Sunday, 9 April 2017

AFCB lose their unbeaten run against title chasing Chelsea

Match Report

8 April 2017

AFCB 1 v 3 Chelsea
Attendance: 11,283
Bournemouth and Chelsea meet at Dean Court.

Chelsea kept their title charge on track with a relatively comfortable victory at Dean Court where they raced into a 0-2 lead in the first 20 minutes. First, a spooned shot by Diego Costa in the box that was going wide, diverted off Adam Smith and span in to the Cherries' net, and that was followed by a move from Kante, that saw Eden Hazard round Artur Boruc to score. A bit of balance was restored by Josh King just before half time, when he sped up the right side and whipped a sharp shot on the angle past Courtois and into the top corner. Bournemouth had their chances to get more from the game, although the charmed Chelsea goal denied them on more than one occasion. What marks the top sides out though is their ability to strike when they are looking to kill the game off, and Chelsea won the game with a superbly struck free kick from Marcos Alonso on 68 minutes. 

Former AFCB manager, Harry Redknapp was applauded to the CT Sport pundit's box.
AFCB brought Ryan Fraser back into the starting 11, but Dan Gosling was not fit enough to make the squad.
Jordan Ibe Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fraser before kick off.

Fabregas was one of Chelsea's subs.
More pictures will be on Match Day Gallery.

Bournemouth almost got off to the dream start as a strong run by Josh King and driven cross resulted in David Luiz slicing his clearance towards Chelsea's goal only for Courtois to react quickly and push it over for the first corner of the game. Wilshere then set Ryan Fraser on a run against Luiz only for him to hit his shot well wide.

Chelsea looked to break up Bournemouth's fast-led attacks with N'Golo Kante issuing the 'policy of thou shalt not pass', in what every way he could get away with. AFCB soon had a second corner and were intercepting and switching play well, but Chelsea were the ones that were soon pressing forward. 

Moses was first to see a yellow card but he made a good cross moments later that Francis headed away only for Maroc Alonso's shot to be blocked by Adam Smith, before the follow up was driven over. Hazard was next to shoot wide as the Chelsea machine started to build momentum.

Harry Arter was making his presence felt with a foul on Hazard that see him take out the Chelsea star player near the half way line. 

AFCB's attacks came at lightning pace with Fraser leading the charge and Josh King scuffing his shot wide, just failing to get his foot round the ball fully.

As luck would have it, Chelsea would go ahead a minute later with Moses passing to Costa who spooned his shot that looked to be going wide off the edge of his boot, but it deflected off of Adam Smith's head and squirmed into the net to give Chelsea the lead on 17 minutes. Matters became even worse for AFCB just a few minutes later when Hazard sprung the offside trap from Kante's pass, and sped to the left, rounded Boruc and tucked the ball neatly into the middle of the goal to make it 0-2. Steve Cook had played Hazard on side, when it looked at the time that the goal should have been ruled out to me and the other AFCB fans around me.

Bournemouth weren't playing poorly, but they were being punished cruelly. They worked they way back up to Chelsea's box where King and Ryan Fraser worked the ball on the right before Fraser smashed as shot that Courtois pushed away, but Pugh could not get his body in a shape to hit the high volley with a defender blocking his path.

Pressure was kept on by Wilshere winning a free kick on the edge of the box. Fraser ht the free kick into the wall, but when the ball was worked up the left with Daniels firing in a cross, Benik Afobe lunged for a volley and smashed his shot onto the left post and off Courtois, before it was cleared.

Arter received a yellow card or a foul on Costa. But a bit of fortune saw Adam Smith get the better of Alonso with the help of his hand and Afobe spotted the run of King who hit his shot against Luiz and if flew passed Courtois into the top corner on 42 minutes. 

Second Half
Some one forgot to put the floodlights on for a few minutes of the second half, but they went on eventually.  But would we see Bournemouth flick the switch to help Spurs? Well Ryan Fraser came close with an early drive that was a whisker the wrong side of Courtois' right post.

Chelsea were still counter-attacking well with Alonso bringing a save out of Boruc who used his feet to make the save.

The referee finally caught up with Kante's misdemeanours and gave him a yellow for a foul on King. The game was effectively killed when Steve Cook brought down Costa just outside the Bournemouth box. Alonso decided to take the free kick and struck it sweetly, right into the top right corner - Boruc's feet were stuck in concrete - it was 1-3. To be honest, I don't think if AFCB had two keeper's in the goal they would have stopped the shot from going in.

Ibe replaced Pugh on 71 minutes as AFCB looked for a response.

Chelsea's game management was then fairly good. Perez picked up a yellow for catching Arter around the head, as Chelsea took the odd foul to halt AFCB's progress. Afobe was subbed on 77 minutes to bring Mousset on and he was straight into the action and almost put King in before Matic spotted the danger.

Boruc then made a good save from Pedro with 10 minutes to go. AFCB were not going to finding it easy to get back into the game with Chelsea continuing to pose a goal threat.

Gradel came on for Pugh with seven minutes to go. Fabregas also replaced Hazard a couple of minutes later and Pedro went off for Willian, just to get a couple of minutes, and Victor Moses left the field in added time with Zouma finishing the match in the Chelsea defence.
AFCB slip down the table to 15th.
The gap between AFCB and teams like Chelsea are not as big as they were last season. There is improvement, but AFCB defended deeper than Howe would have wanted in the first half and brought pressure on themselves. On the counter Chelsea are good and their second goal proved that. They have the players to cut open defences with one pass from deep and Hazard is a top finisher. Add the unstoppable Alonso free kick and it would have seemed to many quite a simple win, but had Afobe's volley had gone a few inches the other side of striking the post and had Adam Smith not have made the opening own goal, it might have been a much tighter match - on such small defining lines are matches won and lost.
Simon Francis and N'Golo Kante shake the official's hands.

Boruc, Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels, Fraser (Gradel 84), Arter, Wilshere, Pugh (Ibe 71),
Afobe (Mousset 77), King

Allsop, Smith, Cargill, Gradel, L Cook, Ibe, Mousset

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 6, A Smith 6, Francis 6, Cook 5, Daniels 6, Fraser 8, Arter 7, Wilshere 7, Pugh 6,
Afobe 6, King 9

Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill, Moses (Zouma 90+2), Kanté, Matic
Alonso, Pedro (Willian 87), Hazard (Fàbregas 83), Diego Costa

Chelsea Subs
Begovic, Fàbregas, Zouma, Willian, Batshuayi, Terry, Chalobah

Referee Watch Andre Mariner - 6/10: I would have like to see a harder line taken with some of the repetitive fouling a bit earlier in the game. I wasn't sure about the second Chelsea goal but on replay You could see it was well constructed goal, so the officials did well there.

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