Match Report: A Fine Display with an Unfortunate End:

#1
A Fine Display with an Unfortunate End:

Chelsea were once again drawn with Bournemouth in the Carabaao Cup. The exact same fixture had occurred in the Quarter finals for us last season, and had resulted in a 2-1 loss despite a 90th minute equaliser by Dan Gosling, but heads were held high for a good performance against strong opposition. Only a month later would Bournemouth return to the bridge to sweep aside the side in a memorable 0-3 win.

All scorers of that match started again. After the Wolves defeat, Callum Wilson, David Brooks, Artur Boruc, Jack Simpson and Lys Mousset came in place of Asmir Begovic, Ryan Fraser, Josh King, Andrew Surman and Jefferson Lerma. With no natural central midfielder starting, Eddie opted for a middle three of Brooks, Ake and Stanislas in a 3-5-2 formation.

Keen to replicate a great performance last season, the Cherries fans who made the trip to London were in full voice as confidence was sky high as the game kicked off. Constant pressure early on by a strong Chelsea led to Boruc being forced to make a great save with only 10 minutes on the clock. Chelsea’s attacks were reminiscent of our displays of recent – constant pressure in the first 20-25 minutes.

With the game plan of ‘hitting them on the counter’ in the minds of the eleven, there was a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after 20 minutes. A blistering counter attack led by Mousset allowed the Frenchman to through-ball an excellent pass to Wilson, who had no choice but to hit it first-time that went agonisingly close from 18 yards out.

Brooks, Wilson and Mousset all linked perfectly well midway through the first half as Bournemouth searched for what looked to be like an inevitable opener. Majestic play by Brooks gave him a couple of opportunities, but the best fell to Mousset with 10 minutes left. Jordon Ibe, under criticism recently and playing RWB again, danced past 3 defenders to lay-off to Mousset; with his right foot, unleashed a curling shot that looked destined to go in, only to be saved by Kepa, the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.

As Half Time drew to a close, Bournemouth were on the front foot and defended well; only restricting Chelsea to long-range efforts that did no harm to Boruc.

Half-Time Chelsea 0-0 Bournemouth

The momentum was carried through the dressing room and back onto the pitch as Bournemouth looked the better of the teams after half time, but concluded with no goals as Eddie rolled the dice after the hour mark and brought on Ryan Fraser for Stanislas. His involvement came straight away as he blasted across the pitch whenever a counter-attacking opportunity came.

The away fans being in great voice had begun to affect the confidence of the Chelsea team, frustrations were shown by their manager Sarri and by the players as Bournemouth looked likely to get a goal but time was running out. Eddie switched King for Mousset. By 80 minutes, a shout for a penalty from a supposed handball incident was not given to Bournemouth, and Wilson had come agonisingly close again, only for his sliding effort to be miraculously blocked by their defender.

Then, the goal came that struck the momentum and spirit of the well-oiled Bournemouth machine. A counter attack on the left started and substitute Pedro unlocked the stubborn defence, who back-heeled it to Hazard to strike from 8 yards out, after a heavy deflection from Daniels. An extremely unlucky goal at the wrong time, when Bournemouth had looked their absolute best for a while. The build-up to the counter-attack and subsequent goal had King be blatantly hauled back by a Chelsea player, which referee Anthony Taylor had ignored and waved play on. The outcome may have been different if he had picked the correct decision.

Howe brought on Jermain Defoe and switched to a 4-4-2 to try and snatch a goal for the game to go to penalties but it never came. Two heroic saves from Boruc after the goal, both from point-blank range, limited the deficit to the solitary goal. One final free kick deep into added time led to a scramble in the box as a plethora of players tried to score, but to no avail.

Full Time: Chelsea 1-0 Bournemouth

Player Ratings:

Artur Boruc – 9 – MOTM: 39 in February and is still of first team quality! Made some excellent saves and was the winner of both one on one encounters he had. Was not at fault for the killer goal, and should be proud of his contribution. An excellent performance. Would be a 10 if he was more accurate with his kicking.

Jordon Ibe – 8: A complete turnaround after a poor game on Saturday. Evident that Eddie has been concerned with his performances and he was great in a somewhat unfamiliar role. Had good confidence on the ball and I lost count of how many times he blasted forward. Seemed to have passed the ball more often as well.

Steve Cook – 8: A very consistent performer and took the armband with pride. A great captain’s contribution. Made some excellent tackles and interceptions to keep their front three quiet for most of the time. Some key tackles late on too.

Jack Simpson – 7: Confident on the ball against strong opposition. Good marking and tracking back throughout, but needs some improvement in his heading.

Charlie Daniels – 8: Good on the left and very confident on the ball. Did provide some good tackles and interceptions too. On numerous occasions he danced through numerous defenders. A much better performance than last time out.

Diego Rico – 7: Very much similar to Daniels, although his crossing was poor, as on most occasions, most of his crossing ended in a through or a goal-kick. Made an awful error of a corner too.

Nathan Ake – 7: Looked a little ‘lost’ in midfield. Did well to defend but seemed rather scared when the ball was at his feet, but produced no errors.

David Brooks – 9: What a signing he’s been for us. Confidence was through the roof for Brooks. A 10/10 first half but became slightly less involved in the second half. Extremely unlucky to not have a goal or assist to his name. Reminds me of Paul Scholes in his good days.

Junior Stanislas – 6: Wasn’t good again. Did create some opportunities with one beautiful ball to Wilson but that’s it.

Lys Mousset – 8: What a great contribution tonight. Looked destined to get a goal or provide an assist in the first half but unlucky in both circumstances. Had a great game but tired, so deserved a rest.

Callum Wilson – 8: Returned from a slight injury issue to be at his best again. He was unfortunate not to get a goal too but has certainly justified why there is interest from other clubs.



Substitutes:

Ryan Fraser (Junior Stanislas 70) – 7: Came on to the pitch and changed the tempo of the game instantly. An excellent substitution by Eddie; occupying the left flank and having blistering pace, but did gradually get less involved.

Josh King (Lys Mousset 80) – 6: Did get bbullied out of possession a few times but did show some great dribbling ability.

Jermian Defoe (David Brooks 88) – N/A.

Overall Team Rating – 9:

Perhaps the most unfortunate games we’ve had all season. We stumbled a little early on but grew into the game and looked certain to score for a while. An excellent contribution from all players involved. A slight shame a few weren’t the best but were dwarfed by the excellent performance of their partner(s).

Verdict.

I’ll confess after looking at both lineups pre-match I expected a defeat, but never judge a book by its cover. Despite the defeat, we produced an astonishing performance and took the game to the home side. Most of the players starting usually make cameo appearances in the league (eg Ibe and Mousset). In fact, they all turned out to be fantastic tonight, against a very strong opposing team. The improvements of Ibe, Mousset and Rico shown proves that our team is capable of being successful and we are built on spirit, confidence and motivation. It also shows the quality of the depth we have in our team. Young prospects such as Simpson and Mousset should be proud of their performance. I should not continue without mentioning how well Boruc did too. Despite his lack of appearances and age, he has certainly proved he is in capable of being in competition with Begovic now. The point blank and diving saves he made came with no errors, which is sometimes seen with Begovic. Perhaps Boruc may get a starting place in the near future?

Once again we’ve been knocked out in the Quarters after good games against lower league opposition and a valiant performance against a team we’ve beaten twice before away in the Premier League. Where does this lead us though? Well, firstly it implies that we are capable of reaching the Semi-Finals and even the Finals of a Cup competition. Chelsea struggled against a team with a majority of players that do not start regularly with a team filled with International talents. Secondly, leaving the competition on such a high note will surely change the poor run of form we’ve experienced recently. The team and fans had confidence of a win after half time and unfortunately it wasn’t delivered but no fan or player should hang their head in shame. Hopefully, the performance is replicated in the next home fixture versus Brighton on Saturday.
 
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#3
Impressive to get that report out so quickly.

No mention of the foul that created the breakaway that led to the Chelsea winner. Looked a blatant foul on king to give Chelsea the ball and Eddie moaned about it after the game. Anyone seen a replay?
Thanks for the feedback Bade, I was conscious that I take too long to write the reports; trying to implement new strategies...

I completely forgot about that, upon reflection it was a blatant foul, you see some of our players protest the ref's decision.

Edit: Included the incident, cheers
 
#4
A Fine Display with an Unfortunate End:

Chelsea were once again drawn with Bournemouth in the Carabaao Cup. The exact same fixture had occurred in the Quarter finals for us last season, and had resulted in a 2-1 loss despite a 90th minute equaliser by Dan Gosling, but heads were held high for a good performance against strong opposition. Only a month later would Bournemouth return to the bridge to sweep aside the side in a memorable 0-3 win.

All scorers of that match started again. After the Wolves defeat, Callum Wilson, David Brooks, Artur Boruc, Jack Simpson and Lys Mousset came in place of Asmir Begovic, Ryan Fraser, Josh King, Andrew Surman and Jefferson Lerma. With no natural central midfielder starting, Eddie opted for a middle three of Brooks, Ake and Stanislas in a 3-5-2 formation.

Keen to replicate a great performance last season, the Cherries fans who made the trip to London were in full voice as confidence was sky high as the game kicked off. Constant pressure early on by a strong Chelsea led to Boruc being forced to make a great save with only 10 minutes on the clock. Chelsea’s attacks were reminiscent of our displays of recent – constant pressure in the first 20-25 minutes.

With the game plan of ‘hitting them on the counter’ in the minds of the eleven, there was a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after 20 minutes. A blistering counter attack led by Mousset allowed the Frenchman to through-ball an excellent pass to Wilson, who had no choice but to hit it first-time that went agonisingly close from 18 yards out.

Brooks, Wilson and Mousset all linked perfectly well midway through the first half as Bournemouth searched for what looked to be like an inevitable opener. Majestic play by Brooks gave him a couple of opportunities, but the best fell to Mousset with 10 minutes left. Jordon Ibe, under criticism recently and playing RWB again, danced past 3 defenders to lay-off to Mousset; with his right foot, unleashed a curling shot that looked destined to go in, only to be saved by Kepa, the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.

As Half Time drew to a close, Bournemouth were on the front foot and defended well; only restricting Chelsea to long-range efforts that did no harm to Boruc.

Half-Time Chelsea 0-0 Bournemouth

The momentum was carried through the dressing room and back onto the pitch as Bournemouth looked the better of the teams after half time, but concluded with no goals as Eddie rolled the dice after the hour mark and brought on Ryan Fraser for Stanislas. His involvement came straight away as he blasted across the pitch whenever a counter-attacking opportunity came.

The away fans being in great voice had begun to affect the confidence of the Chelsea team, frustrations were shown by their manager Sarri and by the players as Bournemouth looked likely to get a goal but time was running out. Eddie switched King for Mousset. By 80 minutes, a shout for a penalty from a supposed handball incident was not given to Bournemouth, and Wilson had come agonisingly close again, only for his sliding effort to be miraculously blocked by their defender.

Then, the goal came that struck the momentum and spirit of the well-oiled Bournemouth machine. A counter attack on the left started and substitute Pedro unlocked the stubborn defence, who back-heeled it to Hazard to strike from 8 yards out, after a heavy deflection from Daniels. An extremely unlucky goal at the wrong time, when Bournemouth had looked their absolute best for a while. The build-up to the counter-attack and subsequent goal had King be blatantly hauled back by a Chelsea player, which referee Anthony Taylor had ignored and waved play on. The outcome may have been different if he had picked the correct decision.

Howe brought on Jermain Defoe and switched to a 4-4-2 to try and snatch a goal for the game to go to penalties but it never came. Two heroic saves from Boruc after the goal, both from point-blank range, limited the deficit to the solitary goal. One final free kick deep into added time led to a scramble in the box as a plethora of players tried to score, but to no avail.

Full Time: Chelsea 1-0 Bournemouth

Player Ratings:

Artur Boruc – 9 – MOTM: 39 in February and is still of first team quality! Made some excellent saves and was the winner of both one on one encounters he had. Was not at fault for the killer goal, and should be proud of his contribution. An excellent performance. Would be a 10 if he was more accurate with his kicking.

Jordon Ibe – 8: A complete turnaround after a poor game on Saturday. Evident that Eddie has been concerned with his performances and he was great in a somewhat unfamiliar role. Had good confidence on the ball and I lost count of how many times he blasted forward. Seemed to have passed the ball more often as well.

Steve Cook – 8: A very consistent performer and took the armband with pride. A great captain’s contribution. Made some excellent tackles and interceptions to keep their front three quiet for most of the time. Some key tackles late on too.

Jack Simpson – 7: Confident on the ball against strong opposition. Good marking and tracking back throughout, but needs some improvement in his heading.

Charlie Daniels – 8: Good on the left and very confident on the ball. Did provide some good tackles and interceptions too. On numerous occasions he danced through numerous defenders. A much better performance than last time out.

Diego Rico – 7: Very much similar to Daniels, although his crossing was poor, as on most occasions, most of his crossing ended in a through or a goal-kick. Made an awful error of a corner too.

Nathan Ake – 7: Looked a little ‘lost’ in midfield. Did well to defend but seemed rather scared when the ball was at his feet, but produced no errors.

David Brooks – 9: What a signing he’s been for us. Confidence was through the roof for Brooks. A 10/10 first half but became slightly less involved in the second half. Extremely unlucky to not have a goal or assist to his name. Reminds me of Paul Scholes in his good days.

Junior Stanislas – 6: Wasn’t good again. Did create some opportunities with one beautiful ball to Wilson but that’s it.

Lys Mousset – 8: What a great contribution tonight. Looked destined to get a goal or provide an assist in the first half but unlucky in both circumstances. Had a great game but tired, so deserved a rest.

Callum Wilson – 8: Returned from a slight injury issue to be at his best again. He was unfortunate not to get a goal too but has certainly justified why there is interest from other clubs.



Substitutes:

Ryan Fraser (Junior Stanislas 70) – 7: Came on to the pitch and changed the tempo of the game instantly. An excellent substitution by Eddie; occupying the left flank and having blistering pace, but did gradually get less involved.

Josh King (Lys Mousset 80) – 6: Did get bbullied out of possession a few times but did show some great dribbling ability.

Jermian Defoe (David Brooks 88) – N/A.

Overall Team Rating – 9:

Perhaps the most unfortunate games we’ve had all season. We stumbled a little early on but grew into the game and looked certain to score for a while. An excellent contribution from all players involved. A slight shame a few weren’t the best but were dwarfed by the excellent performance of their partner(s).

Verdict.

I’ll confess after looking at both lineups pre-match I expected a defeat, but never judge a book by its cover. Despite the defeat, we produced an astonishing performance and took the game to the home side. Most of the players starting usually make cameo appearances in the league (eg Ibe and Mousset). In fact, they all turned out to be fantastic tonight, against a very strong opposing team. The improvements of Ibe, Mousset and Rico shown proves that our team is capable of being successful and we are built on spirit, confidence and motivation. It also shows the quality of the depth we have in our team. Young prospects such as Simpson and Mousset should be proud of their performance. I should not continue without mentioning how well Boruc did too. Despite his lack of appearances and age, he has certainly proved he is in capable of being in competition with Begovic now. The point blank and diving saves he made came with no errors, which is sometimes seen with Begovic. Perhaps Boruc may get a starting place in the near future?

Once again we’ve been knocked out in the Quarters after good games against lower league opposition and a valiant performance against a team we’ve beaten twice before away in the Premier League. Where does this lead us though? Well, firstly it implies that we are capable of reaching the Semi-Finals and even the Finals of a Cup competition. Chelsea struggled against a team with a majority of players that do not start regularly with a team filled with International talents. Secondly, leaving the competition on such a high note will surely change the poor run of form we’ve experienced recently. The team and fans had confidence of a win after half time and unfortunately it wasn’t delivered but no fan or player should hang their head in shame. Hopefully, the performance is replicated in the next home fixture versus Brighton on Saturday.
 

hba1

Star Player
#5
Excellent team performance and only beaen by a world class pefmance ((again )by a world class player. Speciial mentions as has been stated A Boruc, David Brooks, Nathan Are as a leader, Jack Simpson and S C00k.Jordan Ibe had a better pefmance by his standads of late. Still not be starter for me only on the trasfer iiist with Fracis
 
#6
with a couple of exceptions the last 8 games have been very hard to take. A team playing well but just not capitalizing. So tough. It does re-enforce (for me) that we are good enough for this level, but the luck, or whatever it is, is not with us right now. A deflected goal sunk us tonight, but I take heart from the performance overall, it is just a difficult stretch we are in. Lets put Brighton to bed and have a merry christmas. Up the cherries!
 
#8
I thought it was an excellent performance and we showed great spirit, but I'm not sure we can claim to have been that unlucky. Chelsea still controlled large chunks of the game and Boruc was on fire.

Very encouraging performance though and good to see some strength in depth.
 
#9
I hate podcasts, radio, messageboards right now. I hope we turn this round soon....:)
As long as the performances and mood in the camp remain as good as they have been lately, we’ll be absolutely fine. Our luck WILL change. Plenty of points to be picked up in the New Year and we now no longer fear anyone in the league. Expect early safety from relegation and a late season push into the top eight !
:utc:
 
#10
Over 90 mins we were clearly second best. Somehow survived the first 20 thanks to some great defending (particularly by Ibe, ironically) and Boruc. But in the second half we at least matched them, probably finished stronger than them. The only gripe from me is that it's another game without scoring... I'm really not so sure whether our more defensive set up is good for us overall.

However, some excellent pluses tonight:

1. Simpson looks like he's ready for the Premier League and seemed more comfortable in the middle of a back 3 than Ake - for me he should be above Mings in the pecking order.

2. Boruc looks pretty lean and hungry, and played a blinder.

3. Ibe not only looked competent at right back, he actually looked for once like a 15m player. It was great, albeit somewhat shocking, to see him absolutely wrap up Willian, to the point where Willian was moving central to get away from him. Plus, he actually ran at Chelsea with paced and caused them problems. More of the same and he could still work out as a good player for us.

4. Ake. After 25-30 mins I said to myself "now we know why EH never plays him as a CM". He was dreadful and looked somewhat terrified. Then, click. The rest of the game he looked like a decent CM!

5. Brooks played very well again. His biggest asset is that he simply doesn't fear anyone or any situation.

6. Mousset has looked unfit and has been pretty ineffective in recent weeks. Last night he looked a lot fitter.
 
#11
Had it gone to penalties I would have backed Boruc to see us through - he was the one person who prevented a landslide last night with a string of magnificent saves - but his distribution wasn't great at times so, for me, Begovic's position for PL games is safe for the time being.

On balance, with hindsight, a Chelsea win was probably the right result, but having held them for 83 minutes, we were tantalisingly close to playing Russian Roulette (literally, given our respective owners!).

Seeing as we started with no right back, 2 left backs and no central midfielders, overall it was a great team performance which hopefully will provide a confidence boost for the games ahead.
 
#12
Two big positives for me last night were Simpson and Boruc.

Simpson looked calm and collected on the ball, despite the high press, and is definitely growing into a more-than-capable centre back who can pull his weight in the Premier League.

Boruc was as fearless as ever and made some excellent saves. I thought he kept us in the game at the start and I think his confidence filtered through into the back-line as well.

Bring on Brighton!
 
#14
Excellent report, summed it all spot on, though for me Ake was jogging about with the game going on around him for almost the whole game, though most obvious in the opening 25mins. He had a purple patch end of 2nd half but that was making interventions deep into Chelsea's half. CM is a very different position to CB and it shows.
 
#15
I've noticed with Wilson that, at some point in the first 20 minutes of games, he's started deliberately roughing up the opposition GK. Looks like a horrible player to play against, love it.
 
S

smhinto

Guest
#16
I must offer my appreciation to the team for the performance last night. However, I just wish we had taken Wilson, S.Cook and Ake off at half time to rest them. We need these two the be sharp for Saturday. I feel now that there may be a fatique factor creeping for the Brighton game of which will cost us if we are not sharp.
 
#17
I think it's tricky to say we were unlucky, because as most have pointed out, Chelsea were the better team overall. But I thought we looked very strong on the counter and on another night could have snatched a goal for sure. It's a big compliment that they had to bring on one of the best players in the world to beat us. Brooks looked absolutely sensational - fearless, quick, strong. Simpson seemed really calm on the ball, which is a big boost with a couple of recent defensive injuries in the squad. I could pick out a number of players that impressed me personally, to be honest. Support was really strong from us as well, in an otherwise absolutely silent Stamford Bridge from the Chelsea fans.
 
#18
I must offer my appreciation to the team for the performance last night. However, I just wish we had taken Wilson, S.Cook and Ake off at half time to rest them. We need these two the be sharp for Saturday. I feel now that there may be a fatique factor creeping for the Brighton game of which will cost us if we are not sharp.
Take off 3 key players at half time when the score is 0-0??
 
S

smhinto

Guest
#20
Take off 3 key players at half time when the score is 0-0??
In my view - yes. The Brighton game and getting three points for Premier League survival far outweighs a League cup game. Persoanlly. I would not have started any players that were likly to involved against Brighton. This would protect them from injury and the fatique factor from playing three games in seven days.