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Blues shocked by Bournemouth at home


Three goals in 16 second-half minutes made the difference as Chelsea lost 3-0 to Bournemouth.

Callum Wilson opened the scoring in the 51st minute and Junior Stanislas added a second a few minutes later. Former Chelsea player Nathan Ake completed the shock win for the Cherries with a close-range finish.

Ross Barkley made his first start for Chelsea, alongside Eden Hazard and Pedro in a front three. At the other end, Thibaut Courtois returned from injury, protected by Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill.

N'Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko partnered up in midfield, with Davide Zappacosta and Marcos Alonso on the wings.

The Blues had the best of the play in the first-half, creating chances through Hazard and Pedro, but the first big moment of the game was an injury blow to the Blues.

Christensen went down with a muscle problem, and was replaced by Toni Rudiger. The injury was a sign of the tiring few months Chelsea have had, with Wednesday's game their last midweek match until the Champions League tie against Barcelona on 20 February.

Rudiger's defensive partner Gary Cahill came closest to opening the scoring minutes later, but his header skimmed the top of the bar.

The Blues created a few more chances, but Hazard couldn't get on the end of a Marcos Alonso cross and Barkley's shot was blocked.

The efforts of playing two matches a week for the last few months started to take their toll on the whole team in the second-half, made clear when Bournemouth striker Wilson was able to shrug of Bakayoko and score past Courtois.

Conte brought fresh legs onto the field, subbing on Cesc Fabregas for Barkley, but Chelsea still couldn't stop the second goal. This time, it was Azpilicueta's tired legs that couldn't keep up with Stanislas, as the Cherries player ran on goal and slipped the ball beneath Courtois.

Callum Hudson-Odoi came on to add more energy, but the substitution didn't pay off, as moments later Bournemouth were 3-0 up through ex-Blue Ake.

‘We must be worried because it won’t be easy, but this is normal,’ said Conte after the loss. ‘It won’t be easy for this season. We have to fight, we must be prepared to fight. I’m ready and I think the players are starting to understand that this season we have to struggle for a place in the Champions League.’

Next up for the Blues is an away game against Watford this weekend.

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