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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan

'He's one of our own' Brian Pullman leaves Chelsea after 56 years as Blues win 2-1 and qualify for Europe

Mauricio Pochettino presents Brian Pullman with his trophy Picture by Paul Lagan
Mauricio Pochettino presents Brian Pullman with his trophy Picture by Paul Lagan

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 2 v Bournemouth 1

Despite a wonder strike from the halfway line by Moises Caicedo, Chelsea stumbled to a final day victory – beating Bournemouth 2-1 at the Bridge to finish sixth with Europe back on the agenda for next season .

It'll be either the Europa League should Manchester City beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final, otherwise it's the Europa League Conference.

Caicedo put the Blues in front on 17 minutes with his wonder kick and just after half-time Raheem Sterling notched the second.

But that was really as good as it got for the west Londoners, Benoit Badiashile put the ball into his own net, and from then on the visitors dominated proceedings with the occasional counter by the Blues.

It was the end of Thiago Silva's four-year career at Stamford Bridge and he was given a guard of honour by the players post-match.

It was also the end of a press room era as Brian Pullman, 86, ended his 56 year career at SW6 and the training ground.

Chelsea started brightly with Raheem Sterling breaking quickly before setting up Nicolas Jackson.

The striker got off with a left footer, on target, but Neto was quick to block it.

Cole Palmer was n ext up a minute later but he sliced the ball wide after another counter-attack.

Both efforts came in the first three minutes.

Bournemouth countered with perhaps the best chance fell to Antoine Semenyo whose snatched edge of area shot was well held by Djordje Petrovic on seven minutes.

Chelsea claimed a penalty when Sterling hit the ground after a clatter from Semenyo, but Antony Taylor waved it away, and VAR agreed.

Then on 16 minutes – the goal of the season at the Bridge.

After Sterling was sent clear, Neto raced out to intercept, he got the ball and it landed on the half=way line. But Moises Caicedo had other ideas and launched an audacious shot from the half-way line that sailed over the despairing glances of the Bournemouth players and the ball sailed into the back of the empty net to put the Blues 1-0 up.

There was no change by either side at half-time.

But it took just three minutes for the Blues to double their lead – Sterling's run and shot went through the legs of Neto.

But the Cherries responded in two minutes when Benoit Badiashile stuck out his leg to deflect a Enes Unal's left-footer into the back of Petrovic's net.

The visitors dominated the second half and on 60 minutes, Pochettino brought on Malo Gusto, Christopher Nkunku, and Lesley Ugochukwu - off went the injured Caicedo , Sterling, an ineffectual Noni.

Having weathered sustained pressure by the Cherries, Chelsea finally got to grips with the game, and had a couple of decent half chances, Gusto and Jackson bring off saves from Neto.

Chelsea's player of the season Palmer left the field with two minutes left to great applause – on went Cesare Casadei.

Gallagher forced Neto I to another great acrobatic save deep into the seven minutes of added time.

Chelsea somehow kept the ball out of heir net with some desperate throwing of bodies that denied ex-Blue Dominic Solanke.

But the Cherries could not take advantage and the game petered out.

Teams: Petrovic, Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella, Caicedo, Gallagher, Noni, Palmer, Sterling, Jackson

Subs: Bettinelli, Disasi, Colwill, Gilchrist, Gusto, Casadei, Ugochukwu, Chukwuemeka, Nkunku

Bournemouth: Neto, Kerkez, Cook, Christie, Tavernier, Kluivert, Semenyo, Senesi, Unal, Zabarnyi, Aarons

Subs:Travers, Kelly, Jordan Faivre, Solanke, Outtara, Scott, Smith, Hill, Billing

Referee: Anthony Taylor


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