Chelsea came into the game following a poor 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge. Bournemouth will be looking to follow up on their 2-2 draw, where a late goal cost them all three points in West London against Brentford.
Chelsea began the game on the front foot, having the best of the chances from the first half, with Gallagher going close and Nicolas Jackson striking the foot of the post from the edge of the penalty area.
Despite this early onset pressure, Chelsea couldn't capitalise. Bournemouth found their feet in the second half, forcing quality saves from Sanchez in goal.
. A fine goalkeeping performance and a lack of quality from both sides resulted in a goalless finish on the South Coast.
Story of the Match:
Just three minutes in, Chelsea had a huge chance to take the lead. Nicolas Jackson found Mykhailo Mudryk on the wing with a good ball. The Ukrainian breezed past defenders and drove to the byline where he cut the ball back to Conor Gallagher on the edge of the area. The Englishman set himself but would see his shot blocked at the near post.
Ten minutes later Chelsea had the best opportunity of the game so far. Mudryk slid the ball into the path of Nicolas Jackson. He touched the ball past Ilya Zabarnyi and fired a strike on goal, only to see his effort come back off the foot of the left post.
After Chelsea dominated the opening fifteen minutes, Bournemouth began to get into the game more. From a quick free kick, Ryan Christie darted into the penalty area and fizzed a fierce cross to the far post. Dango Ouatarra met it well, but Robert Sanchez was equal to it, and smothered the ball well.
Chelsea would have one more chance before the first half drew to a close. Mudryk played a clever pass into the feet of Conor Gallagher in the penalty area. Gallagher composed himself and struck the ball well, but Neto was equal to it. The finish lacked any real accuracy and this was the story of the chances of the first half.
As the second half got underway, it took Chelsea just five minutes to get the ball into the back of the net. The visitors received a free kick on the edge of the 18 yard box. Raheem Sterling has an impeccable record of scoring against Bournemouth, scoring 9 in his last 7 encounters against the Cherries. As he stepped up, he curled his shot toward the far right-hand corner but it came back off the crossbar and bounced on the goal-line. However Levi Colwill was on hand to finish at the far post, but his celebrations were halted by the assistant referee's offside flag as he was denied what would've been his first Chelsea goal.
After this, momentum shifted, and now it was Bournemouth on top. First, a free kick from Billing was deflected just wide off Gallagher in the 78th minute and then Bournemouth had their best chance of the game so far.
Bournemouth found ease in breaking through the Chelsea defence. Philip Billing found Solanke in the centre of the penalty area. The striker cleverly nutmegged Conor Gallagher before unleashing his strike hard and low toward the bottom left corner. However, Sanzchez was equal to it, sticking out a leg and making an excellent save.
Despite an onslaught of Bournemouth pressure, Chelsea had the best chance at the end of the match. Sterling pulled back the ball to former team mate Cole Palmer, who had found space in the penalty area. The young winger hit the ball on the volley but was denied by Neto, with the Brazilian making a fantastic one-handed reaction save.
At full time, both manager will rue the chances they had to take all three points today.
Player of the Match: Robert Sanchez
In a game with no goals, the player of the match accolade could have gone to either of the goalkeepers. However, Robert Sanchez just edges Neto for me, making some really important saves and finishing the match with a rating of an 8.2 (according to FUTMOB)