Chelsea beat Southampton in a crazy game at St Mary’s.
The game began with a sleepy opening period as both sides warmed up into the game in the sunshine at St Mary’s.
Both sides got crosses into the box but without anyone on the end of them. Chelsea’s low tempo looked like it might be their downfall once again as their attacking players failed to create any big openings.
Southampton then struck on the counter, Ryan Bertrand racing in behind Cesar Azpilicueta in a super surge down the left hand side and squaring back for Dusan Tadic.
Chelsea response was tame, and they limped in at half time without having created any real openings. Soon Southampton had doubled their lead, Jan Bednarek pinging in a volley from a free kick.
The game looked lost and was drifting towards its conclusion until Olivier Giroud pulled a goal back from nowhere. This triggered a Southampton collapse, and they soon conceded a second to Eden Hazard after a defensive mixup, then a third to an unmarked Giroud who notched his second.
Here are our ratings from today’s featured Chelsea players…
Thibaut Courtois – 7 – Nothing he could do about the goal as it was squared back to Tadic a few yards out. Great tall save from Long early in the second period.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6 – Caught out by Bertrand for the Southampton goal but then worked hard to make amends.
Andreas Christensen – 6 – Some cool moments on the ball but still a little shaky defensively.
Gary Cahill – 6 – Looked more at home on the left of the three but still not perfect.
Davide Zappacosta- 5 – Offered nothing going forward in the first half, withdrawn early in the second as Chelsea went to a back three.
N’Golo Kante – 7 – Saw plenty of the ball in midfield and did well making up for Cesc’ deficiencies.
Cesc Fabregas – 5 – Another really poor game in the middle of the park.
Marcos Alonso – 6 – Should have been sent off for a nasty foul in the first half.
Willian – 6 – Very wasteful in the final third, his strong run of form seems to be fading.
Alvaro Morata – 5 – A bit of a relapse after some better games. Targeted for rough treatment by Southampton’s defenders and it worked perfectly.
Eden Hazard – 8 – Might as well have napped through the first half. Then burst into action in the second period and scored a goal as well as finally providing some attacking threat.
Olivier Giroud – 8 – Changed the game when he came on. Scored twice and added some presence up front for the rest of the team to work off.