Sport Southampton 2-3 Chelsea: Match Report

16:01  16 april  2018
16:01  16 april  2018 Source:   readsport.co

Conte shocked to see Saints struggling

  Conte shocked to see Saints struggling Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed that he is surprised to see Southampton struggling at the foot of the Premier League table. The Blues make the short trip down south to face Saints this weekend, with both sides desperately in need of three points. Chelsea are currently sat in 5th place and some way off the top four, whilst Saints are three points adrift of 17th. Conte’s Chelsea side have been in poor form in large periods of the campaign and they will face a fellow under-performer in Southampton. Italian manager Conte has admitted, as per a report from the club’s official website, that Southampton’s struggles so far this term have come as a surprise to him. “I know that (Southampton) have great quality. It’s a great surprise to see them in this position fighting to avoid relegation. I think their squad has great quality and talented players.” A win for Chelsea would allow them to continue their unlikely push for a top four finish in the Premier League this term. Meanwhile, a win for Saints could lift them out of the bottom three.

Southampton v Chelsea - Premier League© Warren Little/Getty Images Sport Southampton v Chelsea - Premier League

Southampton let a two-goal lead slip against Chelsea and now find themselves five points from safety, with the same number of games left to play.

The Saints made only one change, which was enforced. Jack Stephens was suspended due to the red card he picked up against Arsenal, meaning it was a Premier League debut for Polish defender Jan Bednarek.

The home side took the lead after 21 minutes. Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross was well gathered by Alex McCarthy, who rolled it out to Wesley Hoedt, who played it into Pierre Hojbjerg in the midfield. Hojbjerg’s through ball to the overlapping Ryan Bertrand was exquisite, Bertrand showed his pace and strength to evade Azpilicueta’s challenge. Bertrand’s pass into the box found Dusan Tadic, who showed great composure to confidently slot the ball into an empty net.

Our man of the match: Chelsea (H)

  Our man of the match: Chelsea (H) Southampton succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Saints took a first-half lead through Dusan Tadic after some good work on the left from Ryan Bertrand. Mark Hughes’ side then doubled their advantage through Jan Bednarek’s first goal for the club. A capitulation then ensued in the final 20 minutes, with Chelsea coming away with all three points. Olivier Giroud scored a brace and Eden Hazard netted to help the Blues to a surprise 3-2 victory. It was by no means a bad performance from Saints, but their defensive frailties were once again prominent. There were some players who stood out, though, and we’re giving our man of the match award to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The Denmark international had yet another good game in the middle and continued to repay Hughes’ faith in him from recent weeks. Hojbjerg aimed to drive the team ahead when he had regained possession and was always on the lookout for a forward pass, notably in the opening exchanges of the match. His drive and desire to get on the ball and help Saints move play along quickly was a key element of their control in the match, with Hojbjerg helping the team to dictate the tempo in large periods. Hojbjerg had a good game for Saints again and will fancy his chances for the Player of the Season award, with many of his teammates under-performing still.

There is no doubt that Marcos Alonso should’ve seen red for Chelsea as he quite literally stamped Shane Long in the back of the leg, with no eyes on the ball, yet Mike Dean claimed not to see it and gave nothing, not even a free kick.

Into the second half, Southampton continued with the excellent pressing levels and intensity and they continued to create chances. Just 10 minutes into the second half and Saints had the chance to double their lead. Hojbjerg played a long ball over the top to Shane Long, who showed his pace to close in on Thibaut Courtois’s goal, despite being brought down by Andreas Christensen, he managed to get back up and get a shot off, which deflected off his own knee and nearly lobbed over Courtois.

On the hour mark, Southampton scored their second of the game, and it was the debutant Bednarek with a striker’s finish into the corner at the far post from James Ward-Prowse’s free kick.

Alonso charged with violent conduct

  Alonso charged with violent conduct Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has been charged with violent conduct by The FA. Twitter: BREAKING: @ChelseaFC defender Marcos Alonso charged with violent conduct by the FA following an incident with… https://t.co/ASoKV5vDfh (@SkySportsNews) Alonso has been charged with violent conduct after he stamped on Shane Long’s ankle in Saturday’s win over Southampton, with no attempt to play the ball. Despite being pictured looking directly at the incident, The FA claim that the officials did not see Alonso commit the act during the game. This has meant that they have to take retrospective action, and charge him with violent conduct. Shortly after he got away with stamping on Long’s leg, Alonso was the provider of the cross from which Olivier Giroud pulled Chelsea back into the game. Chelsea went on to win the game 3-2, having been 2-0 down in the match at St. Mary’s.

Six minutes later, Mike Dean showed another moment of questionable refereeing as Cesc Fabregas clearly passed the ball back to Courtois, yet Dean gave nothing.

On the 70 minute mark, Chelsea pulled their first goal back and it was the substitute Olivier Giroud who got it with a near-post header past McCarthy, and it was Alonso who was the provider, who shouldn’t even have been on the pitch.

Five minutes later, Chelsea were level and it was the Belgian Eden Hazard with the goal and again, Alonso was involved as his pass found Willian on the left wing, who beat Cedric to get a low cross into the box. Hazard controlled the ball brilliantly and finished confidently into the roof of the net.

Two minutes later, Chelsea’s come back was complete and it was Giroud with the goal. Alonso won the free kick on the edge of the box. Willian stepped up and passed it to Hazard on the left wing, the Belgian’s cross was headed into the air by Christensen, Saints failed to clear their lines, and it was Giroud who seized on the ball and finished it.

Saints will have been disappointed by the defeat against Arsenal, but this one would’ve hurt a lot more. Other results in the Premier League mean that Saints are now closer to the drop and have to pick up some form of points against Leicester mid-week and hope other results go their way.

Morata thanks teammate for his help this season .
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has thanked Cesar Azpilicueta for his assists this season. Morata scored the second goal in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Southampton at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final clash on Sunday. Azpilcueta crossed for Morata to head home, the Spanish defender’s seventh assist of the season. Seven assists is an impressive return for Azpilicueta, even more so due to the fact that all of them have been to Morata. The pair have worked up a great relationship on the pitch and Chelsea are benefitting from it. Speaking to the Evening Standard, Morata said this: “It was a very good match.” “I could have scored another goal at the last moment, I was a little bit unlucky but we are in the final and that’s the most important thing, we are happy.” “I always say thanks to Azpi because this year he knows where I want the ball and it’s great to have all of the assists from him.” Morata’s future, however, is in doubt with reports that is he is keen on a move back to Juventus in the summer.

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