June 05, 2020
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EPL | Bournemouth 2-2 Chelsea: Marcos Alonso At The Double, But Not Enough For Blues

Chelsea left it late to secure a point at Bournemouth as the race for a top-four spot in the Premier League continues to tighten

EPL | Bournemouth 2-2 Chelsea: Marcos Alonso At The Double, But Not Enough For Blues
Bournemouth's Jefferson Lerma, top centre, gets high to score his side's first goal of the game against Chelsea, during their English Premier League soccer match at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England, Saturday Feb. 29, 2020.
Mark Kerton/PA via AP
EPL | Bournemouth 2-2 Chelsea: Marcos Alonso At The Double, But Not Enough For Blues
outlookindia.com
2020-02-29T23:17:47+0530

Marcos Alonso scored twice as Chelsea were made to work hard for a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday. (More Football News)

The full-back had given the visitors, reeling from a 3-0 midweek loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, a first-half lead at the Vitality Stadium.

But quickfire second-half goals from Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King looked set to pile the misery on Blues boss Frank Lampard.

However, Alonso had the final say, heading home five minutes from time after Aaron Ramsdale could only parry Pedro's strike.

Philip Billing had two excellent chances inside the opening five minutes as Bournemouth made a promising start.

Willy Caballero produced an instinctive save to repel a first-time effort from the Dane, who then nicked the ball away from a sleeping Fikayo Tomori before drilling hurriedly into the side netting. 

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Mateo Kovacic's dipping shot called Ramsdale into action, before Callum Wilson's strike brought another stop from Caballero. 

Alonso broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute when he fired into an empty net after Olivier Giroud had flicked Reece James' cross onto the crossbar, with Ramsdale having already committed to the first attempt.

Giroud fluffed his lines badly from eight yards out early in the second half and was made to pay as the hosts struck twice in three minutes.

Lerma's header from Ryan Fraser's delivery was too hot for Caballero to handle and the turnaround was complete when King tapped home from Jack Stacey's cross.

A hail storm arrived in the final 25 minutes and Lampard had a face like thunder when substitute Michy Batshuayi had a goal ruled out for offside, only for Alonso's late intervention to ease his worries. 

What does it mean? Race for fourth heating up

The Blues are looking increasingly vulnerable in fourth spot, with Manchester United able to close within a point if they beat Everton on Sunday. Tottenham will be two back with a win against Wolves, who are only six points back themselves.

For Bournemouth, this will have felt like two points dropped and there is only a two-point gap to Aston Villa in 18th.

Gritty Bournemouth denied

Credit is due to Bournemouth practically across the board. They were at it from the off and should have taken the lead inside five minutes. Even after the setback of falling behind, they kept their heads up and came roaring back at Chelsea. On this evidence, and despite the late goal, they will avoid the drop with ease.

Giroud awakening

Giroud opened the scoring in a crucial win over Spurs last time out in the Premier League but was wasteful on the south coast, his scruffy miss in the early stages of the second half representing a turning point.

Key Opta Facts

- Bournemouth have scored two or more goals in each of their last three home league games, having netted more than once in just three of their previous 17 at the Vitality Stadium.
- Chelsea are winless in four Premier League away games (D3 L1), their longest such run within the same campaign since a streak of seven between September-December 2015.
- This was the first Premier League draw in the 10th such meeting between Bournemouth (four wins) and Chelsea (five wins).
- There were just 176 seconds between Jefferson Lerma equalising for Bournemouth and Josh King giving the Cherries the lead.
- King has scored in each of his last three Premier League home games against Chelsea, netting four goals in total. 

What's next?

Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool are up next for both sides. Chelsea host Jurgen Klopp's men in the FA Cup on Tuesday, while Bournemouth head to Anfield on Saturday.

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