Big-spending Chelsea rarely threaten in drab goalless draw at Bournemouth
Chelsea’s indifferent start to the Premier League season continued as they were held to a drab goalless draw by Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were again short on creative threat as the hosts dealt comfortably with what their opponents could muster in attack, only once looking genuinely troubled when Raheem Sterling’s second-half free-kick cracked the underside of the crossbar.
For Chelsea it was a familiar case of failing to find the critical pass, as possession and overall control of the match counted for little.
It leaves the team assembled for more than £1billion by co-owner Todd Boehly languishing in 14th place with just one win in their first five league games.
Andoni Iraola saw the winless streak with which his Bournemouth tenure has started stretch to five matches but also witnessed moments of genuine attacking intent from his team, most notably when Dango Ouattara was denied brilliantly in the first half by Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.
Sterling had the first sight of goal in the 10th minute when he darted into the box to latch onto Conor Gallagher’s chipped pass but his shot was miscued and rolled away to safety.
Nicolas Jackson made better use of his first opportunity, striking the outside of the post from Mykhailo Mudryk’s through-ball.
It took a superb sprawling save from Sanchez to keep out Ouattara, the goalkeeper diving at the striker’s feet after Bournemouth had caught Chelsea out with a quick free-kick.
Sterling looked in the mood to continue the rich vein of form with which he has started the season. In the 22nd minute, Malo Gusto linked up well with Gallagher down the right and sent over a low cross that Sterling was first to react to, but his shot was deflected to