Match report: Chelsea 1 Southampton 3

  • image

    Match report: Chelsea 1
    Southampton 3
    The Blues took an early lead in the Saturday tea-time kick-off
    thanks to another Willian free-kick but could not build on the
    Southampton levelled shortly before the interval through
    Steven Davies after what had been a fairly even first half and
    then had the better of the second period, going ahead on
    the hour and extending the lead on the break not long after.
    Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle were the scorers.
    Falcao was not given a penalty with the score 1-1 when the
    goalkeeper dived at his feet and made contact, Southampton
    having had an appeal of their own turned down earlier in
    the game, but Chelsea on the attack could not create the
    openings to turn this contest around, instead going down to
    our second home defeat of the season.
    John Terry was back in the starting line-up for the first time
    in the league since the defeat at Everton in mid-September.
    Kurt Zouma was the defender to make way and there were
    also starts for Oscar and Falcao while Loic Remy, the third
    player who had remained working at Cobham this week
    while their colleagues took on Porto, was on the bench. This
    was Falcao’s first league start for Chelsea.
    Willian, on target twice in the past eight days, was preferred
    to Pedro on the right flank and Ramires who had been so
    influential recently was preferred to Nemanja Matic
    alongside Cesc Fabregas in central midfield. Eden Hazard
    was back in the starting 11.
    The previous outing at Stamford Bridge was the impressive
    win over Arsenal. Since then the Blues had hit the road and
    travelled overseas for three away games which yielded a
    win, a draw and a defeat, so the opening minutes of this
    game were going to be keenly observed for early indicators
    of what level of performance was likely today.
    The referee’s whistle and the offside flag were most
    prominent for a while after kick-off. Gary Cahill headed one
    free-kick behind for a corner that was easily claimed by
    Asmir Begovic.
    Then Hazard took off towards the Saints area and was
    clipped by Oriol Romeu at the expense of the game’s first
    The free-kick was wide of the goal but to the left, but that
    meant it was sited in what is fast becoming prime Willian
    territory. The Brazilian obliged with an even better version
    of the strike bent behind the defence to test the keeper at
    his far post. Maarten Stekelenburg was found wanting and
    the ball cannoned into the net off the upright. There were 10
    minutes played and it was just the start we needed.
    Davis shanked a shot wide for Southampton when he was
    found in space inside our box before the next two Chelsea
    attacks which both centred on Oscar. The second was a
    worthy shot given the lack of room to manoeuvre the ball
    but it was off-target. Hazard too tested the Saints defence.
    Midway through the half, Fabregas and Oscar worked the
    ball through the smallest of gaps and the latter’s clever
    attempt to beat the keeper lacked just a little height. There
    were moments of bright football being played.
    Ryan Bertrand followed his fellow former Blue Romeu into
    the book for a trip on Willian before Sadio Mane twice
    claimed fouls for challenges from Ramires, the first in the
    box, the second resulting in a booking for the Saints winger
    for simulation.
    The game was in a fallow period in terms of chances at
    either end. Cahill was alert enough to head a ball behind at
    the near post when Southampton worked a dangerous free-
    kick and Begovic was stretched by a cross that was drifting
    towards the target. He also saved from Bertrand who was
    played through on an overlapping run as half-time
    approached. That was a good opening not taken.
    Ramires went into the book for what the referee indicated
    was one foul too many and the visitors had been looking the
    stronger side for the past 10 minutes. They were rewarded
    with their equaliser just before the break. Davis was the
    scorer with a very well-struck shot kept low from just outside
    the area that gave Begovic no chance. It had been teed up
    by Pelle who chested down a long ball while holding off the
    Blues defence.
    A foul on Oscar gave hope of quickly restoring the advantage
    but this time Willian drove the ball into the wall.
    Both managers decided to alter their central midfields for
    the second half – Matic coming on for Ramires with James
    Ward-Prowse for Romeu the Saints switch. It was Ronald
    Koeman’s substitute who eventually shot wide after the
    visitors had a series of attempts blocked in quick succession,
    as they restarted on the front foot.
    An Oscar cross was whipped in but it was too high for
    Falcao. Our no.9 was then involved in one of the game’s big
    talking points with 56 minutes played. Chelsea were building
    pressure and Fabregas struck one of his side’s best passes of
    the game. Falcao stretched to control it and then collided
    with the keeper for what looked a penalty to many watching
    on. The ref however booked the Chelsea man.
    Southampton took the lead just short of the hour. The
    danger started when the ball was lost a couple of times
    midway inside our half. Mane took possession and turned
    past Terry at the same time and although his shot struck
    Begovic, it still had enough momentum to make the net.
    Terry showed how the sort of free-kick Willian scored with
    should be defended with a strong header upfield, but now
    the Blues needed to rediscover our teeth in attack quickly.
    Pedro had been introduced in place of Willian but it was the
    Saints who struck again, this time on the counter-attack after
    a Hazard pass in their half did not reach its target. Pelle
    produced the emphatic finish.
    Remy came on for previous substitute Matic as a greater
    threat up front was sought. Terry did well to get his body in
    the way of a Tadic shot after the lively Mane battled past
    Cahill to cross.
    The final 10 minutes began and Stekelenburg made a mess
    of claiming a Remy cross but it did not fall kindly for the
    closing Hazard. The threat stayed alive and Falcao’s shot
    cleared the bar by not much.
    Pelle joined the list of players booked for fouls on Hazard
    and Falcao lined up to take the free-kick 20 yards out. The
    strike was looking good but skimmed off the wall and went
    Pedro tried to jink his way through a penalty-area crowd
    during added time but we would not have the opportunity to
    take aim at the target again.
    Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c),
    Azpilicueta; Ramires (Matic h-t (Remy 74), Fabregas; Willian
    (Pedro 64), Oscar, Hazard; Falcao.
    Unused subs Blackman, Baba, Zouma, Loftus-Cheek.
    Scorer Willian 10,
    Booked Ramires 43, Falcao 57.
    Southampton (4-3-3): Stekelenburg; Soares, Fonte (c), Van
    Dijk, Bertrand; Romeu (Ward-Prowse h-t), S Davis,
    Wanyama; Mane (Yoshida 90+1), Pelle, Tadic (Rodriguez 77).
    Unused subs K Davis, Martina, Long, Juanmi.
    Scorers Davis 44, Mane 59, Pelle 73.
    Booked Romeu 9, Bertrand 25, Mane 33, Ward-Prowse 78,
    Pelle 88.
    Referee Bobby Madley
    Crowd 41,642

    RELATED:  Download Video: Everton vs Stoke City 1 - 0 – Highlight (12/08/2017) [Premier League]


    Leave a Reply