Scintillating Saints stun Chelsea

By SFC Media time Thu 26 Dec Chelsea v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson |
Thu 26 Dec 3PM
Premier League
Chelsea
0
Southampton
2
goal
Obafemi [31'] Redmond [73']
Jorginho (58') Kanté (62') Tomori (62')
yellow card
Bertrand (30') Boufal (90+4')
Referee: Jonathan Moss | Venue: Stamford Bridge | Attendance: 40,651

Southampton provided the best possible Christmas present with a stunning 2-0 victory on the road at Chelsea in the Premier League.

Suffocating the Blues at Stamford Bridge, a textbook away performance was kick-started with Michael Obafemi’s first league strike of the season before the break.

Anticipating a fightback after the restart, it never came as a free-flowing move with a little over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining ended with Nathan Redmond adding a second and confirming a memorable Boxing Day win in the capital to make it consecutive wins in the Premier League. 

For the first of two matches in the space of three days, Ralph Hasenhüttl started with an entirely altered front two, with Ché Adams and Obafemi coming in for their first league starts since September and November respectively.

Making way, Shane Long dropped from the squad with a knee injury, whilst top scorer Danny Ings started amongst the substitutes with an eye to Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace at St Mary’s.

With many inside of Stamford Bridge likely suffering with the lethargy associated with overindulgence at Christmas, it was a similarly sluggish start on the pitch.

Demonstrating a disciplined shape, Saints were able to hold the hosts at arm’s length in the opening 20 minutes, whilst teasing at posing a danger on the break.

With Ryan Bertrand and Nathan Redmond offering the most likely outlet, the game’s first attempts on goal from Chelsea failed to threaten.

Callum Hudson-Odoi had a shot from 20 yards deflected wide, with Fikayo Tomori heading tamely into the arms of Alex McCarthy from the resulting corner as the half-hour mark approached.


LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Michael Obafemi(20) of Southampton celebrates with his team mates after opening the scoring during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Southampton FC at Stamford Bridge on December 26, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Getty Images)
Michael Obafemi celebrates giving Saints the lead (Photo: Matt Watson)

As the festive cheer began to drain from the home crowd, they were stunned into silence in the 31st minute by a devastating Saints counter-attack.

Winning possession on the halfway line, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg quickly fizzed a ball into Obafemi – who still had plenty to do – with the Irishman’s neat turn and drag onto his left foot matched by a stunning curling effort into the top corner from just inside the box.

Now trailing, an anxious Stamford Bridge roared on their side as Chelsea looked for a quick response, but they were continually met by two resolute banks of four in grey and yellow. 

Struggling to penetrate, their best chance of the half came in fortuitous fashion as Willian’s corner was inadvertently directed goalwards by Stuart Armstrong, forcing McCarthy to get an important touch at his far post.

Danger averted and Hasenhüttl’s side made it to the break having executed the perfect away performance in the opening 45 minutes.

Outwitted in the first half, a change in shape and personnel – as Mason Mount entered the fray – almost paid off immediately for The Blues.

The England international slipped a ball into Tammy Abraham at an acute angle, with rangy striker blasting into the side netting.

Having teased at something of an onslaught in search of a leveller, Saints almost doubled their lead in a frantic five minutes at the start of the second 45.

Scampering into space on the left, Redmond drove into the box before looking to pick out Adams at the back post, with the faintest of touches from a sliding Tomori denying the former Birmingham man a first goal for the club via a simple tap in.

Now with an entertaining ebb and flow to the game, the chances continued to pendulum from one end to the other with Hudson-Odoi curling a strike onto the roof of the net from 20 yards as the intensity grew.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Nathan Redmond of Southampton celebrates after putting his team 2-0 up during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Southampton FC at Stamford Bridge on December 26, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Getty Images)
Nathan Redmond doubled Saints' lead (Photo: Matt Watson)

As Chelsea balls into the box continued to be hoovered up like a magnet by those in grey and yellow, the visitors were rewarded with a chance to double their lead.

A clever one-two between Stuart Armstrong and Redmond ended with the latter presented with just Arrizabalaga to beat from a slightly unfavourable angle, which the Spaniard managed to do down to his right.

Sensing a second goal could be of vital importance as Chelsea began to throw caution to the wind, a contender for Saints’ goal of the season on 73 minutes sparked pandemonium amongst the travelling support.

Patient build-up – with no fewer than 15 passes – culminated in Armstrong finding himself on the edge of the box with players in support, with the Scotsman’s looped ball perfect for Redmond to collect and dink over Arrizabalaga before racing off in celebration.

Oozing with confidence the objective shifted towards keeping a first clean sheet since September, an ambition aided by McCarthy who tipped a scuffed Christian Pulisic shot wide before pushing Mount’s free-kick over the bar deep into stoppage time.

However, in truth Saints never looked likely to surrender their advantage as back-to-back Premier League wins were ensured in emphatic fashion on the road to give all associated with Southampton the best Christmas present of all.

Chelsea

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    66
    comparison angle
    34
  • Shots
    10
    comparison angle
    5
  • Shots on target
    3
    comparison angle
    3
  • Corners
    8
    comparison angle
    1
  • Passes Complete
    556
    comparison angle
    228

Chelsea

1
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK)
2
Antonio Rüdiger
29
Fikayo Tomori yellow card
15
Kurt Zouma
replace Mason Mount (45′)
28
César Azpilicueta (C)
7
N'Golo Kanté yellow card
5
Jorginho yellow card
33
Emerson
9
Tammy Abraham
20
Callum Hudson-Odoi
replace Christian Pulisic (67′)
10
Willian
replace Pedro (84′)
11
Pedro
8
Ross Barkley
19
Mason Mount
22
Christian Pulisic
23
Michy Batshuayi
13
Willy Caballero
4
Andreas Christensen

Southampton

1
Alex McCarthy (GK)
35
Jan Bednarek
21
Ryan Bertrand yellow card
2
Cédric Soares
5
Jack Stephens
22
Nathan Redmond goal
16
James Ward-Prowse
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
17
Stuart Armstrong
replace Oriol Romeu (86′)
20
Michael Obafemi goal
replace Danny Ings (69′)
10
Che Adams
replace Sofiane Boufal (80′) yellow card
3
Maya Yoshida
4
Jannik Vestergaard
28
Angus Gunn
19
Sofiane Boufal
38
Kevin Danso
9
Danny Ings
14
Oriol Romeu
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