Chelsea slipped out of the top four in the Premier League as two goals and an assist by Joshua King helped Bournemouth to a thumping victory over the Champions League hopefuls.
King scored either side of a composed David Brooks finish, before Charlie Daniels added a fourth as the Cherries condemned the visitors to a second consecutive league defeat.
Bournemouth were fortunate to be level at the interval as Artur Boruc produced five impressive saves to deny a Chelsea side that failed to penetrate their hosts’ defence despite 70% of possession.
But the hosts took just two minutes of the second half to go in front as King arrived late in the Chelsea box to smash Brooks’ cutback past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The duo combined again for the second as King lofted the ball over a scrambling Chelsea defence for Brooks to latch on to and fire into the bottom corner.
The influential Welshman hobbled off in the second half, but King added a third with the final touch of a flowing Bournemouth move – a right-footed finish from close range.
Substitute Daniels produced the finishing touch within a minute of being on the pitch with a stooping header in injury time.
A second consecutive league win for Bournemouth moved them up to 10th in the table, while Chelsea drop to fifth by virtue of scoring fewer goals than Arsenal.
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- Reaction to Wednesday’s Premier League matches
Chelsea win a big night for us – Howe
No Wilson, no problems
Bournemouth scored four goals for the third time this season despite the absence of top goalscorer Callum Wilson, who had minor knee surgery.
The England striker has scored 11 goals for the Cherries this season, but King and Brooks showed they still carry a threat without him.
The hosts did not have many chances but were clinical in front of goal – scoring four goals from just six shots in a blistering second half.
But they were also impressive at the opposite end of the pitch as well.
The talented Brooks has had an impressive first season in the top flight, and his defensive display in man-marking Jorginho prevented Chelsea finding openings despite large spells of possession.
Following the game, Howe said it was something his side had worked on.
“David did a brilliant job beyond his years with his diligence, and then he showed his class at the other end as well so I’m pleased for him,” said Howe.Bournemouth 4-0 Chelsea: Maurizio Sarri frustrated with ‘disastrous’ Chelsea
Chelsea pass themselves into trouble
The visitors’ Champions League ambitions took a major blow on the south coast, as they crumbled to their heaviest league defeat since 1996.
Maurizio Sarri’s men should have been comfortably in front after a dominant first half, but on the few occasions they managed to get in behind their hosts, they met an inspired Boruc.
The 38-year-old pulled off a fingertip save to stop Mateo Kovacic giving Chelsea the lead with a close-range header in the sixth minute.
And the Blues made 405 passes in the first half but managed only five shots at goal as they failed to carve open a stubborn Bournemouth defence.
Chelsea loan signing Gonzalo Higuain played just over an hour on his Premier League debut, but his first instinct was to try to link up with talisman Eden Hazard rather than test Boruc.
The Argentina international failed to register a single shot on goal during his 65 minutes on the field, but he and Hazard played 15 passes to each other.
Improvements will have to be made in the coming weeks if Chelsea are to trouble Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final, before attempting to regain their place in the top four.
Man of the match – David Brooks (Bournemouth)
‘We are very pleased with how our season is shaping up’ – what they said
Speaking to Match of the Day, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said:“That has got to be up there [as one of my best results]. It was a big night for us and it is great to do it here in front of our own fans.
“We have always been known for our attacking play but our defensive play needed looking at. We had long periods without the ball so full credit to all of our players. Artur Boruc was superb and his save very early in the match was world-class.
“It is a good place to be but we have high standards and high expectations. The wins are the most important things and we are very pleased with how our season is shaping up.”
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri told Match of the Day: “We need to change something in the mentality because you can concede, but you need to play because the match was under control in the first half.
“It is a very strong setback because we knew this match was very important. It is not easy to play after today but we need to react.”
Cherries always beat Chelsea on Wednesday’s – match stats
- Bournemouth secured only their second-ever competitive home win against Chelsea and first since September 1988 (L5).
- This is just the second time in Premier League history Chelsea have lost a game by a four-goal margin, after losing 5-1 to Liverpool in September 1996.
- Chelsea have lost consecutive Premier League games for the first time since March 2018, when they were defeated by both Manchester clubs.
- Both of Bournemouth’s Premier League wins on a Wednesday have come against Chelsea.
- Chelsea have won 47 points after 24 games this season – three fewer than at this stage in 2017-18 (50).
- Brooks both scored and assisted in an English league game for the first time in his career.
- King has scored in each of his last two Premier League appearances against Chelsea at the Vitality Stadium.
- King has been directly involved in 48 Premier League goals for Bournemouth (38 goals, 10 assists), 12 more than any other Cherries player in the competition.
Bournemouth travel to Cardiff City in the Premier League on Saturday, 2 February (15:00 GMT), while Chelsea host Huddersfield Town at the same time.