Saints suffer Chelsea defeat

By SFC Media Sun 06 Oct Saints v Chelsea
Photo by Tom Mulholland | Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
Sun 06 Oct 2PM
Premier League
Southampton
1
Chelsea
4
Ings [30']
Abraham [17'] Mount [24'] Kanté [40'] Batshuayi [89']
Jorginho (12')
Referee: Paul Tierney | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 31,473

Southampton were defeated 4-1 by visiting Chelsea during Sunday afternoon's Premier League outing at St Mary’s Stadium.

Blues Academy starlets Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, underlining their huge potential, were once again on the scoresheet - repaying manager Frank Lampard’s continued faith in youth - while N’Golo Kanté and substitute Michy Batshuayi completed the four-goal haul.

Danny Ings netted his fifth of the season for Saints, but it was Chelsea who made it four straight wins in all competitions, as Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side continue to search for their first home victory of the 2019/20 season.

A trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were 2-0 victors over reigning league champions Manchester City in today's corresponding fixture, awaits after the international break, where Saints will be hoping to draw inspiration from this season's impressive away day form.

The hosts reverted to four at the back ahead of kick-off, with Yan Valery reinstated at full-back, following an injury to Cédric, and a front three of Nathan Redmond, Shane Long and Ings.

And it was Redmond who almost gave Saints the dream start inside the first 60 seconds, picking the ball up centrally before unleashing a dipping shot, which had Kepa Arrizabalaga scrambling, but ultimately fizzed over.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, attempting to capitalise on a spell of early pressure, hit a speculative effort from distance moments later, as the ball dropped to him following a corner, but again, it didn’t trouble Arrizabalaga.

In-form Abraham, Chelsea’s most prolific goal threat this term, was first to test Angus Gunn at the opposite end. Gunn, more than equal to it, saved comfortably low to his left, but the shot did serve to mark the visitors’ first effort on target after 10 minutes played – and seemingly inspired an already confident front man.

17 minutes in, the deadlock was broken. Abraham, having celebrated his 22nd birthday midweek and scored against Lille in the Champions League, added his eighth Premier League strike of the campaign following a looping ball from Callum Hudson-Odoi - who incidentally played and scored against Southampton’s Under-23s at St Mary’s a fortnight ago.

Tammy Abraham scores the opener at St Mary's

Both Gunn and Jan Bednarek were caught by the awkward flight of the lofted pass, as Abraham connected with an outstretched boot, and despite Maya Yoshida’s best efforts on the goal-line, the technology was on hand to confirm that the whole ball had indeed crossed the chalk.

Chelsea were then two to the good seven minutes later. Bednarek relinquished possession in his defensive third, before Mount linked devastatingly with Willian, exchanging quick passes inside the Saints box, with the young winger then picking his spot and despatching beyond Gunn. The finish was clinical, and had the away side in firm control 24 minutes in.

Mount then had the chance to inflict further punishment, but this time, the England international’s final product let him down, dragging his shot way wide.

It looked to be all Chelsea, before a moment of magic from young defender Valery. On his return to the XI, he engineered space for a cross down the right, dancing through a sea of blue shirts, before finding leading scorer Ings unmarked in the box. He applied a first-time finish to the delivery on the half-hour mark, giving Saints brief reprieve, and a way back into the game.

An extremely lively and entertaining first 30 minutes, including three goals, had the visitors ahead, but also looking vulnerable on the counter attack, as Redmond narrowly fired wide in the 35th minute.

Danny Ings pulls a goal back for Saints

But just as Hasenhüttl’s side had got a foothold, Kanté’s timely arrival on the edge of the Saints box provided Chelsea with a fortunate third. His shot ricocheted frustratingly off Højbjerg, wrong-footing Gunn, and found the opposite corner - the midfielder's second goal of the season.

Ings had a chance to reduce arrears moments before the break, after a mistake from Fikayo Tomori; the striker had Arrizabalaga beaten, but an alert Jorginho slid across to divert the ball wide, denying Ings a second of the afternoon.

The first opportunity of the second period went Chelsea’s way; Hudson-Odoi was found in the space, left of the box, and having cut inside onto his favoured foot, hit the ball low and hard, producing a good stop from Gunn.

The 57th minute presented James Ward-Prowse with the perfect chance from a dead ball situation after Redmond was fouled. The winger was in full assent towards the Chelsea upright before being unfairly thwarted, presenting free-kick specialist Ward-Prowse with a chance from 22-yards.

It flew marginally over, before Willian cantered up the opposite end but failed to beat Gunn with a tired looking shot, having travelled the length of the pitch.

Nathan Redmond battles with N'Golo Kanté

Hasenhüttl made a number of attacking changes midway through the half, in an attempt to change the fortunes of Saints, but it was a Chelsea substitute who had the final say.

Batshuayi entered the field in place of Abraham in the 83rd minute, and made his mark on the tie six minutes later.

The forward linked with Christian Pulisic, also on from the bench, before firing beyond Gunn from an angle, sealing the tie for a new-look young and vibrant Chelsea side.

Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Chelsea
  • Possession (%)
    43
    57
  • Shots
    10
    13
  • Shots on target
    3
    7
  • Corners
    3
    4
  • Passes Complete
    275
    395

Southampton

28
Angus Gunn (GK)
21
Ryan Bertrand
35
Jan Bednarek
43
Yan Valery
3
Maya Yoshida
14
Oriol Romeu
16
James Ward-Prowse
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
7
Shane Long
Michael Obafemi (73′)
9
Danny Ings
Che Adams (81′)
22
Nathan Redmond
Sofiane Boufal (81′)
5
Jack Stephens
10
Che Adams
1
Alex McCarthy
17
Stuart Armstrong
20
Michael Obafemi
19
Sofiane Boufal
38
Kevin Danso

Chelsea

1
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK)
3
Marcos Alonso
15
Kurt Zouma
29
Fikayo Tomori
28
César Azpilicueta (C)
5
Jorginho
19
Mason Mount
Mateo Kovacic (80′)
7
N'Golo Kanté
10
Willian
9
Tammy Abraham
Michy Batshuayi (84′)
20
Callum Hudson-Odoi
Christian Pulisic (80′)
4
Andreas Christensen
24
Reece James
22
Christian Pulisic
17
Mateo Kovacic
8
Ross Barkley
13
Willy Caballero
23
Michy Batshuayi
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