Marcos Alonso and Eden Hazard put in inspired shifts as Chelsea grabbed their fourth straight win in the Premier League with a 2-0 result against Bournemouth.
Chelsea and Bournemouth came into the match with no defeats in the three respective matches played thus far. Alas, it was Bournemouth’s record that gave way, with Chelsea extending their brilliant start to four wins out of four. The game was a back-and-forth affair.
Bournemouth had their fair share of chances, but failed to take any of them. Chelsea too, could have scored more if they were clinical. The away side though, had better chances before Chelsea took the lead thanks to a brilliant exchange outside the box between Olivier Giroud and Pedro, with the latter slotting it home.
The second came courtesy of the left side, an area where Chelsea had much joy the entire game. Marcos Alonso teed up Eden Hazard who fired a grounded shot that Begovic could not save.
We now run the rule over the Chelsea players.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6
Surprisingly, Bournemouth had several chances to test Kepa in goal. But, the Spaniard was seldom troubled, having to make no more than routine stops or catches throughout the match. Had just one save in the match. Would be happy to have outings like these on a regular basis.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 5.5
It will take Azpilicueta some time before he gets back into the groove as the right-back after spending two seasons in a central role. The Spaniard let Diego Rico get the better of him on several occasions and was lucky the several crosses that came from his flank did not result in a good chance. Needs to improve.
Antonio Rudiger – 6.5
It is astonishing to see Rudiger being afforded the freedom to wander forward, with the ever-wandering David Luiz instructed to stay back. The German does not look that comfortable on the ball, which showed as he skied an attempt from distance. Got in the box on set-pieces though, and always looked a threat.
Got his head on the ball twice in the box but failed to guide it in the back of the net. Defensively, Bournemouth often carved out openings with ease, which would be worrying signs for Maurizio Sarri.
David Luiz – 7
Luiz was solid but may have to do even better, with Bournemouth getting space to exploit and create chances too easily for Chelsea’s comfort. Sarri needs to let Luiz venture forward as his technical ability will see him serve Chelsea better going forward, compared to Rudiger.
Marcos Alonso – 8
What a match for Alonso. He continued to get joy on his forward ventures and was always an option outside the box. Had several attempts on goal and was a threat with his forward runs. Set up the goal for Eden Hazard. Arguably, one of the top three left-backs in the Premier League right now.
Was lucky to be on the pitch though, as he should have booked again after a rash challenge when on a yellow.
N’Golo Kante – 5.5
Worryingly, Kante was quiet throughout the match. He was not his own self. It is a rare occurrence and Sarri would be relieved it came in a match like this. Was booked early in the first half and was still not careful enough with his tackles. A rare poor outing.
Jorginho – 6
Jorginho went about his job well. He did not have his usual dominant presence in midfield. But, he kept the ball ticking, which is what is expected of him. Still a quiet display nonetheless.
Mateo Kovacic – 7
One of the livelier players on the pitch on Saturday, Kovacic was always at it, with his forward runs to add numbers to the attack and return to defend when in need. Made a brilliant darting run in the first half, which failed to bear fruit. Was always looking to attack and genuinely looks a brilliant addition to the Chelsea midfield.
Willian – 6.5
Willian was good when attacking. But, his balls often lacked quality and he seemed to be drifting a bit away from how Sarri wants Chelsea to play. Likely to lose his spot to Pedro for the upcoming matchday.
Alvaro Morata – 6.5
The only real attempt he had was when the linesman had already called offside. Did finish that attempt with aplomb though. Did make his usual runs but was never as threatening as Hazard or Alonso. Prone to losing his first-choice status in the near future.
Eden Hazard – 8.5
The Belgian did it all. His darting runs invited challenges from the Bournemouth players, which saw Chelsea gain dead-ball situations in threatening positions. Grabbed the goal with a clinical finish. Best player on the pitch and arguably, the league right now.
Olivier Giroud – 7
Came on around the hour mark and looked more threatening in his 30 minutes than Morata looked in double the time on the pitch. Set up Pedro’s goal with a beautiful series of exchanges at the edge of the box. His link-up play was par excellence and his deft touches teed the ball up nicely for his teammates.
Pedro – 8
Another substitution that worked wonders. With the scores locked at 0-0, Pedro took it upon himself and was a nuisance for the Bournemouth defence. His link-up play with Giroud saw him opening up his right foot to drive the ball past Asmir Begovic and give Chelsea the lead. Could have had another but his shot was weak and straight at Begovic.
Likely to have played back into the starting eleven with this performance.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – N/A
Came on with little over 10 minutes left on the clock. Had a positive mindset and looked to go forward. Linked up nicely with teammates. Did nothing that is worth a mention though. Good to get some minutes under his belt.