Having previously gone without a win in their past five Premier League matches, Chelsea enjoyed a 2-0 victory against AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the Blues’ return from the World Cup break.
Graham Potter’s side, who had not won in the league at home since Oct. 8, struck twice in quick succession early in the first half through Kai Havertz and Mason Mount before easing to a comfortable conclusion against a rusty-looking Bournemouth side.
“The first-half performance was good. The attitude was fantastic. It’s a step forward for us as a team,” Potter said after the match.
Chelsea dominated proceedings from the outset and were swift in scoring their first Premier League goal since October. Mount’s probing pass on 16 minutes set Raheem Sterling free on the right wing. He delivered a perfect low ball into Havertz who dispatched under the scrambling Mark Travers.
Bournemouth, watched on by new co-owner and American actor Michael B. Jordan, momentarily responded well, but it did not take long for Chelsea to regain full control and Mount doubled their lead eight minutes later.
After Potter’s side’s foray forward seemed stifled by a sea of Bournemouth bodies in the box, Havertz took his time to find Mount outside the area, who caressed a fantastic right-footed effort in at the near post.
The hosts proceeded to call Bournemouth goalkeeper Travers into action shortly before half time, Reece James and Sterling testing his reflexes.
James returned to the Chelsea lineup after being ruled out of international duty with England at the World Cup due to a knee injury, but the defender was forced off at Stamford Bridge after 52 minutes with another injury, although he was able to walk off the field.
“He’s not good but we’ll have to wait and see. It’s too early for me to speculate but whenever he comes off like that, it is not positive,” Potter said. “We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed and find out in the next day or two.”
Mount in particular continued to cause Bournemouth problems. He forced Travers into a smart save midway through the second half following an impressive solo run.
Bournemouth had their best chance 11 minutes from time. Denis Zakaria’s ball was cut out in midfield, allowing the visitors to break forward in numbers, but Ryan Christie could only fire into the legs of Kepa from an acute angle to sum up a disappointing evening for Gary O’Neil’s side, despite their improved second half display.
The victory sends Chelsea up to eighth in the Premier League. Bournemouth sit 16th, three points from the relegation zone.
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