the game.
Antonio Conte made no secret of his annoyance with the timing of the transfer window and the uncertainty it was causing. Michy Batshuayi’s short term future hung in the balance while Chelsea prepared to face Bournemouth. Just a few hours before the game, Michy moved to Borussia Dortmund on loan and Olivier Giroud arrived from Arsenal. This last minute juggle left Chelsea without a striker to face the Cherries. Pedro, Hazard and the semi-serviceable Ross Barkley started the game up front, a combination which laid bare the lack of options. Still, at least Callum Hudson-Odoi was on the bench again.
#2 Christensen And The Collapse
Andreas Christensen is the glue holding this Chelsea defence together. This became clear the moment he pulled a hamstring and had to be subbed off for Rudiger. If it’s any consolation, Rudiger and Cahill have barely played together this season, as they have been rotated in the role of the third option alongside Christensen and Azpilicueta. You could tell by their defending that all was not well. Bakayoko’s lack of help from midfield only exacerbated the problem and the Chelsea defence looked shakier than an autumn leaf on a tree branch. At one point, the trio of Cahill, Alonso and Rudiger stood like mannequins while former blue Nathan Ake jogged ahead of them to score. Useless.
Did I mention we had no strikers? The lack of a focal point was telling as Chelsea’s front three found opportunities hard to come by. I can’t remember Asmir Begovic in the Bournemouth goal straining to make a single save. Everything was either off-target or easy for the ‘keeper. Giroud can’t come in soon enough to provide a proper, attacking point of reference to the side.
#4 Cheers For Callum
The best player on the pitch was a 17 year old who came on for his Premier League debut. He may have only played less than half an hour but he looked so much more comfortable on the ball than any of the other seasoned internationals out there. With Willian out injured and Pedro out of sorts, this is the time for COH to stake a claim for a regular first team berth. Go on, Callum!
#5 On Shaky Ground
An embarrassing loss at home usually spells doom for a Chelsea manager. Even though the crowd made their support clear with chants of ‘Antonio, Antonio’ towards the end of the game, the bosses might not take too kindly to the result and Conte’s recent comments about spending. The upcoming games against Barcelona might hold the key to whether Conte lasts the season or if Chelsea return to bad habits of old. Let’s hope better sense prevails.
Next up, it’s a trip to another struggling club, Watford. Let’s get those strikers in!