A MOMENT of magic from Moises Caicedo set Chelsea on their way to victory over Cherries on the final day of the Premier League season.

With goalkeeper Neto out of his goal having made a clearance, Caicedo fired the ball in from the halfway line to break the deadlock at Stamford Bridge.

Raheem Sterling doubled the lead, before Enes Unal’s shot flew in off Chelsea defender Benoit Badiashile to give Cherries hope.

But Andoni Iraola’s men could not force an equaliser, as they missed out on the chance to end the campaign in the top half.

Iraola shuffled his pack with five changes from the loss to Brentford last time out. Neto replaced Mark Travers in goal, Milos Kerkez was back from suspension and Max Aarons made his first start since January.

Marcus Tavernier also returned to the side, while Enes Unal led the line. Dominic Solanke’s run of starting every league game this season was halted as he dropped to the bench due to a minor hip issue. There he was joined by Lloyd Kelly, Adam Smith and Dango Ouattara.

And Neto was called into early action on his return, getting down low to deny former Cherries transfer target Nicolas Jackson inside the opening couple of minutes.

Cole Palmer then fired wide, before Antoine Semenyo had a shot held by Djordje Petrovic at the other end in a lively start.

The hosts then had a loud shout for a penalty waved away as Sterling went down in the box under a challenge from Semenyo.

Conor Gallagher fired wide after Ryan Christie had been dispossessed in midfield, before Chelsea did take the lead, in spectacular fashion.

Neto did well initially to read and intercept a through ball, only to take a heavy touch and clear to the feet of Caicedo.

The Ecuadorian looked up and smashed the ball back over the head of the retreating Neto from the halfway line, marking his first goal of the season in style.

Cherries were creating openings themselves. Unal had a header saved, while Tavernier twice went close during the closing stages of the first half.

Within three minutes of the restart, Chelsea had doubled their lead. Moments after Unal had turned wide at one end, Sterling charged down the left and took aim from a tight angle. The powerful low shot ricocheted off both legs of goalkeeper Neto, before nestling in.

But back came Cherries straightaway. Kerkez crossed to the feet of Unal, who found room for the shot and fired goalwards, the effort shanked into his own net by defender Badiashile.

Iraola turned to his bench, bringing on both Ouattara and Solanke, before Mauricio Pochettino replied with a triple change of his own.

One of those replacements, Christopher Nkunku, looked to add a third for the Blues, heading over the bar.

As the game moved into its final 20 minutes, Alex Scott and Philip Billing were introduced for Cherries.

Solanke, seeking his 20th Premier League goal of the campaign, had two attempts in quick succession, the second flashing across goal and past the post as Cherries chased an equaliser.

Chelsea responded, Neto getting down to thwart Malo Gusto and then Nkunku, before Kelly was brought off the bench for what is likely his final Cherries appearance.

The closest the visitors came to snatching a point was via Ouattara. The Burkinabe cutting in from the right and taking aim, his shot tipped away by Petrovic, before being denied again during seven minutes of stoppage time, before Solanke scooped over on the rebound.

Cherries end the season in 12th place, with 48 points from their 38 matches.

Cherries: Neto; Aarons (Scott, 70), Zabarnyi, Senesi (Kelly, 84), Kerkez; Cook, Christie; Semenyo, Kluivert (Solanke, 59), Tavernier (Ouattara, 59); Unal (Billing, 70).

Unused subs: Smith, Hill, Faivre, Travers (g/k).

Booked: Semenyo, Kerkez, Senesi.

Chelsea: Petrovic; Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella; Caicedo (Ugochukwu, 64), Gallagher; Madueke (Gusto, 64), Palmer (Casadei, 89), Sterling (Nkunku, 64); Jackson.

Unused subs: Disasi, Colwill, Gilchrist, Chukwuemeka, Bettinelli (g/k).

Booked: Cucurella, Gusto.

Referee: Anthony Taylor.

VAR: Robert Jones.

Attendance: 39,724.