Chelsea's inconsistent run of form continues as they were beaten 1-0 by Bournemouth in the Premier League on a poor afternoon at Stamford Bridge. The home side were never really able to figure the Cherries out at the back and as the game went on, Eddie Howe's men grew in confidence. It took until the 84th minute for the deadlock to finally be broken when Dan Gosling chipped home the winner (confirmed by VAR) to pile the pressure onto Frank Lampard.
One thing that seemed to frustrate Bournemouth at times was Chelsea's ability to maintain possession well and move the ball quickly and precisely. Their movements when drifting into the opposition's half were fluid, and they rarely seemed to rush into any decisions. Of course, that comes with risk, but they managed it well.
The aerial threat and long through-balls of Bournemouth were a problem from the first minute until the very last. Chelsea looked fairly anxious today, especially at the back, but even when moving forward they were hesitant to pull the trigger. If they want to keep their top four momentum going, they need to rediscover the excitement factor they had at the start of the campaign.
Manager Ratings (out of 10)
6 -- Frank Lampard is sticking to his guns with the current setup on display in the starting XI, but it isn't paying off. There seems to be no real passion behind many of the first team stars right now and even when coming out for the second half, there didn't appear to be a noticeable change within their attitude. His substitutions were also rightly called into question by the unhappy home fans.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Kepa Arrizabalaga, 6 -- Whenever he was called upon, which wasn't all too often for the most part, Kepa was able to deal with any oncoming pressure from the visitors until he was caught off his line for the game-winning goal.
DF Antonio Rudiger, 6 -- Needs to calm down when it comes to pumping the long balls forward, but in equal measure, there's a real excitement behind his determined approach and partnership with Zouma.
DF Kurt Zouma, 7 -- Produced a series of vital challenges at the back and continues to establish himself as the club's best centre-back.
DF Emerson, 5 -- Certainly doesn't lack confidence when drifting forward, but killed any momentum that Chelsea tried to muster down the left.
MF N'Golo Kante, 5 -- Didn't have his best day at the office by any stretch of the imagination and Lampard needs to rethink the midfielder's position within this current setup.
MF Jorginho, 6 -- Excites the masses when he gets the space to create for his team, but wasn't able to show his world class link-up play on Saturday.
MF Willian, 5 -- Still at the heart of most Chelsea moves but appears to have lost the attacking edge that made him such a hot commodity at the start of the season.
MF Mason Mount, 4 -- Had one of his worst games in a Chelsea shirt this season. Looked lost at times in the middle and his spatial awareness was dire at best.
MF Christian Pulisic, 5 -- Moments of brilliance were few and far between for the American today as he was kept pretty quiet by Bournemouth.
FW Tammy Abraham, 6 -- Good positioning, good decision making, but didn't receive the sort of service that a centre forward of his quality requires.
MF Mateo Kovacic, 6 -- Kept things steady in midfield and was always looking for that one drive to push Chelsea towards something positive.
MF Callum Hudson-Odoi, 6 -- Almost cost the Blues a goal within minutes after coming on, but also brought a spark that they'd been lacking.
FW Michy Batshuayi, NR -- Wasn't given all too many opportunities to make an impact upon being introduced.