Comfortable Chelsea win boosts top-four hopes

Comfortable Chelsea win boosts top-four hopes

Lloyd Kelly of AFC Bournemouth is challenged by Kai Havertz of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on December 27, 2022 in London, England.


Chelsea boosted their top-four hopes as they resumed their Premier League season with a comfortable victory over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.

Having failed to score in three consecutive matches prior to the break for the World Cup it took Chelsea less than 16 minutes to get up and running with Kai Havertz sliding in an effort at the back post from Raheem Sterling's low cross.

With the hosts dominant, Mason Mount celebrated his 150th appearance for Chelsea in style, curling a superb effort into the bottom right corner of the Bournemouth net from the edge of the penalty area.

It drew a nod of satisfaction from manager Graham Potter who will have been delighted by the slick performance his side produced, particularly during the first half.

Christian Pulisic saw an effort ruled out after Havertz was judged to have fouled Adam Smith, while the German also spurned a second-half opportunity to extend Chelsea's lead.

The only negative in Potter's and Chelsea's evening came with the earlier-than-planned withdrawal of Reece James, seven minutes into the second period, on his return from the knee injury that ruled him out of the England squad for Qatar.

The 23-year-old lay on the turf with his hands on his head before receiving treatment and eventually walking off unaided.

While the Cherries improved after the break, and substitute Ryan Christie forced home goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into a good save, they rarely looked capable of applying any late pressure to the hosts.

The result sees Chelsea move up to eighth in the table, six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham with Bournemouth remaining in 14th.


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