Chelsea failed to score for a second consecutive Premier League match as they were held to a goalless draw at Bournemouth.
Mauricio Pochettino’s threadbare side, which featured six players on the bench who had not made a top-flight appearance, were unable to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest and played out the first stalemate of the season.
Nicolas Jackson hit a post in the first-half but Chelsea had Robert Sanchez to thank for making a fine save to deny Bournemouth’s Dango Ouattara.
The visitors went even closer in the second half, seeing Raheem Sterling’s free-kick come back off the crossbar and Levi Colwill’s follow-up ruled out for offside to leave them languishing in the bottom half with five points from five games.
Bournemouth: Neto (7); Aarons (6), Zabarnyi (7), Kelly (7), Kerkez (6); Christie (6), Cook (7); Ouattara (6), Billing (6), Tavernier (6); Solanke (6).
Subs: Kluivert (6), Senesi (6), Sinisterra (6), Brooks (n/a)
Chelsea: Sanchez (7); Gusto (6), Disasi (6), Silva (6), Colwill (7); Gallagher (6), Ugochukwu (6); Sterling (7), Fernandez (7), Mudryk (5); Jackson (5).
Subs: Palmer (6), Chilwell (n/a), Maatsen (n/a)
Player of the Match: Lewis Cook
How Bournemouth frustrated Chelsea
Chelsea started strongly with Sterling dragging an effort across goal before Jackson struck the left post with a low drive from just outside of the box in the 13th minute.
However, Bournemouth forced Sanchez into a superb sprawling save to deny Ouattara from close range after Ryan Christie had pulled the ball across.
- Moises Caicedo was absent from the Chelsea squad with a knee injury while Ben Chilwell was dropped to the bench.
- Winger Mykhailo Mudryk and midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu, who made his first Premier League start, both came in.
- Six of the nine substitutes on the Chelsea bench had not made a Premier League appearance before – Lucas Bergstrom, Djordje Petrovic, Deivid Washington, Alfie Gilchrist, Alex Matos and Ronnie Stutter.
- Lloyd Kelly, Dango Ouattara and Marcus Tavernier all came into the Bournemouth starting line-up as Marcos Senesi, Justin Kluivert and Antoine Semenyo dropped to the bench.
Conor Gallagher, captaining Chelsea, was then denied from inside the box by a sharp save from Neto.
Chelsea did have the ball in the net at the start of the second half when Sterling’s free-kick struck the bar and didn’t cross the line before Colwill turned in the rebound but was flagged offside.
Bournemouth, without a league win this season, pushed for victory late on, seeing Philip Billing’s free-kick deflect narrowly wide before Dominic Solanke was denied by the right foot of Sanchez.
Chelsea substitute Cole Palmer nearly netted the winner as his close-range effort was pushed away by Neto to leave the Blues with only one Premier League victory so far.
Pochettino: I’m not happy, we deserved to win
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino: “After too many circumstances I think that we need to put on the game. I cannot say that I am happy. It was a very competitive game. I think we deserved more, we deserved to win, and we created good chances.
“In the first half after 30 minutes, we created many chances to score. But after all of the circumstances with 12 injuries and then only three players that started today that were with us working in the last two weeks. I think I only need to say it was a really good effort from the team even if we are disappointed because we didn’t win.
On the lack of goals: “We need to be tough in the way we are trying. It’s about improving our efficacy in front of the goal. We need to be calm also, but in these types of circumstances it is not easy for the players to be calm in front of the goal but we cannot blame no one.”
On staying patient for results: “I’m not going to ask the fans for patience. They need to behave how they want to behave. We cannot make excuses because I think it was a club decision to do what we need to do, but that is the process that we need to be strong in our belief.
“Of course we are disappointed because the fans are disappointed because of the situation. I’m not worried about that because we know what we are doing and I think when we start to recover players, be more competitive, and to have players that can make an impact from the bench, with more squad numbers, I think it’s going to be a team that’s going to win many games.”
Neville: Chelsea lack stability – it’s chaotic!
Sky Football pundit Gary Neville:
“It’s just a little bit mad. It’s chaotic. We’ve been saying it for 15 months. The number of players they have brought in, I have just seen Palmer come on, who was bought for around £40m and you think ‘there is another one’.
“With Manchester United there is a lack of stability at the top of the club, that lack of surety and there is no doubt that with Abramovich leaving and the Boehly project coming in, there is no danger as such, but there has been everything but stability. In fact it has been absolute madness in terms of every department I the club changing.
“They just need to stop. I sometimes say this in my own life, if you feel like you’re spinning around too fast, sometimes you just to need to jump off and not really do anything, and just stop and sort of let people continue and just let things slow down.
“It must be like that at the moment for Pochettino, and the players, and the fans – not knowing who is going to play from one game to the next.
“When you have that type of project, and it looks a little bit mad, and it doesn’t really look co-ordinated – I know they have signed a lot of young players on long contracts, but it does seem like it is something that I am not sure about.
“Mr Pochettino is someone I have great faith in as a coach, as I do Erik Ten Hag, I think he is a fantastic coach, so I think both clubs are going to have to let their managers just work it out over a period of time.
“For both clubs, I think it is going to take a little bit of time because there is no doubt that Chelsea are nowhere near, and United are in the same boat.”
Iraola: Draw is better than losing
Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola: “We wanted the first win. Between 75 and 90 minutes we were pushing and the momentum was for us, but they are also a very dangerous team.
“We had a lot of crosses close to the six-yard box but we couldn’t do it. We were pushing until the end even with a point, the team wanted more and it was taking the options to counter, and I like this.
“It’s a point, it’s not a lot but facing a team like Chelsea is much better than losing.”
Fantasy Premier League stats
Bournemouth vs Chelsea FPL stats
|Bonus points||Sanchez (3pts), Kelly, Neto (2pts)|
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How the match played out
Opta Stats – Chelsea’s away day woe continues
- Bournemouth are unbeaten in three of their last four Premier League home games against Chelsea (W1 D2), after having lost each of their first three top-flight home games against them between 2015-16 and 2017-18.
- Since Graham Potter won his first two Premier League away games in charge of Chelsea (vs Crystal Palace and Aston Villa in October 2022), the Blues have only managed two further victories in 16 away matches in the competition (D5 L9).
- Bournemouth haven’t gone on to win any of their last 10 Premier League home games that have been level at half-time (D8 L2), with their last such win coming in September 2019 vs Everton (3-1 from 1-1 at HT).
- Lesley Ugochukwu was the 37th different player to start for Chelsea in the Premier League in 2023 – their most different starters within a calendar year in the competition.
Bournemouth’s next game is away to Brighton on Sunday – kick-off 2pm. The Cherries then host Stoke in the Carabao Cup on September 27 – kick-off 7.45pm.
Chelsea’s next outing is at home to Aston Villa on Sunday – kick-off 2pm. The Blues then host Brighton in the Carabao Cup on September 27 – kick-off 7.45pm.