Bournemouth 0-0 Chelsea: Chelsea poor start to the season continues

Mauricio Pochettino’chelsea

Chelsea’s indifferent start to the Premier League season continued as Bournemouth were held to a goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side again lacked a creative threat as the hosts comfortably dealt with what their opponents could muster in attack, only once looking truly troubled when Raheem Sterling’s second-half free-kick crashed under the crossbar.

It was a familiar case of Chelsea failing to find the critical pass as possession and overall control of the game counted for little.

It leaves the side built for more than £1billion by co-owner Todd Boehly languishing in 14th place with just one win in their opening five league games.

Andoni Iraola saw his Bournemouth stint without a win stretch to five games, but he also saw moments of real attacking intent from his side, notably when Dango Ouattara brilliantly denied Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez in the first half.

Sterling had his first sight of goal in the 10th minute when he flew into the box to meet Conor Gallagher’s chip, but his shot was horribly mistimed and rolled to safety.

Nicolas Jackson made the most of his first opportunity to hit the outside post from Mykhail Mudryk’s through ball, but overall the opening exchanges were uneventful.

It took a brilliant save from Sanchez to keep out Ouattara, the keeper, lunging at the striker’s feet after Bournemouth caught Chelsea with a quick free-kick.

Sterling looked in the mood to continue the rich run of form he started the season with. In the 22nd minute, Malo Gusto linked up well on the right with Gallagher to send in a low cross which Sterling was first to react to but his shot was deflected to safety.

Neto got a powerful right hand to beat Gallagher’s effort from 18 yards after being set up by Mudryk. For Chelsea, the first half had a familiar pattern; plenty of possession and probing balls into the channels, but little sign that they had figured out how to break Bournemouth down.

Sterling almost gave them the perfect start to the second period, his free-kick from 20 yards falling off the post and onto the goal line. Levi Colwill got onto the rebound but was rightly called offside.

The Blues have conceded five goals in their first four league games and there were once again signs of defensive weakness in Dorset.

Axel Disasi couldn’t get the height or distance from the edge of the box and headed the ball to the feet of Ryan Christie, who curled a well-struck effort into the palms of Sanchez.

Chelsea’s breakthrough appeared to come after 65 minutes when Sterling slipped the ball past Jackson, whose low cross almost turned the onrushing Colwill – with Neto clawing the ball to safety.

But the visitors looked increasingly desperate in their approach. Gusto and Sterling each epitomized the lack of creative ideas that scuttled Pochettino’s early ambitions, throwing speculative shots high and wide when the options were on.

At the other end, Bournemouth were increasingly a threat. First, Philip Billing saw a free-kick deflected just wide, then Dominic Solanke’s low drive was well saved by Sanchez.

Cole Palmer was brought on from the bench to help find Chelsea’s rhythm, but the summer signing from Manchester City had little more success than the player he replaced, Mudryk.

Ben Chilwell also came on and made one good lunge forward to cross for Jackson but the striker’s header was easy for Net.

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