AFC Bournemouth plunged deeper into the relegation battle as they were held to a 2-2 draw by the visitors.
Marcos Alonso’s late equaliser means the Cherries’ now sit in 17th position – just two points above the relegation zone – as West Ham leapfrogged the south coast side after their win over Southampton.
The visitors were on the ropes for a period at the start of the second half, but the Cherries’ failed to make this count as the game ended level.
How it happened
The home side started the first half well with Phillip Billing coming close on two occasions in the first five minutes. From there they strengthened their grip on the game but failed to reap the rewards of their dominance.
Mid-way through the first half Chelsea had found their momentum and quickly punished the Cherries’ to take the lead courtesy of Marcos Alonso.
The visitors continued to create chances until the end of the first half but were unable to extend their lead any further. This came back to haunt them.
Chelsea’s weakness of defending set pieces was exposed in the 54th minute when a corner from Ryan Fraser found Jefferson Lerma on the edge of the six-yard box, who headed the ball into the roof of the net.
This goal against the run of play lifted the crowd and swung the momentum back in favour of the home side. The visitors were rattled and had no answer for the high-pressing of their opponents.
Just three minutes later the Cherries’ took the lead with Fraser again getting the assist with a low cross to Josh King who tapped it in.
Chelsea were crumbling. Their defensive line had completely lost its shape and the midfield appeared unable to pass the ball forward. The chances of Bournemouth putting the game to bed seemed very likely.
But then, right as Chelsea were there for taking, the Cherries’ lifted their foot off the gas and retreated into their initial deep defensive line. The disjointed Chelsea side were now able to regain their shape and push forward to attempt to grab the equaliser.
This eventually came in the 85th minute courtesy of Marcos Alonso again who pounced on the rebound of a Pedro shot to head the ball in.
The AFC Bournemouth faithful were furious at their team, as at one point it appeared they were running away with the game.
Overall this was a frustrating afternoon for the home side. They failed to make it three wins in a row against Chelsea, and they would have wanted to secure the win ahead of their tough trip to Anfield next week.
The Cherries’ are now deeper in the relegation battle, but there were positives from their performance today which could prove to be enough to keep them in the Premier League.