Marcos Alonso scored twice but Chelsea could only get a point from relegation-threatened Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
It will feel a vital point for Bournemouth but also a chance lost; The Cherries sit 17th with 27 points.
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Chelsea only gains one point on third-place Leicester City and opens the door for the chasing pack. The Blues have 45 points to the Foxes’ 50.
Three things we learned
1. Little-used Alonso saves the day: Look at Alonso’s stat line this season and you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s not a left wing. Little used by Frank Lampard, the Spaniard has four goals and three assists in 10 league appearances.
2. Caballero disappoints: Just as one of Chelsea’s veterans bailed out Lampard with a late equalizer, another did not justify his continued place ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga. Caballero got his hands on King’s header but couldn’t handle the power, but the second goal saw the goalkeeper nowhere near a pass through the six (though it was certainly more the fault of his lackluster back line).
3. Chelsea’s finishing betrays formm: Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic were absent, and no one picked up the slack in terms of the final move. Chelsea took 23 shots to Bournemouth’s nine, but only six were on target on a day the Blues maneuvered well in the final third.
Man of the Match: Alonso.
Billing then stole the ball of Fikayo Tomori in the Chelsea box, but the Bournemouth man slashed the clear-cut chance into the side of the goal.
Chelsea then got an eighth-minute chance when Mason Mount‘s speculative drive from distance was unable to beat Aaron Ramsdale.
The Blues broke through in the 33rd minute, Alonso lashing inside the back post after Reece James’ cross took a few turns.
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Bournemouth’s Lerma rose high to beat Caballero with a 54th-minute header, the keeper failing to do anything but slow the ball’s path.
King was back post to pass a Stacey cross into the goal after Caballero failed to claim a pass through the six.
Then came the downpour.
Chelsea had to compete with the elements in order to find an equalizer, and Pedro came close in the 78th.
Ramsdale then stymied Mason Mount with a fine 82nd-minute save, and Azpilicueta zipped one wide moments later.Follow @NicholasMendola