Football Features

Chelsea wastefulness continues in 0-0 draw with winless Bournemouth

By Squawka News

Published: 16:09, 17 September 2023

In a forgettable afternoon of football on the south coast, Bournemouth held a faltering Chelsea side to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.

The Blues arrived at the Vitality Stadium with just one win from four Premier League matches under Mauricio Pochettino, most recently falling to a damaging 1-0 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest prior to the international break.

Pochettino will now be keenly aware of the immense task he has on his hands in reviving this football club after a wretched 2022/23 campaign and a calendar year that has yielded just six wins across all competitions so far. One particular area that’ll be worrying the Argentine is just how wasteful his players have been.

A pre-match graphic from Sky Sports showed that Chelsea went into this encounter fourth in the league for expected goals (xG) and second for both touches in the opposition box and big chances, but 11th for actual goals scored, 16th for shot conversion and 18th for big chance conversion.

There was little on show here to suggest things will change soon in that respect.

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Chelsea have now fired blanks in each of their last two Premier League matches and, during that time, they’ve taken 35 shots and generated a pretty substantial combined xG of 4.01. This afternoon saw the likes of Conor Gallagher, Levi Colwill, Cole Palmer and Raheem Sterling miss big chances to put their side in front. The latter came closest to scoring, rattling the crossbar with a free-kick before Colwill’s rebound goal was ruled out for offside.

But it wasn’t just wastefulness inside the 18-yard box that cost Chelsea on the day. Too many times, the Blues misplaced passes at key moments, went backwards when the killer pass was there, or saw forwards flat-footed as excellent deliveries finally made their way into the area.

“Chelsea had opportunities to score today, it’s just the last pass that should have been better,” former striker Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink said in the Sky Sports studio after the match.

It doesn’t exactly feel like a lack of application. Indeed, the goalkeeping performance of Neto and defensive solidity from the likes of Lloyd Kelly and Lewis Cook should be applauded. Bournemouth had to work hard to keep Chelsea out and forge decent chances of their own, while the latter was named Man of the Match for his performance having made three tackles, five interceptions, three recoveries and two clearances.

More than anything, things just feel disjointed from a Chelsea point of view, with this bunch of unfamiliar players looking, well, unfamiliar. Disjointed.

Once again, Bournemouth deserve their credit for a competitive performance. However, this is a side still without a win in the Premier League this season. Chelsea –whose only league win in 23/24 so far came at home to newly-promoted and pointless Luton Town — will have identified this as an opportunity to kick-start their season.

Instead, they’ve now taken just 10 points from 13 away games this calendar year and, after a challenging home tie with Aston Villa next week, face away trips to Fulham and Burnley, before even bigger tests at home to Arsenal and Brentford. In short, it doesn’t get any easier from here for Chelsea, whose fans must already be fearing another season challenging around the insignificant middle portion of the table after their second-worst start to a Premier League season.