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AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Chelsea: 3 Talking Points & Tactical Analysis | Premier League 2019-20

Chelsea
Chelsea's draw against Bournemouth reflected their defensive frailties on a different dimension
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 29 Feb 2020
Feature

Chelsea dropped points once again, for the 11th time in 16 instances, as a 2-2 draw was what they managed to fetch off Bournemouth from their trip to the Vitality Stadium. A brace from Marcos Alonso rescued the Blues, who after having led against the run of play, lost their lead early on in the second half to goals from Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King.

Lampard tweaked his back three, while also recalling Pedro from the side that was brushed aside by Bayern Munich in midweek. But Chelsea were way off the bar as they allowed the Cherries to come right at them from the early openings.

Alonso did smash in a volley, but had to come to spare his side's blushes again late on. Overall, it was another case of abysmal defending from Frank Lampard's men, alongside the inability to kill games off after a lead.

On that note, we analyse the three major talking points from Chelsea's disappointing draw against Bournemouth.


#1 Sustained Chelsea pressure pays off as Alonso scores

Marcos Alonso was ever-so-willing to drive forward into dangerous positions
Marcos Alonso was ever-so-willing to drive forward into dangerous positions

The hosts began the fixture at frenetic pace, making Chelsea run for their safety in the final third. Philip Billing, Lewis Cook and Jefferson Lerma were all over the two-man midfield of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.

Billing should have had a brace inside the opening five minutes of the game with a couple of chances begging. He found space right at the heart of the penalty area, and while trying to open up his left foot, the former Huddersfield Town man found the right knee of a stretching Caballero.

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He pick-pocketed Fikayo Tomori, who came in for under-fire Antonio Rudiger, but only managed to flash a shot to the side netting.

Eddie Howe set his side up to express bursts of energy intermittently, almost deliberately albeit, as seen in the early exchanges. However, the Blues grew into the game and probed patiently, maintaining almost 80% of the ball post the 25th minute mark.

Pedro was largely ineffective, and combine that with the time Alonso spent inside the box while venturing forward; Chelsea were largely ineffective down the left-hand side. It was quite the opposite across the opposite flank, where the likes of Reece James and Mason Mount were whipping balls in.

One such cross paid off, as James found an onrushing Giroud at the near post. His flick hit the frame of goal, but Alonso, as he always is, was there to steer a sweet volley from close range past Aaron Ramsdale.


#2 Blues' defensive frailties exposed not once, but twice

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Fikayo Tomori had a sluggish outing against Bournemouth
Fikayo Tomori had a sluggish outing against Bournemouth

Chelsea have suffered six defeats after having scored the first goal of a game this season; a clear indication of nerves that rise to the brim when they are ahead. They've now won just two of their last eight games, and one could sense the nerves when Giroud fluffed an easy chance in the 46th minute off an Alonso cross.

Bournemouth then took the attack to the opposition and made a couple of darting runs in behind Chelsea's center-halves, before in the space of two minutes and 56 seconds, they were back in the game with their noses in front.

It was great character shown by the team that entered the game on the back of two upsetting defeats, but the visitors were clearly the ones to blame for the manner at which they conceded both goals.

In no way should Mateo Kovacic have been tasked with marking Lerma. Unlike most of Chelsea's corners, Fraser only floated the ball in a productive area, but none of the three center-backs got close to the goalscorer. The second goal was far more cheaply shipped, as Tomori completely vacated his spot without looking who was behind him.

There were just three players defending back, with the likes of Azpilicueta and Jorginho, who were also in the box, nowhere near Callum Wilson and Joshua King.

Lampard must really be hurting at this moment, with his defence doing anything but helping themselves march on towards a Champions League spot.


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#3 Chelsea need further change in drill, not personnel

Cesar Azpilicueta was left helpless many a time as lack of communication cost Chelsea
Cesar Azpilicueta was left helpless many a time as lack of communication cost Chelsea

A variety of cultists across the Chelsea fan universe wanted to know if Fikayo Tomori would be anywhere near the starting XI after recent snubs from match day squads.

Many identified a rusty, absent-minded Rudiger as the crux of the issue, believing that the return of Tomori - who according to Lampard earlier in 2019, was his number 1 or 2 center backs - would bolster their defensive sheath.

That was not to be, as the entire Chelsea defence was tied up in wraps by a vibrant, fast-paced Bournemouth outfit that rode on quick transitions and breakaways from their top three in King, Fraser and Wilson.

Jorginho and Kovacic, meanwhile, have been absolutely magnificent for the West Londoners at the heart of midfield. Of course, you don't keep Kante out of his regular position if you aren't providing the goods.

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But while the latter was effervescent as always, Jorginho had to cover up for lost spaces and stay more alert while entering the defensive box with his marker. He was lurching more often than not, resulting in poor challenges. Both of them failed to play in tandem on the defensive end of things, which was clearly imprinted onto an erratic back line.

Lampard must drill his side better, protract means of alertness and look to get bodies behind the ball just as quickly as they do while breaking forward.

Published 29 Feb 2020, 23:27 IST
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