Mauricio Pochettino patience tested as Chelsea’s £160m trio blank vs Bournemouth

Mauricio Pochettino makes quick Nicolas Jackson U-turn after difficult Chelsea start

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino indicated he is finally running out of patience with his attackers after watching them disappoint in a 0-0 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. The Argentine was left frustrated on the touchline as the Blues, despite having two weeks to work on the pitch during the international break to find the solution to their problems, showed little sign of troubling the hosts with their faltering £160million frontline.

Mykhaylo Mudryk was handed his first start under Pochettino after three brief cameos from the bench but it was born out of necessity, with Ben Chilwell seemingly not fit enough to earn a spot in his first XI and Noni Madueke out injured. The Ukrainian had featured against England last week, only to be silenced by Kyle Walker in Wroclaw – and he didn’t have much more joy on the South Coast.

The 22-year-old showed some bright glimpses early on and nearly delivered an early assist, showing a burst of pace to run past Max Aarons before his cross was diverted over by Conor Gallagher. A sign of what the £88m signing from Shakhtar Donetsk could produce when given the time and space.

He was also showing a decent partnership with Jackson as they linked up in the final third. Almost identical to their neat exchange in pre-season, Mudryk and Jackson combined with a couple of one-twos and this time, it was the Senegalese who struck from distance as his bouncing shot pinged off the woodwork, but that was about as good as it got.

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But while there was plenty of endeavour from Mudryk, he faded as Chelsea lost control on the game having dominated the first 20 minutes or so.

The winger struggled especially after the break and whether it was a lack of fitness or desire remains to be seen, but Pochettino made the decision to hook him first after 63 minutes.

Pochettino sent on £40m summer signing Cole Palmer to try and snatch all three points, while Ben Chilwell and Ian Maatsen were summoned from the bench late on. Jackson and Sterling were spared, and that is no surprise given their goals this season.

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But the pair lacked the killer touch in the final third. Sterling fluffed his lines in front of goal on multiple occasions and looked way off his devastating best that saw them tear apart Luton earlier this season.

Jackson was leggy and clumsy on the ball, struggling to lead the line with the power he promised in pre-season. On 80 minutes, his headed chance took him by surprise and it rather summed up Chelsea’s day.

Indeed, it might have been their best chance of the game other than when Conor Gallagher saw his powerful effort stopped by Neto in the Bournemouth goal in the first half.

Just two genuine chances on goal, and that will concern Pochettino, who watched the same strikeforce that failed to find the net against Nottingham Forest break the deadlock again.

The 51-year-old hardly had anything to turn to on the bench, with 18-year-old pair Deivid Washington and academy product Ronnie Stutter untested at senior level in the Premier League.

Given the way Bournemouth finished the game in the ascendancy, the Blues boss may be relieved to come away with a point – but there are more concerns than positives to take away from their latest failure to win.

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