Murray drags Bournemouth out bottom three, deepens Chelsea misery
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 5, 2015
Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth
- Murray’s late header steal points for Howe
- Cherries climb out of bottom three with Stamford Bridge win
- Mourinho leaves Diego Costa out of Blues starting XI again
- Chelsea thee points off drop
Murray magic lifts Cherries out of relegation zone
No fewer than 43 promoted sides had come to Stamford Bridge without success since Charlton Athletic upset Chelsea 14 years ago, but Bournemouth – despite being beset by injuries – snatched a famous win in west London thanks to impact substitute Glenn Murray.
Poaching a goal when returning Blues stopper Thibaut Courtois flapped at a corner, veteran target man Murray survived a hint of offside to head in the second ball and take the Cherries out of the Premier League’s bottom three.
Eddie Howe’s introduction of the striker saw him get the better of Jose Mourinho in his first meeting with ‘the Special One’, whose Chelsea side lose further ground following what has been a dismal autumn and are now just three points above the relegation zone.
Both teams were able to welcome respective first-choice goalkeepers Courtois and Artut Boruc back after different lengths of time injured.
Mourinho continued to leave star striker Diego Costa on the bench, so Eden Hazard played false nine once again. Baba Rahman was in for Cesar Azpilicueta at left back and Blues captain John Terry missed out.
Cherries coaching counterpart Eddie Howe was without an unwell Sylvain Distin, alongside long-term injury absentees Tommy Elphick, Max Gradel, Tyrone Mings and Callum Wilson.
Bournemouth have best of first-half
Boruc’s early stop from Hazard after slick interplay with Willian apart, the opening exchanges belonged to Bournemouth. Junior Stanislas saw shots blocked by Gary Cahill and returning keeper Courtois, with Joshua King also testing the defence and goalie.
A long-range effort from Dan Gosling took a nick on its way over the bar, but Howe’s Cherries certainly settled at Stamford Bridge, putting together plenty of purpose in possession.
Hazard, Pedro Rodriguez and Oscar all worked openings for Chelsea before half-time, but found the Bournemouth number one in their way each time. Boruc was most stretched by Pedro, whose persistence to get a shot away almost paid off, while the other saves were more routine.
Costa introduction fails to inspire Chelsea
Mourinho brought Costa on at half-time and his penalty-box poaching presence posed problems for the visitors. Pedro tried an audacious overhead-kick that happily fell tamely and straight at Boruc.
Nemanja Matic saw a free-header sail over as Willian whipped in a right-wing cross that Steve Cook just got something on en route to the back post. Costa’s physical presence resulted in a booking for hauling down Matt Ritchie, and a less than calm reaction to being cautioned by referee Mike Jones.
Stand-in Blues skipper Branislav Ivanovic put in a delicious cross up from right back with a quarter of an hour left, but the two attackers simply couldn’t stretch to get on the end of it and snatch victory.
Lucky Cherries snatch victory
Murray had been on the pitch less than two minutes before nodding into an empty Chelsea net, as Courtois came but did not claim a corner kick, then Cook’s effort was blocked and the loose ball ballooned over to him.
Replays were far from conclusive over whether there were two Blues players behind Murray when he netted, but Cherries teammate Charlie Daniels was also on hand to tap in if he hadn’t headed home. Fortune favoured brave Bournemouth.
Efforts from Ritchie and Harry Arter were both fired wide late on, but the Cherries had won the battle and deepened Mourinho’s misery. He must now try and lift Chelsea, who have drifted to 5/1 with Coral for a top four finish, for their final Champions League group game against Porto, with incentive to win and avoid seeds in the last 16.
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