THE NOTEBOOK: Chelsea fans are having a whirlwind afternoon at the Vitality, Dominic Solanke’s resurgence continues… and N’Golo Kante impresses in an attacking role for Blues
Chelsea achieved their first win under Frank Lampard’s second reign at the club after beating Bournemouth 3–1 at the Vitality Stadium.
The Blues took the lead after just nine minutes through a header from Conor Gallagher after a cross from N’Golo Kante.
Bournemouth leveled again in the 21st minute, with Matias Vina scoring a stunning curler from the edge of the box.
But it was two late goals from Benoit Badiashile and Joao Felix, who arrived in January, that saw Chelsea take their first three points since March 11.
Mail Sport’s Riath Al-Samarrai takes a look at some things you may have missed.
Chelsea achieved their first win since March after beating Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium
It was also the Blues’ first win under Frank Lampard’s second reign at the west London club
THE REVIVAL OF DOMINIC SOLANKE
Chelsea’s loss has been Bournemouth’s gain in Dominic Solanke’s slowly evolving fortunes.
It’s been tempting for many years to recall his time as one of the brightest stars in Cobham’s academy, and of course that was followed by a long period of mediocrity, which included a fair share of his spell at Bournemouth.
He now appears to have turned that corner, having been shortlisted for the April player of the month gong (three goals and three assists) and has made another solid shift here.
There’s no good case for Chelsea needing him, but he’s certainly been an integral part of Gary O’Neil’s South Coast resuscitation effort.
Dominic Solanke struggled after his departure from Chelsea, but he is now thriving again at Bournemouth
WHIRLWIND AFTERNOON OF CHELSEA FANS
An interesting day to observe the Chelsea supporters in times of crisis for their club. At first, their contributions sniffed at the gallows humor of their predicament and it was quite funny.
When Conor Gallagher headed them forward in the ninth minute, the chorus shouted, ‘We stay up, we stay up.’ A little later: ‘What do you have to be, we’re winning away.’
Over the course of the match, that evolved into more questionable chants for Roman Abramovich, appearing to be a selective appreciation of his history, before a few Frank Lampard substitutions were booed, including the introductions of Raheem Sterling and Hakim Ziyech.
By the end, we were deep into ‘Super Frankie Lampard’ territory.
Chelsea fans had a whirlwind afternoon, but were ultimately happier with the two fans
HOLES IN SOCKS
The odd trend of players cutting holes in the backs of their socks is nothing new, but Gallagher is taking it to the bizarre with two huge cuts in each sock.
As one press observer put it, they looked like badly stepped tights.
Conor Gallagher took the hole in socks to a bizarre extreme with two huge cuts in each
JOHN BROOKS SHOWS HIS AUTHORITY
John Brooks, who was the victim of Jurgen Klopp’s minor outburst as fourth official for Liverpool’s win over Tottenham a week ago, refereed here.
Perhaps it was out of compassion for those of his profession that he called Enzo Fernandez to account for speaking out against assistant referee Matthew Wilkes in the first half. Brooks politely told the Chelsea midfielder to zip it up.
KANTE IMPRESSES IN THE ATTACK
The use of N’Golo Kante in more attacking positions is often a divisive topic among Chelsea supporters.
In this game and several others it was a recurring theme to see him moving forward and, as the touch map will show, he was as involved in the Bournemouth area as his own half. His cross for Gallagher’s opener was excellent.
N’Golo Kante was as involved in the Bournemouth area as his own half. His cross for Gallagher’s opener was excellent