Chelsea keep 100% start with win over Bournemouth

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Chelsea can still improve despite opening the Premier League season with four successive victories, says head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Goals from substitute Pedro and Eden Hazard gave the Blues victory over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The result leaves Chelsea level on points with leaders Liverpool, who have a superior goal difference, heading into the first international break of the season.

Sarri succeeded fellow Italian Antonio Conte in the summer after the Blues finished 30 points behind champions Manchester City last season.

“I’m very happy with 12 points in four matches. But I always think we can do more. We can improve,” said the former Napoli boss.

“I think now for us it’s better to think of the next match. Because the gap at the beginning was 30 points. I think it’s very difficult to cover this gap in only one season.”

Bournemouth produced a gritty defensive display and missed two glaring chances when the game was goalless.

“Chelsea are a different team this year, a totally different way of playing,” said Cherries boss Eddie Howe, whose side won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge last season.

“They’ll be a difficult team to play against.”

Blues dig deep to continue winning start

Chelsea had to dig deep against a resolute Bournemouth to earn their latest win under Sarri – and once again they left it late to wrap up the points.

Two weeks ago, their winner at home to Arsenal did not arrive until the 81st minute. At Newcastle last week, it was even later.

Against the Cherries, Hazard’s second goal in as many games – which sealed the points – came five minutes from time. Sarri’s side had dominated possession but struggled to break down Bournemouth until Pedro struck seven minutes after replacing Willian.

The Spaniard exchanged passes with fellow substitute Olivier Giroud before his deflected finish beat former Blues keeper Asmir Begovic for his third league goal in four games.

Hazard doubled the lead with a quality finish from an angle.

Chelsea score against Bournemouth

At 0-0, Marcos Alonso was denied by the post before he was further frustrated by a fine save from Begovic.

But victory came eventually – and Chelsea have won their opening four games of the season for the first time since 2014-15, when they won the title.

Bigger tests lie ahead, but the Blues have made a strong start under Sarri.

Positives in defeat for Cherries

This was Bournemouth’s first Premier League defeat since losing at Southampton on 28 April.

Having stunned Conte’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season, they were good value for a point until Pedro struck after 72 minutes.

Howe gave Premier League debuts to £25m record signing Jefferson Lerma and Spanish full-back Diego Rico, and his side were hard-working and organised for long spells.

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But they should have taken the lead, producing two glaring misses either side of the interval at 0-0, as Callum Wilson fired over from close range before Nathan Ake failed to hit the target against his old club from inside the six-yard box.

“Until that first goal I do think the game was in the balance,” said Howe.

“We knew we were going to have limited opportunities to score. We did create the best moments in the game. Those one or two moments you do get, you’ve got to try to take.”

Despite defeat, the Cherries remain sixth in the table after two wins and a draw from their opening four games.

They now face Leicester (home), Burnley (away), Crystal Palace (home), Watford (away), Southampton (home) and Fulham (away) before they come up against another major top-four contender – Manchester United at home on 3 November.

Man of the match – Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso in action against Bournemouth

In fine company – the stats

  • Sarri has become the sixth manager to win his first four Premier League games in charge – after Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare.
  • The Blues have won their first four games of a Premier League season for the sixth time, and the first time since 2014-15 under Mourinho.
  • Pedro has scored three goals in four Premier League games this season, having only managed two in his previous 23 appearances in the competition.
  • No player has been involved in more Premier League goals this season than Hazard (four – two goals, two assists).
  • Hazard has scored in all five of Chelsea’s Premier League victories over Bournemouth.

What’s next?

Chelsea host newly promoted Cardiff City next at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, 15 September (15:00 BST). At the same time, Bournemouth are at home to Leicester.

Line-ups

Chelsea

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 30David Luiz
  • 3AlonsoBooked at 33mins
  • 7KantéBooked at 55mins
  • 5Jorginho
  • 17KovacicSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 79'minutes
  • 22WillianSubstituted forPedroat 65'minutes
  • 29MorataSubstituted forGiroudat 61'minutes
  • 10E Hazard

Substitutes

  • 8Barkley
  • 11Pedro
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 13Caballero
  • 18Giroud
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 27Christensen

Bournemouth

  • 27Begovic
  • 2Francis
  • 3S Cook
  • 5Aké
  • 15A SmithSubstituted forIbeat 80'minutes
  • 8LermaBooked at 70minsSubstituted forL Cookat 88'minutes
  • 4GoslingBooked at 20mins
  • 21Rico
  • 24Fraser
  • 13Wilson
  • 17KingSubstituted forMoussetat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Boruc
  • 6Surman
  • 9Mousset
  • 10Ibe
  • 16L Cook
  • 20Brooks
  • 26Mings
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
40,178

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamBournemouth
Possession
Home73%
Away27%
Shots
Home24
Away8
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Chelsea 2, Bournemouth 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Bournemouth 0.

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Chelsea).

Steve Cook (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dan Gosling (Bournemouth).

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Chelsea).

Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by David Luiz.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by N’Golo Kanté.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth).

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dan Gosling.

Offside, Bournemouth. Callum Wilson tries a through ball, but Ryan Fraser is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Lewis Cook replaces Jefferson Lerma.

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Chelsea).

Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Jorginho (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Goal!

Goal! Chelsea 2, Bournemouth 0. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marcos Alonso.

Pedro (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Diego Rico (Bournemouth).

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Chelsea).

Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Pedro (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Lys Mousset replaces Joshua King.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Jordon Ibe replaces Adam Smith.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Mateo Kovacic.

Attempt blocked. Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pedro.

Attempt missed. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Dan Gosling.

Offside, Chelsea. Antonio Rüdiger tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Chelsea 1, Bournemouth 0. Pedro (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

Attempt missed. Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Eden Hazard following a set piece situation.

Booking

Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth).

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

Attempt missed. Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

goal

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