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Giving Cherries the bird

The Blues' 100% start to the season - a statistic as unexpected as a lottery jackpot win - continues following a 2-0 victory against a determined Bournemouth at the Bridge... a game in which a lone pigeon summed up the south coast team's resolve. The bird, which could probably best be described as unflappable, spent

The Blues’ 100% start to the season – a statistic as unexpected as a lottery jackpot win – continues following a 2-0 victory against a determined Bournemouth at the Bridge… a game in which a lone pigeon summed up the south coast team’s resolve.

The bird, which could probably best be described as unflappable, spent almost the entire 90 minutes near the corner flag where the east stand meets the Matthew Harding, pecking contentedly at the grass.

Any time the flag-carrying assistant ref came close, the pigeon looked up at him in a casual way.

During a frustrating first half in which all Chelsea’s attacks were snuffed out by the Cherries, Marcos Alonso wellyed the ball upfield from a point on the pitch near where the bird was browsing, and the pigeon merely watched the ball sail over his head, then got back to the business of finding nuggets in the Stamford Bridge turf.

Bournemouth were like the pigeon; imperturbable, collected, organised and insouciant.

Eddie Howe’s team’s only moment of peril came in first-half stoppage time, when Alonso struck the post with a header. Otherwise there appeared to be no danger.

Morrie Sarri, pacing his box as usual, wore a Chelsea cap in early stages as the sun beat down. Unfortunately, he’d left the label, tag and hanging hook in it, until his No2 Gianfranco Zola pointed out the fashion faux pas, and the clutter on top of the hat was removed.

It began to look like one of those days. With David Luiz seemingly determined to propel any Chelsea attack down the right, rather than feed Alonso on the left, even Eden Hazard’s wizardry was failing to break down Bournemouth’s obduracy.

Finally, on 72 minutes, after Pedro had come on as sub for Willian, a dart forward and a clever swapping of feet teed up a right-foot shot which beat Asmir Begovic.

With five minutes remaining, Hazard made it 2-0; driving ahead on the left and unleashing a rifle shot into the net.

The pigeon observed all this with indifference. Once or twice he decided to venture across to the area of pitch in front of the west stand, but he rapidly got bored of foraging there, and returned to his usual patrol ground.

 

 

 

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