Leaving Pokesdown train station in Bournemouth on Sunday morning was a really refreshing experience. “Carefree, wherever we may be, we are the famous CFC,” rang around a very busy station.
In case it wasn’t obvious, the majority of people leaving the train to get off at Pokesdown were Chelsea supporters. After a two-week international break, that seemed to last so much longer than the actual fortnight that it was, Premier League football was back. That matchday experience, that is like no other, was back.
But unfortunately for Chelsea and their fans, this experience was pretty familiar. One in fact they have seen countless times over the past season and a bit. One in fact they saw last time out against Nottingham Forest before the international break.
Fourteen shots this time for Chelsea – seven less than what they had more than two weeks ago in the defeat to Forest. There were more on target this time, with six tallied up over the course of the 90 minutes. But once again it was the lack of end product that cost the Blues.
Nicolas Jackson had chances, as did Conor Gallagher, Levi Colwill, Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer – the list goes on. But nobody could beat Neto in the Cherries’ goal.
It was a really underwhelming display in front of goal yet again from the Blues, but one that just does not come as a surprise to someone who has been covering Chelsea for well over a year now. With all of this being said, we takes a look at some moments you may have missed from a wet afternoon down at the Vitality Stadium.
Mudryk asks Pochettino question
Mykhailo Mudryk was handed his first start of the Premier League season down on the south coast on Sunday afternoon. The 22-year-old started on the left wing for the Blues – leaving a large portion of Chelsea fans delighted and immensely excited before the game.
The way the Ukraine international started the match, as well, justified everyone’s excitement and anticipation. A few moments on the left-hand side between Mudryk and Jackson, with the two continuing their strong and promising link-up ever since the pre-season tour of the United States, got some fans off their seats.
In fact, he ended the first-half with more chance creations (two), more successful tackles (three) and won more ground duels (five) than anyone else on the pitch. However, on 63 minutes Mudryk was the first Chelsea player to be taken off in the game for Palmer.
Mudryk, in fairness, did not start the second-half in the same electrifying fashion he began the first in, but at the same time he perhaps did not deserve to come off. All in all, though, Mudryk’s performance could be seen as a positive (?). Obviously the end product is lacking still but he took some small steps at the Vitality.
Chilwell takes responsibility
Ben Chilwell was the man left out of the side at the expense of Mudryk down on the south coast. The England international had started the season playing predominantly as a left winger but was on the bench at the start of the game in Bournemouth.
Chilwell, though, did come onto the pitch with 10 minutes of normal time remaining. The Blues vice-captain made his way onto the pitch alongside Ian Maatsen but neither were able to make the desired impact and inspire the visitors to three points in Hampshire.
As a senior member of the squad, Chilwell was completely up for taking responsibility for yet another disappointing Chelsea display. The majority of the players walked over to the away end on full-time to thank and applaud the fans for their support.
Chilwell, however, seemed to get closer than anyone else and stayed there for longer. A few boos and shouts came the left-back’s way, which forced him to put his hands up in an apologetic nature.
It is not a good look that Chelsea players are already saying ‘sorry’ to the fans this early on in the season. But fair play to Chilwell for doing so and standing up to the adversity.