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The Regista - Bournemouth vs Chelsea tactical review: Cook took out Enzo; players not Poch system to blame's tactics expert Connor Holden pulls apart Chelsea and Bournemouth's stalemate at Dean Court on Sunday, with Lewis Cook's brilliant marking job on Enzo Fernandez among the keys to the game...

In a 0-0 "bore draw" between the two sides, we are going to take a deeper look at what factors played into this goalless tie, including Chelsea's attacking pattern, key concerns and what Bournemouth did to unsettle the visitors in build up - and get a grasp on the game themselves.




In the two images above, we have the starting lineups for both sides, and the way Sofascore had the teams looking on paper.

However for Chelsea, this wasn't the shape they kept, as it formed more of a 4-3-3 and a slightly changed build up to previous weeks.





In the two images above, we have the starting shape for Chelsea (image 1) and image 2 showing the build up shape which for once stayed familiar to the 4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1 formation, rather than becoming a 3-2-5 that Chelsea have adopted in rotation in previous weeks.

In games prior, Levi Colwill had been inverting from left-back to become a left centre-back and form a back three with Thiago Silva and Axel Disasi. Malo Gusto would then push much higher (early on in the first phase of build up and throughout the attacking patterns) to almost join the front 5.

However against Bournemouth, Chelsea didn't seem to form their same 3-2 initial build up shape that had been formed by the two pivot players, and 3 defenders. Instead, they had Colwill and Gusto staying in their fullback positions for that first phase of build up, with Lesley Ugochukwu as the deepest midfielder, playing the central role.

Forming a 4-1 at times with the back four and Ugochukwu (in the 6), Chelsea were looking to build out from the fullback areas. The first phase of build up would have the back four and Ugochukwu as mentioned, in order to move the ball towards one of the fullbacks sides, before Conor Gallagher or Enzo Fernandez would drop in to form a triangle with the fullback and Ugochukwu in order to progress play.

This then left Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Jackson and Mykhaylo Mudryk as the three forward outlets, and once that second phase had been bypassed using these triangle formations, it would leave the midfield 8s (Enzo and Gallagher) running in the space in the opposition half, and the other 3 forwards in varied areas making forward runs.

The only difference between the left hand side build up and right hand side build up, was Mudryk was playing as the left width option throughout, and he stayed quite restricted to that area, whereas Sterling was adopting more central areas, closer to goal and allowing Gusto to make overlapping runs and deliver balls into the box.

This would lead on to Chelsea's main attacking pattern on the day, which was the attacking right triangle of Gallagher, Gusto and Sterling.


In the image above, you can see the way Chelsea played slightly lopsided towards the right, pushing Gusto high up and leaving Colwill as a more defensive left back.

Gusto pushing high and wide allowed Sterling to drift into areas inside the 18 yard box, as well as into central areas to form a triangular pattern with Gusto and Gallagher. Some of Chelsea's best chances came from these patterns of play, as there were quick interchanges between the three, ending with either Gusto or Sterling at the byline to deliver a cross.

This pattern created good chances for Sterling in the box and Gallagher, but Chelsea failed to punish Bournemouth after successfully manoeuvring this pattern of play.


And that leads us on to the fact Chelsea were toothless in and around goal, with the final ball lacking quality, something that has been a common criticism of Chelsea over the last few seasons.

Over the past two games, Chelsea have taken 35 shots, 8 have been on target, and they have not scored. Mauricio Pochettino's patterns of play are emerging, forming triangles in wide areas, playing driven crosses into the box and looking to make quick, tight interchanges around the 18 yard box, but the finishing isn't clinical enough and that is what's costing Chelsea so far this season.

Add this onto the fact Chelsea hit the woodwork twice in the game against Bournemouth, and have amassed just over 4.00 x/G over the past two matches, it shows a problem that has been prominent at Chelsea for many seasons isn't yet disappearing, and that's converting chances into goals.


Bournemouth also deserve credit for their game plan against Chelsea, and the decision to give Lewis Cook the job of denying Enzo Fernandez to impact the game in key areas.

Andoni Iraola gave Cook the job of tightly marking Fernandez, and only allowing him to affect the game with quick movements into his other teammates. Cook was ensuring Fernandez wasn't the one making the final pass, and instead forced him to find his open teammates in more space.

Bournemouth identified where that final piece of quality comes from in the Chelsea team, and decided to allow the likes of Gallagher, Gusto, Sterling and Mudryk to play that pass, if it meant that Fernandez was not.

Fernandez didn't make a single key pass in the game for the first time this season, and this was due to the job Cook did in forcing him to give the ball up, and trust his teammates to make the passes, which Bournemouth were willing to live with (and it worked).


In conclusion, Chelsea need to become more ruthless in front of goal, and it's really that simple. The chances they have created in recent weeks are enough for them to be winning games, and especially missing big chances in the first half is hurting them.

However Bournemouth do deserve their credit, as their defensive game plan worked, Lewis Cook putting in a man of the match performance to achieve the goal his boss set him at the start of the game, in stopping Chelsea's key creator.

Video of the day:

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Connor Holden

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