Chelsea’s dreadful Premier League season continued as Glenn Murray’s late header ensured they were beaten 1-0 by AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s side, who sit 14th in the table, have now suffered eight defeats in 15 league games this term after they failed to break down the promoted side, with Diego Costa again omitted from his XI and Eden Hazard’s goalless streak increasing to 25 games in all competitions.
Nemanja Matic missed Chelsea’s best opportunity, heading over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box in the second half before substitute Murray pounced with eight minutes remaining to secure a famous victory.
Murray had been on the pitch for just 99 seconds when he struck the decisive blow.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are now unbeaten in three games and they move out of the relegation zone after defeating the champions.
Both sides made two changes, with Thibaut Courtois – back after three months out due to knee surgery – and Baha Rahman coming in for Chelsea, as Bournemouth recalled Artur Boruc and Adam Smith.
Chelsea threatened first when Hazard shot straight at Boruc after linking up nicely with Willian.
Courtois was also called into early action, producing a two-handed save to deny Junior Stanislas after a counter-attack led by Joshua King, who brought the Belgium goalkeeper into another stop at his near post after a neat passing move.
Hazard was bidding to finally score his 50th Chelsea goal and a powerful long-range left-footed effort had to be pushed away by Boruc.
Pedro was next to test the away goalkeeper, who tipped the former Barcelona forward’s curling attempt round the post before also denying Oscar as the home side finished a goalless first half strongly.
Mourinho brought on Costa at half-time, but Bournemouth threatened first when a thumping shot from Matt Ritchie was just off target.
Costa had a header hacked away from close to the goal-line and Matic missed an excellent chance to give Chelsea the lead, somehow heading over after Willian had whipped in a threatening cross from the right.
Chelsea continued to press as Spain striker Costa had a cut-back blocked by the arm of a sliding Simon Francis, but referee Mike Jones was unmoved.
But after a strong finish to the first half and a bright start to the second, the hosts’ threat diminished in the closing stages as Costa stabbed an effort at goal which Boruc comfortably saved in their final chance of note.
And they were punished by Bournemouth when Courtois could only punch a corner clear as far as Steve Cook, whose bouncing effort looped towards goal, allowing Murray – who was right on the borderline of offside – to head in from three yards out.
Key Opta stats:
– Chelsea went 388 minutes (all comps) without conceding a goal until Glenn Murray scored for Bournemouth.
– Chelsea lost at home to a newly promoted side for the first time since April 2001 (1-0 v Charlton), going 43 games without defeat since then (W37 D6).
– No reigning Premier League champion has won fewer (4) or lost more (8) after 15 games than Chelsea this season.
– In the Premier League this season, no side has conceded more goals in the last 15 minutes of games than Chelsea (7 – level with Norwich).
– Bournemouth have ended a run of eight Premier League games (D3 L5) without a win.
– No Premier League team has ever finished higher than 8th after having exactly 15 points from the first 15 games.
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