Chelsea maintain their 100% start to the season after a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Two second-half goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard provided the decisive margin of victory, and it means that Chelsea head into the international break joint top of the Premier League.
Chelsea fans will be happy with this start to the season, especially because Chelsea have been effective without being spectacular in each of their victories.
It was the case here, as Bournemouth will rue their missed chances just like all of Chelsea’s opponents in the first four matches.
In fact, as Eddie Howe pointed out in his post-match remarks, Bournemouth might have had the best two chances of the entire match.
In the first half, Callum Wilson should have scored when Sergio Rico’s cross from the left cut out the entire Chelsea defence, but Wilson couldn’t sort out his feet and ballooned his volley over the bar.
Then in the second half, Nathan Ake found himself a pocket of space after a Bournemouth corner kick, but could only nudge the ball over the bar from three yards out.
But Chelsea restricted Bournemouth’s chances through dominance of possession, racking up another eye-catching 73% of the ball for the match.
Marcos Alonso twice came close to scoring Chelsea’s first goal. Just before the half, Eden Hazard burst down the left side of the attack before laying the ball back for Alonso. Alonso’s right-footed shot from just outside the area caught out Asmir Begovic before striking the post.
Early in the second half, Alonso was at it again, once more timing a late run into the area to collect a cutback from Hazard and fired a shot that Begovic saved.
Pedro and Olivier Giroud appeared on the hour mark, and it was the two substitutes who combined for Chelsea’s breakthrough.
Pedro played a little one-two with Giroud on the edge of area before the Spaniard shifted the ball to his right foot before curling a shot just inside the far post via a slight deflection for his third goal of the season.
With Bournemouth’s defence finally breached, Hazard added the gloss to the final tally with his second goal of the season.
Continuing to torment the right side of the Bournemouth defence, Hazard exchanged passes with Alonso before bursting into the area and drilling a low shot underneath Begovic to kill off any hope of a Bournemouth revival.