Bournemouth condemn Chelsea to another home loss
Glenn Murray’s 82nd-minute goal for Bournemouth condemned Chelsea to their worst defeat of a wretched season on Saturday, while Riyad Mahrez’s hat-trick fired Leicester City top of the Premier League.
A run of three games without defeat in all competitions had suggested an upturn in Chelsea’s fortunes, only for Eddie Howe’s promoted Bournemouth to condemn the champions to their eighth defeat of the campaign.
Murray was the match-winner at Stamford Bridge, scoring 99 seconds after coming on to leave Chelsea just three points above the relegation zone and turn the spotlight firmly back onto their manager Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho had again elected to leave Diego Costa on the bench, only to turn to the Spain striker at half-time as the home side looked for a breakthrough.
But it was Murray who settled the game, nodding in from close range after fit-again Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had come for a corner and missed.
It was Chelsea’s fourth home defeat of a dismal campaign, while Bournemouth were left to celebrate a famous result that lifted them out of the bottom three.
Mahrez scored three times as Leicester won 3-0 at Swansea City to recapture the summit from Manchester City, who crashed to a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy was bidding to equal Jimmy Dunne’s 83-year-old English top-flight record by scoring for the 12th game running, but it was Mahrez who stole the show.
The Algerian winger took his tally for the campaign to 10 goals, putting him joint-second behind 14-goal Vardy in the scoring charts and lifting Claudio Ranieri’s men two points clear at the top of the standings.
“Everyone talks about Vardy scoring, but now Mahrez has done so,” said Ranieri.
“It was so pleasing to see that when Jamie had a chance to score, he passed to Mahrez so he could have his hat-trick.”
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