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Higuain flops as Cherries leave Sarri searching for answers

Bournemouth 4 Chelsea 0

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Emerson of Chelsea battles for possession with Jordon Ibe of AFC Bournemouth. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Emerson of Chelsea battles for possession with Jordon Ibe of AFC Bournemouth. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

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Emerson of Chelsea battles for possession with Jordon Ibe of AFC Bournemouth. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Predictable, ponderous and repeatedly picked apart, this was Chelsea at their absolute worst under Maurizio Sarri's management.

'Sarriball', as it is known, was simply overpowered by a Bournemouth wrecking ball on a night when Eddie Howe set a trap and Chelsea strolled straight into it.

Once again, Chelsea enjoyed plenty of possession. Once again, they did nothing with it.

The arrival of Gonzalo Higuain, making his first appearance in the league, made little difference to their lack of attacking incision and the Argentine spent much of the second half on the bench, watching as Bournemouth ripped through the visitors again and again.

Two goals from Joshua King, a composed finish from David Brooks and a late Charlie Daniels header ensured that this was a night of total humiliation for Chelsea and for Sarri, who stood raging on the touchline as Howe celebrated each of the goals.

Bournemouth had lost their past 10 games against the so-called 'big six' in the Premier League, but here they were able to impose their will, while simultaneously crushing Chelsea's spirit.

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Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth battles for possession with Emerson of Chelsea. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth battles for possession with Emerson of Chelsea. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

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Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth battles for possession with Emerson of Chelsea. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

The problems for Chelsea were everywhere Sarri looked.

They were foolish and naive at the back, with David Luiz particularly at fault for the second goal, and they were painfully stodgy in attack. Having scored 27 times in their first 11 matches this season, they have now scored only 13 in their past 13.

Chelsea had actually started brightly, in terms of the speed of their passing at least.

Not for the first time this season, though, there was a lack of cutting edge to their attack. Higuain will need time to adapt, of course, but here he was nothing more than anonymous.

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Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth tackles Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth tackles Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

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Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth tackles Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Bournemouth conjured their best first-half openings just before the break, with Brooks and Junior Stanislas guilty of wasting chances.

Howe would have feared that too many of these chances were being wasted, even if there was plenty of encouragement to be had from the way his side were countering.

As Chelsea continued to gently pry, thoughts turned to Sarri's options on the bench, where there was no place for Callum Hudson-Odoi.

A day earlier, Sarri had told the teenager to "respect" the club after they denied him a move.

If felt like punishment for his attempts to leave, and it was certainly a strange way of showing how much the club valued his talent.

It was only because of Bournemouth's wastefulness that the score remained level at the break, and it took the home side just two minutes to finally take the lead in the second half.

Penalty

Ryan Fraser found Brooks in the penalty box, and his cross allowed King to slam a first-time finish into the roof of Kepa Arrizabalaga's net.

Chelsea had no choice but to increase to intensity in response.

N'Golo Kante was the first to breach the Bournemouth defence, yet the Frenchman failed to control the ball after darting in behind.

And then came Chelsea's latest defensive implosion. Luiz rolled the ball into the path of Brooks, who exchanged passes with King, before finishing into the near corner.

On the touchline, Sarri flapped his arms in anger before hooking the anonymous Higuain and replacing him with Olivier Giroud.

Bournemouth were in again before long. Stanislas raced behind with ease, before squaring the ball to King, who could barely miss.

To make matters even worse for Chelsea, Daniels headed in Jordan Ibe's late cross. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk