Goalscorers: Callum Wilson 51, Junior Stanislas 64, Nathan Ake 67
Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Davide Zappacosta, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen (Antonio Rudiger 28), Marcos Alonso, Tiemoue Bakayoko, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley (Cesc Fabregas 54), Eden Hazard, Pedro
AFC Bournemouth: Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis, Lewis Cook, Dan Gosling, Ryan Fraser, Jordon Ibe (Marc Pugh 83), Junior Stanislas (Josh King 71), Callum Wilson (Lys Mousset 90)
Referee: Lee Probert, Attendance: 41,464
Two seasons earlier, AFC Bournemouth had stunned Chelsea in their dreadful title defence, winning 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Now, Eddie Howe’s side were keen to repeat this success as they were enjoying a five-game unbeaten run which had included victories over Everton and Arsenal in this period.
Chelsea themselves had no chance of defending the title they’d won in 2016-2017 but were in an eight-game unbeaten league sequence of their own and among the challengers for a top-four finish. They were also able to parade Olivier Giroud at half-time. The Frenchman had been prized away from Arsenal in a three-way deal which saw Michy Batshuayi go to Borussia Dortmund for the rest of the season and Arsenal break their club-record to snap up Dortmund marksman, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Chelsea were missing Alvaro Morata and Willian to injury with Ross Barkley making his first Premier League start for the club since joining from Everton earlier in the January transfer window. The home side dominated possession but failed to create clear-cut chances in the first 45 minutes. Bournemouth were able to smother Eden Hazard, whilst defensive resources were stretched further for Antonio Conte when Andreas Christensen limped off after 28 minutes to be replaced by Antonio Rudiger.
Having kept Chelsea at bay, Bournemouth turned in a clinical 16-minute spell in the second half as they dismantled the reigning champions on their own patch. In the 51st minute, Tiemoue Bakayoko was caught in possession and from this error, the Blues were brutally punished. Jordon Ibe slipped an inch-perfect pass in-between the centre-backs Rudiger and Gary Cahill and Callum Wilson timed his run perfectly to slip the ball underneath the advancing Thibaut Courtois. It was the first goal in the Premier League Chelsea had conceded at Stamford Bridge in 489 minutes.
13 minutes later, they had conceded again. This time, Wilson had turned goal provider, sliding a pass inside Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta for Junior Stanislas to fire home. Chelsea looked like a broken side and three minutes later, Bournemouth had scored again. From a corner, Stanislas’ effort which looked to be sailing wide of the post was steered into the net by ex-Chelsea defender Nathan Ake.
On the bench, Giroud sank further beyond his training jacket. 24 hours earlier, he’d made his farewell appearance for Arsenal off the bench in a humbling defeat at Swansea. Now, it seemed like he’d joined another London sinking ship. It was defeats like this that cost Chelsea a place in this season’s Champions League and would ultimately cost Conte his job. Bournemouth finished 12th with what was their finest result of the 2017-2018 season.