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Koulibaly impresses, Aubameyang benched as Chelsea down Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge

7:53 PM GMT 27/12/2022
Kalidou Koulibaly Chelsea 2022-23
Kalidou Koulibaly put in an impressive display as Chelsea beat Bournemouth 2-0 on their return to Premier League action on Tuesday.
  • Koulibaly had a good game in central defence for Chelsea
  • Senegal captain won most of his duels against the Cherries
  • Aubameyang had four touches after coming off the bench

WHAT HAPPENED? Koulibaly started in defence alongside Thiago Silva as the Blues ended their four-match winless run while keeping their first clean sheet since October 19.

Kai Havertz and Mason Mount gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead in the first half and the West London side then held on to see out the game and claim all three points.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Koulibaly, who has had to deal with spells out of the team due to injury, suspension and lack of form, was a towering presence in central defence, winning three of his four ground duels while making four clearances.

The Senegal captain nearly made it 3-0 when he displayed good awareness near the penalty spot to get on the end of a cross, but sent his header narrowly wide of the left post.

Meanwhile, Koulibaly’s international teammate Edouard Mendy was not in the matchday squad following a minor injury in training while Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got 10 minutes off the bench.

The former Arsenal captain managed just four touches given he came on when his side was doing most of the defending in an attempt to protect their lead.

ALL EYES ON: Aubameyang was left out of the starting XI with Harvertz preferred upfront, and with the German getting on the scoresheet, the former Arsenal captain has his work cut out if he has to regain his position.

THE VERDICT: While victory will take some pressure off coach Graham Potter, Chelsea still need more quality upfront given the chances that were wasted.

WHAT’S NEXT? Chelsea face Nottingham Forest in their next league game on Sunday.