Hasenhüttl takes positives from performance


Ralph Hasenhüttl was left to reflect on a 3-1 defeat at European champions Chelsea, but he was nonetheless pleased with how his team's gameplan had worked for much of the afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

Saints battled back from Trevoh Chalobah's early header to level the game just after the hour mark, as James Ward-Prowse converted from the penalty spot following Ben Chilwell's trip on the once-again excellent Tino Livramento.

Hasenhüttl's side were then on top for a spell, as they looked for what would have been a big three points, only for the game to swing on a straight red card for Ward-Prowse, before Timo Werner and Chilwell struck late on.

While disappointed with the outcome, Hasenhüttl took some satisfaction in how his team had stood up to their opponents and pressed them high up the pitch on a number of occasions.

"I think it's the only chance for us to score against them," said the Saints boss, who brought Nathan Tella and Theo Walcott back into the starting line-up. "Once they are defending deep I think it is tough for us to find a way through. That was the plan, and I think it worked quite well.

"Also in the first half we had a few good moments, a big chance from Theo in the first half also for the equaliser, but it's a high-risk game this, definitely. You give them a lot of space behind your lines. They are hard to defend, they have speed up front."

At half-time, Hasenhüttl introduced Ibrahima Diallo for Walcott and switched to a back five, with Oriol Romeu dropping into defence as he had to done to great effect in the recent 0-0 draw at Manchester City.

"I must say that tactically also the change at half-time was the right decision and then we made them really wobble a little bit, but this was not enough," said Hasenhüttl.

"Although you are dropping into a back five it's not a reason that you shouldn't give pressure to them high up the pitch, and we had some good moments. Tino did a good job on the side, absolutely fantastic what he played today, and the guys they did a good job really. I am proud of the effort we put in and it's a pity that we don't get something."