Arsène Wenger fears injuries could prevent Jack Wilshere from reaching his full potential.
If there is one thing those associated with Chelsea do not like it is the claim that their success during the Roman Abramovich era has been inauthentic.
At times like these, with Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur utterly rampant, it is the points that got away from them earlier in the season which come to feel more and more significant. How about the two they dropped in the 0-0 draw at Bournemouth last October? With just an extra couple to their tally, it would be possible to paint their Premier League title pursuit in an even more exciting light.
It has not always been this easy for Eden Hazard.
Chelsea not only passed this test of their nerve but did so in a way that will seriously examine the strength of Tottenham Hotspur’s belief that Antonio Conte’s side could still slip up in the Premier League title race.
By the end, with the Bournemouth players cavorting in front of their delirious supporters and an important step in the race for the Champions League squandered, Philippe Coutinho was not the only one in red feeling nauseous at Anfield. Liverpool had almost fulfilled Jürgen Klopp’s pre-match instruction to start winning ugly when they strayed into the grotesque.
The emphasis in training on Monday for Bournemouth will almost certainly be on penalties. More anguish from 12 yards prevented Bournemouth from claiming their first win at Southampton after Harry Arter missed the decisive spot-kick in a match where they were often second best.
Bournemouth recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time since last March to hoist themselves nine points clear of the relegation zone and dent Swansea’s survival hopes. Eddie Howe felt he was ageing after his team’s difficult start to the year but this relentless display will have left him full of vigour.
The jubilation on the touchline said it all as Eddie Howe was mobbed by Joshua King, who wheeled away after scoring his first Premier League hat-trick to earn Bournemouth a much-needed first win this year. King and Benik Afobe had missed first-half penalties before the Norway striker scored his ninth, 10th and 11th goals of the season in a character-building home win that lifted them six points clear of the relegation zone.