Chelsea have all but secured Premier League survival after a 3-1 victory over fellow mid-table outfit Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues broke the deadlock through a Conor Gallagher header within ten minutes of the off, but a Matias Vina stunner pegged them back in the 21st minute.
It looked like it’d be another frustrating afternoon for Frank Lampard’s men, but a quickfire double from Benoit Badiashile and freshly introduced substitute Joao Felix in the final ten minutes meant the three points were being taken back to Stamford Bridge.
The Pensioners welcome Nottingham Forest next Saturday. Until then, here is how Absolute Chelsea rated the players’ performance against Bournemouth.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5/10
Another week in which the ball has sailed past the Spaniard from a distance. A good strike from Vina, to be sure, but suspect positioning nonetheless.
Trevoh Chalobah – 6/10
Relatively unbothered on the right hand side of the field, filling in an unfamiliar role adequately once again.
Thiago Silva – 6/10
Came up with a huge tackle midway through the second period to deny the hosts. Otherwise this wasn’t a classic performance from ‘O Monstro’, who seemed laboured in possession and a little dragged every which way.
Benoit Badiashile – 8/10
A monstrous game from ‘Big Ben’. Calm and composed with laserlike passing in the build-up, and a first Chelsea goal to boot. One does wonder why he has not been a more permanent fixture in the starting eleven.
Ben Chilwell – 4/10 (74)
Where many attacks went to die. Unusually sloppy in possession and nowhere near his standard level of dynamism on the left flank. Alas, fingers crossed for a positive prognosis on his injury.
Enzo Fernandez – 5/10
Shackled in a deeper position. Struggled to keep with his runners. A very quiet afternoon all told.
N’Golo Kante – 6/10 (62)
About average as far as an N’Golo Kante performance is concerned. Notched an assist and the stats on paper look good in most departments, but his contribution in the final third was mostly hindrance and help and his passing was pretty awry.
Conor Gallagher – 7/10
Has his critics but has popped up with two of Chelsea’s last three goals – this one an instinctive header in the danger area. Put in a shift elsewhere.
Noni Madueke – 7/10 (74)
A genuine livewire and constant thorn in the side of the Cherries. Sleek footwork and low centre of gravity on display. Only lacking the finishing touch and final decision.
Mykhailo Mudryk – 6/10 (62)
Bright enough with his direct carrying when he received the ball to feet. His teammates just did not supply the Ukrainian all that often.
Kai Havertz – 4/10 (84)
The movement of a headless chicken and similar strength too. Bullied by the Bournemouth backline and unable to bring those around him into the play.
Raheem Sterling – 7/10 (62)
Great work in the build-up for the final nail in Bournemouth’s coffin. Has hit back at his denigrators in the media this week but talking like this on the pitch will help more.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6/10 (62)
Played in the number eight role in what felt like a bit of a throwback. Decent enough when he was introduced.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6/10 (74)
A quiet cameo from Mr Chelsea, adding a bit of experience in the dying embers.
Hakim Ziyech – 7/10 (74)
It was his delivery that unlocked the staunch Bournemouth rearguard. Otherwise very creative, too. An impact performance from the Morocco.
Joao Felix – 7/10 (84)
Did more in a matter of a minute than many did in ninety, with a well taken finish. Makes you think!
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