Chelsea Match Report and MOTM

Rodmorg

First Team
#1
Stubborn Bournemouth Beaten at the Bridge:


Following a successful and unbeaten start to the season, as well as progression into the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, Bournemouth visited Chelsea with fresh memories of a 0-3 win of the same fixture back on January 31st.

It would be tough to replicate one of the greatest victories we have ever seen in the Premier League, due to Chelsea having a new manager in Maurizio Sarri. The former Napoli manager received praise from Eddie Howe – citing Sarri as being “one of the world’s best”. Having watched Sarri’s Napoli down at the Vitality Stadium last season, as well as watching a few Serie ‘A’ games when he was Napoli manager, it would be hard to break down such a strong Chelsea side. Sarri had decided to start a former Napoli player Joginho as well as Kovacic, of whom is on loan from Real Madrid, as well as former Player of the Year Kante in midfield. Willian, Morata and star player Hazard all started up front, in a 4-3-3 formation.

For us, a familiar line-up of 3-4-3, of which is utilised against more tough teams was used. Captain Simon Francis started alongside the usual starters Ake and Steve Cook. In midfield, following the success of the tie on Tuesday, Jefferson Lerma replaced club captain Andrew Surman and Diego Rico replaced veteran left back Charlie Daniels. Both Dan Gosling and Adam Smith retained their places, despite the former receiving a red card last time out against Everton. In-form Ryan Fraser started once again, with Callum Wilson and Josh King beside him.

Loud cheers came from the away side as referee Lee Mason started the match. The cheers were close to being louder as within three minutes, Bournemouth were close to leading with Ryan Fraser sliding the ball across the face of the goal with Wilson very close to poking it in.
After Bournemouth had resisted from intense pressure from Chelsea, we had another golden opportunity to score. Following an excellent counter attacking move from a Chelsea corner, Diego Rico sprinted along the by-line to put in an inch-perfect and wonderful cross for Wilson, of who miss times the shot and it glided over the bar. He should have broken the deadlock, but the ball bounced up to him in an odd position.
We progressively grew into the game by having more of the ball, however, just before half time, another ball over the top from Chelsea found Hazard in the box, who squared the ball to Alonso, whose powerful effort hit the post from outside the box.


HT Chelsea 0-0 Bournemouth

After half-time, Bournemouth continued to frustrate Chelsea by forcing them to play on the wings. We could see that the frustrations were on the pitch too. As the ball went out for a throw-in, Adam Smith attempted to take it quickly for a swift counter. Marcos Alonso, already on a yellow card for grappling Smith earlier, intentionally tripped him up, which was blatantly ignored by referee Lee Mason, despite numerous players’ protests as well as the commentators mentioning it should have been a second yellow.

Just before the hour mark, another golden opportunity went astray. A powerful ball in by Diego Rico swiftly landed in front of former Chelsea man, Ake from three yards out, who somehow blazes it over the bar. A glorious chance that would be rued.
Not long after, a move started by Alonso eventually fell to substitute Pedro, who shot from outside the box which landed to Begovic’s right. An unfortunate goal for Bournemouth, considering the shot was initially going to go down the goalkeeper’s throat, nevertheless a massive deflection off Steve Cook made it impossible to save.
After another chance goes missing from a counter attack through Fraser, Howe rolled the dice by swapping Smith and King for Mousset and Ibe, both of whom impressed on Tuesday night, especially Mousset. The manager reverted back to his usual 4-4-2 in search of a much-needed goal to maintain an unbeaten start to our fourth season, despite obvious signs of us tiring from the pressure. A potential lifeline could’ve been one as Fraser was chasing the Chelsea goalkeeper, the opposition centre-back Rudiger barged into Wee Man needlessly which was again ignored by the referee. Could’ve easily been a penalty had he been looking.
Eventually, Eden Hazard killed off the game with an unstoppable drill past his former teammate Begovic from 6 yards out, following a lay off from Marcos Alonso. One final attack from Bournemouth led to Fraser nearly scoring a marvellous curl from the left of the Chelsea box and into the top right, which went just wide.


FT Chelsea 2-0 Bournemouth

Player Ratings:

Asmir Begovic – 7 – Conceded two, but made some great saves to deny his former team more goals, including a powerful effort form Alonso. Made some good distributions but nothing magical. Showed some bravery early on by saving with his face.

Simon Francis – 6 – Good game for Captain Franno. Made some good runs down the right when we were behind, and defended well.

Steve Cook –6– Still being the brave centre-back we all know and had good positioning. Very unlucky for the ball to deflect off him for their first goal.

Nathan Ake – 5 – A good performance by our player of the season, however he should’ve scored that would have put us into the lead and perhaps change the outline for the rest of the match.

Adam Smith – 6 – An average game for Smith aside the throw-in situation. Unfair for him to see Alonso be so aggressive towards Smith, given what happened last week. His second encounter with Alonso should’ve seen Chelsea see out the game with ten men.

Jefferson Lerma – 5 – Repeated the performance he had against MK Dons and saw a yellow card, of which won’t be the first time, and was lucky not to be sent off. Needs improvement. Didn’t do anything special what we expect him to do, except for making a great sliding tackle in the first half being the only highlight. Hopefully the Internationals freshen him up a bit.

Dan Gosling – 6 – A better performance compared to last week. Made some good passes and was running around everywhere. Better than Lerma and didn’t produce any mistakes. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the lineup against Leicester.

Diego Rico – 7 – A good debut for the Spanish left back. Produced an exquisite cross which should’ve been an assist for Wilson’s goal as well as Ake’s. Made some very good runs. Charlie should look behind his shoulder.

Ryan Fraser – 5 – Looked tired right off the bat after playing mid week. Didn’t do much except for the penalty appeal and a few shots – of which none were on target.

Callum Wilson – 6 – Good hold up play which suits him but was unlucky to make such a miss. He should’ve scored, given his level of quality and him being unmarked. Then again, made some good runs.

Josh King MOTM – 7 – Held the ball up well and made some excellent sprints down both sides of the pitch. Made some interesting and enjoyable skill moves in cul-de-sacs. My MOTM but tough to decide between him, Rico and Begovic. Could have easily been any of them.

Subs:

Lys Mousset – 5 – Good energy but a quiet performance given the game was killed off by that time

Jordon Ibe – 5 – Similar to Mousset, nothing special.

Lewis Cook – N/A – Came on too late – should’ve came on far earlier but looked bright.

Verdict:

It was going to be highly unlikely to replicate our great game last season but the defence was stubborn before the goal and we did well. We attempted to hit them on the counter and we got a few corners out of it. Wilson’s and Ake’s chances should have seen the net bulge, however we aren’t always going to score, but I expected at least one to go in.
The referee was very weak. Mason should have given a red card to Alonso and had it had been a different player for a different team, there would have been a different outcome. The concept applies with the penalty too. Had he have given those decisions, we may have been home with one, if not, three points. I’m not entirely blaming the outcome of the match on the referee, however if he had made the correct decisions, it could’ve influenced a turnaround in our mentality as well as Chelsea’s.
As a whole, an average performance by the players. We’ve had better performances against similar opposition (eg Man City and Arsenal at home last season). Rico is an exciting prospect for us and I hope he fulfils that. My opinion of Lerma is a bit 50/50. Currently, he needs more time to fit into the team. I think it was too early to start him in the Premier League and especially against such a strong opposition. I would have preferred him to start against Leicester or Burnley and give Surman or Lewis Cook a start against Chelsea. Anyway, I wasn’t expecting much out of this game but we tried and carried that “Never say die” attitude, even if we conceded two late on. An exciting fixture awaits after the international break with Leicester at home.
 
#3
Thanks for report.
Can't agree with a 5 for Lerma and that he was lucky not to be sent off.
Overall thought it was a good performace to stay with a very good Chelsea team for so long. defensively thought we were terrific with so many crosses defended and shots blocked.
 

Rodmorg

First Team
#4
Thanks for report.
Can't agree with a 5 for Lerma and that he was lucky not to be sent off.
Overall thought it was a good performace to stay with a very good Chelsea team for so long. defensively thought we were terrific with so many crosses defended and shots blocked.
I mentioned it was average because we were good defensively (especially Cook and Francis) but we should've done better when attacking. Wilson should have scored.
 

fritter

UTC Legend
#5
Good report. Always better on here than anywhere else.

I liked the way we worked for each other, defended strongly and broke well.

Our Achilles heel is the chances we squander. I guess that's no different to any other team? Chelsea had a lot of chances that drew blocks or saves. We squandered.

It'll come. I came away from the game pretty happy overall.

There was a large group of Southampton supporters on Clapham junction platform singing 'the South coast is ours.' Then 'we hate Bournemouth.'

I allowed myself a smile and I'd wager we have more to look forward to than them.
 
#8
Thanks for the report. Apart from the miss I thought Ake got in to thwart several dangerous set pieces and would have given at least a 6. Worth mentioning that Weeman’s shot at the end took a deflection for a corner but do agree he was our least effective player yesterday. (Not counting Ibe that is)
 
#9
I think I might have given the player scores another point each in many cases, that performance was better for me than for example either of our wins against Cardiff or West Ham. We just unfortunately didn't take our chances, and against the top 6 you have to take them. How did Wilson and Ake both miss?

Callum does seem to be in a bit of a missing habit at the moment, even with the couple of goals he has bagged.

I think the midfield of Gosling and Lerma did well from a combative, disruptive point of view. That was the job they were picked for, that midfield is never going to be the most creative or silky in possession, but in terms of breaking up Chelsea they did a fine job.

Rico needs to brush up on his defensive game a little, but he's so good going forward! That left boot has a touch of magic in it and I look forward to seeing more of it. I think he'll be useful at home to stubborn sides who we can't break down, perhaps that more defensive game wasn't ideal for him, but he still put a shift in. Given time he can combo up with Ake and reduce the size of the gap that sometimes opens between them. Daniels has some serious competition now.

Francis put in the sort of performance that is best for him. Right of a back 3, he doesn't have to move around much,. he just has to hold his position, head everything away that comes near, perfect for him. That's where he is best utilised.

And Smith in front got up and down well, excellent counter-attacker. The final quality was a little lacking, we know Smith has it in him, but he worked his socks off all the same.

Plenty of positives to take into the international break.
 
#10
I got slaughtered the other day for criticizing Wilson's finishing ability. If we had King playing in the central position, with Ibe or Brooks on the wing instead, I think we probably would have at the very least scored a goal.

I don't know what the solution is for Wilson. I just don't think he's a talented enough finisher; unless he improves his finishing massively I see no reason why he should have the central striker position over King, who has shown he can get well into double figures as the main striker.
 
#11
I agree, Callum’s erratic finishing is costing us points, but he does work very hard for the team and is a headache to mark with his power and speed. We have to give him more time to recapture his scoring ability, which is probably down to confidence.
 
#12
If you look at Wilson's record - he scores about 7 or 8 goals in half a season. If he stays injury free for the whole season, he's not going to be far off the magic 15 goal a season mark that any club outside the top 6 would bite your hand off for.

He's not the best finisher in the PL, but even Kane and Aguero have missed chances this season. If King played centrally, I reckon he might score a few more of the chances Wilson misses. I also doubt he'd get into the same positions to miss them in the first place...
 
#13
I agree, Callum’s erratic finishing is costing us points, but he does work very hard for the team and is a headache to mark with his power and speed. We have to give him more time to recapture his scoring ability, which is probably down to confidence.
I don’t disagree, but he started the season with 2 goals in 2; is that not enough of a platform to give him confidence in his finishing?

Personally, I just don’t think he’s a particularly good finisher at this level. Which isn’t a huge problem, as like you say, he’s a hard worker/willing runner etc. I just rate King more overall and would like to see him centrally.
 
#14
If you look at Wilson's record - he scores about 7 or 8 goals in half a season. If he stays injury free for the whole season, he's not going to be far off the magic 15 goal a season mark that any club outside the top 6 would bite your hand off for.

He's not the best finisher in the PL, but even Kane and Aguero have missed chances this season. If King played centrally, I reckon he might score a few more of the chances Wilson misses. I also doubt he'd get into the same positions to miss them in the first place...
Wilson is the sort of player who can score 8 goals in 10 appearances, and then go 10 games without scoring. I think it’s a bit of leap to assume he could maintain this type of form; he might, obviously, but he didn’t last season, he went something like 12 games without a goal.

You could also argue that this is his first, fully fit season, and that this’ll be his first chance (finally) to show what he can do over a whole season.
 
#15
Wilson is the sort of player who can score 8 goals in 10 appearances, and then go 10 games without scoring. I think it’s a bit of leap to assume he could maintain this type of form; he might, obviously, but he didn’t last season, he went something like 12 games without a goal.

You could also argue that this is his first, fully fit season, and that this’ll be his first chance (finally) to show what he can do over a whole season.
There was a controversial article about King about a year ago, arguing his 16 goal season wouldn't be sustaintable in the long term too. We all grumbled at the time but its probably been proved correct.

While King & Wilson both rely on pace and power they do have some subtle differences in their play.

Wilson has more of a goalscoreres instict. He'll usually find himself in the right position to get (and miss) a chance.

King is more explosive and I think he benefits from lurking slightly deeper or wider so he can catch out defenders. I prefer King as a finisher, but I don't always think he's in the right positions to get the chances.

Between the 2 of them its an above average duo. If either were really consistent they'd be off to a top 6 club for a huge fee. Missing chances is something fans of every club thinks happens to their club more than others. I personally don't see this as a huge problem for us, but if we did want to be serious top 10 contenders, its an area we could improve in.
 
#18
Are you guys seriously expecting our strikers to score from every single opportunity that presents itself?

Can you name any striker that does so?
It’s alright for some on here to absolutely slaughter players like Surman, but criticise one attribute of Wilson and everyone gets so defensive! I’m not saying “F*** Wilson, he’s s***, sell him now”, I’m saying his finishing is a bit poor.
 
#20
For me it was good to hear Eddie mentioning the cost of wasted chances at the weekend. It is obviously something he is very aware of and he will know it is costing us a lot of points. In the last COWS first team training video there seemed to be a lot more finishing training going on with several different scenarios being used. This was something which was seldom seen before or when they were practising finishing you just saw them continuously hitting the woodwork or blasting it over the crossbar. The under 21s training videos seemed to show much sharper finishing than I witnessed in the senior squad videos at the time. I think Eddie is focusing on improving us in this area. We do everything right, defend well, create chances and then fail to capitalise on all the good work. I’m confident we will soon be more effective in front of goal. That would bring us a hatful more easy points every season. I think Eddie is on the case and more training time is now focused on finishing. :utc: