Sunday, 6 December 2015

AFCB are the special ones now Jose 0-1

Match Report
Chelsea 0 v 1 AFCB
5 December 2015
Attendance: 41,631 (including 3000 Cherries)
The Cherries get set to play the Premier League Champions.
You didn't see it coming Mr Mourinho, did you? Eddie Howe was the special one by taking the momentum generated in the last few AFCB performances, and generating real belief in the side that they could take on the Premier League Champions, in their own back yard, and give them plenty to think about. In the first half they harried and frustrated Chelsea and made no small amount of chances themselves, while at the other end a hero emerged in the shape of a rejuvenated Artur Boruc, who helped the Cherries to only their second clean sheet of the season. But when Glenn Murray stole in on the far post with just 8 minutes left to grab a winner, it didn't matter to the away fans that he might have been offside. For once the Cherries were on the right side of a decision and the third win of the season was no less than the team deserved for a patient and defiant display.
Chelsea flags are everywhere.
The Bournemouth side had some surprise additions when they ran out at Stamford Bridge with Harry Arter adjudged fit to play and even more encouraging was the sight of Artur Boruc warming up. With Simon Francis moving to centre back to join Steve Cook, and Adam Smith starting at right back, it was Sylvain Distin that was unable to make the squad due to illness. Eddie Howe had kept his team selection very quiet and had undoubtedly pulled the wool over more than one or two journalists who would have been expecting a different line up. It was also pleasing to see the young Matt Butcher getting a call up to the bench due to Shaun MacDonald pulling up in training.

Jason gives the team news.

Chelsea fan, Richard gives his view pre-match on Diego Costa and Chelsea's form.

Chelsea kept Costa on the bench but Courtois was back in the side. There are more pictures from the day on Match Day Gallery.

Ivor and Dylan give an AFCB pre-match view.

The away supporters were rocking from the first minute of this match and it certainly had an affect on the match outcome. There was much to cheers as well as early as the second minute when Willian played through Eden Hazard who brought out the first save from Artur Boruc. AFCB's first attack saw King take on Gary Cahill before he found Stanislas, but the move back to King was closed out. If AFCB did not know that Willian had been the in form Chelsea player they soon found out, as he put in another stinging shot that Boruc held on to low down after a Chelsea corner.

The Cherries then pressed high, ganging up on Hazard and Smith forcing the error that allowed Stanislas to shoot, although it was blocked. Simon Francis was making interceptions and Daniels and Stanislas were creating shooting opportunities. When Francis got it wrong though and gave away a free kick some 35 yards out, the ball soon found its way to Ivanovic who seemed to be finding a lot of space on the right. A quick turnover saw Bournemouth break on 13 minutes with great speed. It was King who won the ball and sped towards goal and passed to Junior Stanislas who smashed his shot at goal,  but Courtois was equal to it and the follow up from King was blocked by Matic.

The Cherries won a corner on 18 minutes and Courtois made the catch. Still, it was the Cherries taking the game to the Blues and Courtois was the busier keeper. Chelsea were playing in front of AFCB's back four, but were finding it difficult to get in behind. Pedro was the first player in the referee's book for a foul on Surman. A few minutes later it was roles reversed and Surman was booked. When Stanislas conceded a corner, AFCB kept frustrating and when a shot did come in from Pedro it was over the bar.

Bournemouth were winning corners too. Gosling was trying his luck and the Cherries were playing some wonderful one touch football in and around the D with the central midfield three linking superbly and cutting through Chelsea's world cup stars.

The danger was there though from Chelsea with Matic in his mask shooting wide, before Pedro found Hazard with a good pass and Boruc made a sharp save to his left on 35 minutes. Adam Smith was getting his blocks in with Willian proving to be a nuisance. One breakaway saw King stretch Chelsea and Coutois made a great save on his near post, corner. Even when Chelsea were winning free kicks, AFCB's players were keeping things tight and clearing the danger. At the other end a free kick that Ritchie took just went to high for Cook, but King recovered the ball before turning and shooting over as he leaned back.

With four minutes to the break Chelsea went even closer with Hazard playing Pedro into space and his shot saw Boruc in a full dive to his left to keep the game goalless. From the corner Zouma shot wide when running in on the six yard box. Moments later it was Oscar bring out the best in Boruc again at his near post.

Matt Ritchie won a corner off a deflected shot as we headed into extra time, but we went to the break at 0-0.
Half time and no score, but the Cherries have been great.
Half time view from Tyrone Mings - nice coat!

Second Half
While Chelsea subbed Oscar for Diego Costa, a blistering start by the Cherries saw Arter feed Ritchie who shot just over. Chelsea came straight back with Rahman shooting over. 

The Cherries were on the back foot now as Chelsea kept coming forward. Willian was next to shoot wide on 52 minutes. AFCB were conceding corners frequently now with Matic heading over the best chance from just three yards out! Another corner. Chelsea corner again. Ivanovic has a shot at the near post, but Boruc makes the save. Another corner and it's cleared!

I was pleased when Adam Smith went down injured on the hour. It just gave AFCB a breather. a bit of game management, perhaps? It was moments later when Diego Costa put in a low cross that hit Simon Francis on his arm, but Michael Jones did not blow for a penalty. It was certainly ball to hand if you were an AFCB fan. Worst still for Chelsea, Costa fouled Ritchie and went into the book.

Boruc was still coming and catching from the corner kicks. AFCB were pulling everyone back but there was just 20 minutes to go now. One AFCB player after another was getting up slower than the last time. Smith went down then Stanislas who had started to fade out of the game. Arter made a spectacular foul on Pedro who flipped up over the top of him, but no card was handed out. The pressure was building and it almost broke the AFCB defence when Smith cleared off the line from Pedro on 75 minutes. How the ball was kept out by Smith though was really hard to see. It looked like it had to be a goal.

A through chip for Diego Costa saw the Spanish forward stick a leg out in the box, there was no great power in the shot and Boruc turned it away for another corner. With Josh King going down and the Chelsea players moaning at AFCB's slowing of the game, the striker was replaced on 80 minutes by Glenn Murray. A rare corner for the Cherries won by Gosling, two minutes later created a chance for a lob to the far post and Glenn Murray raced forward ahead of Charlie Daniels to head the ball over the line. Yes, the Cherries had done it! For all the Chelsea pressure, the Cherries were ahead! 0-1 and just eight minutes to go. Courtois had punched weakly and Cook beat Ivanovic to the ball which scooped up to the far post where Murray was waiting. Nothing was going to stop Murray scoring from that close in. He even beat Daniels to the ball who was probably favourite to score.  

Babe and Fabregas were now subbed for Chelsea and on came Traore and Remy. It was the Bournemouth fans in full voice as they had been all game.  "We're AFC Bournemouth we come from league two!" And just in case Jose did not know it "We've got the special one, we've got the special one!" came the cries.

It was going to be all Chelsea attacks now we thought, but wait. Ritchie is free and running towards goal, just Courtois to beat. And he's put it wide! Ivanovic at the other end blasts the ball across the box but it's also gone wide. The Cherries could have wrapped it up again when Arter had a shot deflected wide. Smith also got in and ran right along the dead ball line but Courtois kept him out just at the last moment.

Four minutes of extra time went on and on. A big Gosling clearance though gave the moment of relief that they needed and with the ball in the Chelsea half the full time whistle went.
A day of reflection for Jose - still only three home wins
 for Chelsea this season in the Premier league.
A really fantastic and magnificent win for the Cherries. This was arguably AFCB best ever result according to Eddie Howe and I'd not disagree with that for a league result. The standard and quality of their play against such a top side was beautiful to watch and while they finally had some luck, there was something about this win that is season defining. Suddenly the prospect of Man Utd does not seem so frightening at Dean Court and the league table is starting to concertina. Yes, the Cherries had to hang on. But the important thing is that this is now a team that can hang on and the clean sheet will be something that is an added boost for the side going into another big match next weekend.

 I heard that AFCB had run 10km further than Chelsea's players and that kind of effort is remarkable against the Champions. The Cherries beat world class players like Costa, Fabregas, Cahill, Willian, Oscar and Hazard etc on their own soil. This was a massive giant killing and you can see that the Cherries will only get stronger with this kind of result. As for Artur Boruc, words are hard to find. I thought he was simply outstanding to make those saves on coming back into the team. He really made up for some of his past games and put down a marker for future games. A fabulous effort by all the players as AFCB go unbeaten in their last three games - a new record.

Boruc, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, Arter, Gosling, Surman, Stanislas, King (Murray 80)

Allsop, Cargill, Butcher, O'Kane, Kermorgant, Rantie, Murray

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 10, Smith 7, Francis 7, Cook 7, Daniels 7, Ritchie 7, Arter 8, Gosling 8, Surman 8, Stanislas 7, King 7

Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Baba (Traore 83), Fàbregas (Remy 83), Matic, Willian, Oscar (Diego Costa 45), Pedro, Hazard

Chelsea Subs

Begovic, Mikel,Traore, Remy, Diego Costa,Azpilicueta, Loftus-Cheek

Referee Rating: Michael Jones 7/10 - Chelsea fans won't agree but I felt the referee let the game flow well and while the penalty decision and goal could have gone another way, the Cherries worked hard for this win.

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