With a convincing victory over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge to open the Premier League season, Chelsea increased their chances of finishing in the top four.
Chelsea required less than 16 minutes to get going after failing to score in three straight games before the World Cup break, with Kai Havertz slipping in an attempt at the back post from Sterling’s low cross.
Mason Mount marked his 150th Chelsea appearance in grand fashion during the dominant home team’s performance by expertly curling a shot from the edge of the penalty area into the bottom right corner of the Bournemouth goal.
Graham Potter, the team’s manager, gave it a satisfied nod. He must have been pleased with the polished performance his team put on, especially in the first half.
Havertz was found to have fouled Adam Smith, which resulted in a goal being disallowed for Christian Pulisic. The German also missed a chance to increase Chelsea’s lead in the second half.
With Bournemouth staying in 14th place, Chelsea moves up to eighth place in the standings, six points behind fourth-place Tottenham.
The only drawback to Potter and Chelsea’s night was Reece James leaving the game seven minutes into the second half after returning from the knee injury that kept him out of the England squad for Qatar.
The 23-year-old was treated after lying on the ground with his hands over his head and ultimately got up on his own.
Although the Cherries got better after the break and substitute Ryan Christie forced the hosts’ goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into a brilliant save, the visitors hardly appeared to be capable of putting any late pressure on them.