John Obi Mikel played at center-back for Chelsea at the Vitality Stadium and Eden Hazard scored his first and second Premier League goals of the season as the Blues bounced back from their trouncing at the hands of Manchester City last week to beat Bournemouth 4-1.
The outgoing Premier League champions, still reeling from the bashing at home to City last week, arrived the Dean Court Stadium with nothing left to play for in what has been a very disappointing season, but also knowing they had to get back to winning ways.
And they were soon on their way shortly after the start when Cesc Fabregas found Pedro with a delightful pass inside the box and the winger wasted no time in putting Chelsea ahead with a lovely finish after only five minutes.
While Bournemouth, 13th on the table after this loss, tried to claw their way back into the game, with Joshua King trying to rattle Chelsea’s makeshift central defence into making mistakes, but they held firm enough and it was the Blues who doubled their lead again.
Hazard, returning to the team after an injury, collected a pass from 20-yards out and while it seemed outrageous at the moment, he hit the ball fiercely, and it went past Artur Boruc in goal for the Cherries for his very first league goal of the season and Chelsea’s second of the afternoon.
But that lead was halved just two minutes later as Tommy Elphick jumped highest to connect with a fine cross to beat Asmir Begovic, who was totally helpless there.
The game wore on with both sides trying to control the game with no real chances until the 71at minute when Fabregas found Willian inside the box, and the Brazilian spotted Boruc out of his line, and lobbed the ball over the Polish keeper for a clever finish.
The game got more interesting at this point, as Bournemouth wouldn’t take defeat lying down, while Chelsea also tried as much to get away from the Cherries and that was exactly what happened in stoppage time as Nemanja Matic displayed great vision to send a pass to Hazard, who showed composure inside the box to send the ball home for his second of the game and of the season.
The Blues have now climbed to ninth, given Stoke City’s loss to Manchester City in the earlier fixture.