By Jonathan Nagioff (@jonathannagioff)
AFC Bournemouth slammed in four second half goals to blitz Chelsea and run out 4-0 winners at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night.
With the scores level at half time, Eddie Howe’s men produced an emphatic second half display, with two goals from Joshua King either side of a David Brooks strike, with Charlie Daniels finishing the job off in stoppage time.
The result pushes Bournemouth into the top half in tenth, whilst Chelsea drop out of the top four places at the expense of Arsenal who go fourth.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe made two changes to the side which beat West Ham 11 days ago. Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas came in for Jefferson Lerma and the injured Callum Wilson.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri named just four of the players who started Sunday’s FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday, with Jorginho, Ngolo Kante and Eden Hazard among a string of changes, whilst January acquisition Gonzalo Higuain made his Premier League debut.
Prior to a ball being kicked at the Vitality, a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by all inside the ground out of respect to Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson, who remain missing after a plane carrying the Cardiff striker went missing over the channel.
The home side made a razor-fast start with Josh King striking a thunderous effort straight into David Luiz’s face, who required on-field treatment before getting up to his feet.
Chelsea gained a foothold in the game and almost broke the deadlock after just six minutes with Mateo Kovacic hitting the crossbar with a close-range header.
The Blues dominated proceedings soon after and pinned the Cherries into their own half, but to little effect with the Bournemouth defence holding firm on several occasions.
Pedro tested the gloves of Artur Boruc with a fierce effort from the left-hand side, after drifting back inside and the Cherries back line rode their luck minutes later, breathing a sigh of relief after Azpilicueta’s low driven cross fizzed past everyone without getting a touch on the way through.
Brooks then had a handful of chances which were spurned, as the Cherries searched for the elusive opener. Steve Cook’s cross from the right was flicked on by King, onto the head of Brooks, but straight into Kepa’s hands.
The Welshman then led a rapid counter attack, as Bournemouth broke away with three but his effort was held well by Kepa again.
Chelsea responded almost immediately, racing up the other end where Cesar Azpilicueta’s driving effort was palmed away at full stretch by Boruc.
As the half drew to a close, Bournemouth threatened again with another pacy counter attack, this time fronted by King.
The forward fed the ball into Stanislas on the right whose powerful shot was palmed away by Kepa again, with referee Roger East blowing for full time.
Almost immediately after the restart and Bournemouth broke the deadlock. Ryan Fraser set Brooks on his way and the winger crossed straight into the path of King who smashed the ball past Kepa from close range.
Sarri’s should have levelled the scoring just before the hour mark, with Pedro dinking the ball straight to Kante. The Frenchman took a heavy touch allowing Boruc to easily collect.
Bournemouth capatilised on the opportunity minutes later as Brooks superbly doubled the advantage. David Brooks doubles the Bournemouth lead.
David Luiz handed the ball straight to King, yet managed to retrieve it only for King to disposes him again and find Brooks who calmly wrong foots Kepa to slot home.
Sarri attempted to change things up with the substitution of January signing Gonzalo Higuain in place of Olivier Giroud, which was greeted with loud frustration from the Chelsea faithful.
Bournemouth wrapped things up with 15 minutes remaining, as Josh King slammed home his second and the Cherries third, following Stanislas’ pinpoint pass, to send the home side into raptures.
Sarri threw on Ruben Loftus-Cheek and the substitute almost found netted a minute after coming on but his close-range effort went just wide of Boruc’s far post.
Substitute Willian came closest for the away side late on with Boruc holding on well to another effort whilst the Brazilian flashed wide of the post.
Eddie Howe threw on full back Charlie Daniels for Fraser and gave a debut to January signing Chris Mepham, as he looked to close out the victory.
However, Daniels had the opposite effect, rounding off the win with a superb header from a free kick in stoppage time for his first goal of the campaign and a stunning fourth goal for Bournemouth.
Referee Roger East blew his whistle for full time as Bournemouth stunned the visitors to rise to tenth in the Premier League table.
Next up for Bournemouth is a trip to 18th placed Cardiff on Saturday.