Chelsea, Bournemouth ‘hit the post twice’ in 0-0 draw…15th behind Man Utd → ‘200 billion’ Kaysedo injury setbacks

September 18, 2023 | by

Chelsea, who are facing the same early season crisis as Manchester United (United), were held to a goalless draw at Bournemouth to remain in mid-table. With a lackluster performance and a slew of injuries, the Blues are unlikely to rebound anytime soon.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men worked hard for the full 90 minutes but were unlucky to see two shots hit the post in a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth in the fifth round of the 2023/24 English Premier League on Sunday at the Bournemouth Vitality Stadium in England. The draw leaves Chelsea with a record of one win, two draws, and five points, good for 14th place out of 20 Premier League clubs. Bournemouth improved to 3-2-2 (3 points) and sit in 15th place, just behind Chelsea.

Chelsea, who finished 12th last season despite losing two managers, brought in Pochettino ahead of the season and made a number of big-money signings to try and revitalize the squad, but the investment hasn’t paid off in the first five games.

After a not-so-bad opening 1-1 draw with Liverpool, Chelsea’s 1-3 away loss to West Ham in the second round showed that the team is still shaky. A 3-0 win over promoted Luton Town was their first under Pochettino, but a 0-1 home defeat to Nottingham Forest before the international break dropped them to the bottom of the table. They then failed to bounce back with a 0-0 draw at lowly Bournemouth.

They have not scored in their last two games, raising concerns that they are returning to the hollowness of last season’s 38 goals in 38 games, or one goal per game.

Bournemouth, who survived last season in 15th place, did well to draw their opening game with West Ham, but subsequent losses to Liverpool and Tottenham dropped them into the relegation zone. Back-to-back draws with Brentford and Chelsea prevented them from falling into a three- or four-game losing streak, but they were desperate for their first win.

The home side started with Neto in goal and a backline of Milos Kerquez, Lloyd Kelly, Ilya Zabalny, and Max Aarons. Lewis Cook and Ryan Christie formed a double-bolstered backline, while Dango Utara, Philip Billing and Marcus Tavernier lined up in the second row. Up top is Dominique Solanke, who won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after leading England to victory at the 2017 U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

The visitors were led by Robert Sanchez in goal, with a back four of Levi Colwill, Thiago Silva, Axel Disassi, and Malo Gestó. Leslie Ugochukwu and Connor Gallagher completed the double volante. The second line consisted of Mikhail Mudrikh, Enso Fernandez, and Raheem Sterling. Nicholas Jackson led the front line.

The game, which began with a torrential downpour at the Vitality Stadium before kickoff, was slow to get going as Chelsea managed just six shots on goal despite having 65% of the possession.

Chelsea opened the scoring in the second minute when Fernandes, who has been one of the only players in form for Chelsea this season, converted a pass from Sterling with a right-footed shot from the front of the arc, and a minute later, speedster Mourinho’s break down the left flank of the penalty area was met by Gallagher’s thigh in front of goal, but his shot went over the crossbar.

There was a frustrating moment in the 13th minute. Mourinho and Jackson exchanged two passes to break down the opposition defense and Jackson’s right-footed shot from the left side of the penalty area hit the home side’s left post and went wide. It was Chelsea’s most wasteful moment of the game.

Bournemouth also had a crucial chance before the break. In the 18th minute, Billing’s cross from the right side of the penalty area was met by Watara with a direct left-footed shot that was saved by Sanchez. On the ensuing Bournemouth attack, Tavernier fired a diagonal left-footed shot that was also caught by Sanchez.

In the 23rd minute, Chelsea took the lead when Gestó’s early cross down the right flank found Jackson in an awkward position to fire a shot past Neto.

Chelsea also failed to break the 0-0 deadlock in the 33rd minute when Mourinho crossed into the middle following a breakaway, with Gallagher immediately connecting with a right-footed shot that Neto parried away.

After a fruitless first half, Chelsea were rewarded with a good direct free-kick opportunity five minutes into the second half when Mourinho was brought down on the left flank as he broke down the left side of the box, but Sterling’s right-footed free-kick hit the crossbar and fell to the ground on the goal line, where Colwill rushed in to head home, but the offside flag had already been raised.

Bournemouth went close six minutes into the second half when Tavernier attempted a left-footed curling effort that went well over the crossbar.

In the second 20 minutes, Chelsea looked to have a great chance in the penalty area when Sterling and Jackson combined inside the penalty area, but Neto desperately cleared the ball away before falling over and allowing Bournemouth to escape the danger.

As the rain stopped and the sun came out, both teams began to prepare for a one-goal game.

Chelsea took off Mourinho and brought on Cole Palmer, while Bournemouth responded by bringing on Justin Kluivert, the son of Patrik Kluivert, who was a world-class striker around 2000.

Bournemouth were awarded a free-kick just outside the penalty area in the 34th minute, and Billing struck a strong left-footed shot that was saved by Gallagher. A minute later, Ballant’s left-footed pass down the flank was picked out by Solanke, who beat one man before unleashing a right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area that was saved by Sanchez.

In the 41st minute, Jackson’s short cross from the right side of the penalty area was met by Palmer with a fumbling left-footed effort that Neto reflexively pushed away.

Both teams then pushed for a goal in the final minutes, but the score remained 0-0. The referee awarded eight minutes of extra time, but neither team had any chances.

For Chelsea, the game was a reminder of their injured players, most notably defensive midfielder Moises Caicedo, who was left out of the squad for Ecuador’s two South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

“Caicedo was unable to play due to a knee bruise, which is not serious,” according to British media. Some media outlets have suggested that the injury is minor and that he could return quickly, but the club has yet to comment.

Mauricio Pochettino confirmed after the Bournemouth game that “we will have a full assessment on him on the 18th.”

His absence from the squad will only deepen the sighs of disappointment among Chelsea fans. The Blues have spent a whopping £419 million ($695.3 million) in the summer transfer window ahead of this season. The Blues set a new Premier League transfer record when they spent £115 million to sign Caido, beating off competition from Liverpool.

Add in the money spent last summer to bring in Wesley Fofana, Fernandes, Mourinho, and Benoit Badiazzil, and the Blues have spent more than £1 billion, with no trillion-dollar squad effect.

Chelsea hosts Aston Villa in the sixth round on Sept. 24 at 10 p.m., followed by a home game against Brighton in the third round of the League Cup on Sept. 28 at 3:45. The Blues then take a two-match break in October with away trips to Fulham and Burnley.

메이저놀이터 The Blues travel to Bournemouth on the 24th at 10pm, followed by a home game against second-place Stoke City on the 28th at 3:45am. They then play two Premier League games – at home to Arsenal on the 30th and away to Everton on the 7th – before entering the A-match break.

For Chelsea, the pacey attack of Mourinho and Sterling is working to some extent, as seen against Bournemouth, but the Blues are still struggling with the finishing ability of top man Jackson. Pochettino’s woes are likely to deepen in the new season as the Blues continue to struggle with their lack of firepower, with big-money summer signing Christopher Nkunku yet to start a game and rehabbing from a long-term injury.


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