Date: 16th December 2017 at 5:04pm
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Chelsea took on Southampton in a game at Stamford Bridge that saw them start as favourites. A midweek victory for the Blues over Huddersfield and a heavy defeat for the Saints at Leicester meant Antonio Conte`s men went into the game the more confident.

That however, didn`t stop Southampton going at Chelsea from the start. Before the game Conte had said he thought Chelsea may struggle and in the first ten minutes that was certainly the case. Southampton could easily have taken the lead when a ball played across the box was intercepted right in front of the goal by Gary Cahill. A combination of quick feet and a bit of luck saw him hoof the ball upfield to safety.

With that out of the way Chelsea began to work their way into the game. Conte had started the game in a 3-4-3 formation and without a recognised striker, preferring to use Eden Hazard as his attacking focal point.

There was plenty of good interplay when Chelsea were attacking, and Fraser Forster was forced into making some fine saves. Southampton hadn`t come to the Bridge to sit back though. When they went forward they were very much looking to score.

As the half approached it`s conclusion Pedro nearly broke the deadlock when he fired low shot to Forster`s right that rebounded back off the post. That effort was a sign though, a sign of more to come.

Into injury time, a foul on Eden Hazard resulted in a yellow card for Maya Yoshida and a free-kick 25 yards from the centre of the goal. Dead ball specialist Marcos Alonso cheekily drifted his kick low around the wall and the ball crept in low to Forster`s right. Defenders never learn. With that the half time whistle sounded. A somewhat frustrating half ended on a high.

There were no changes at half time and the first 15 minutes were simply a continuation of the first 45. Chelsea probed and Southampton sat deep. Any chances that came were shots from distance, none of which troubled Forster.

With John Terry watching in the stands it was still Chelsea who looked the likelier to score.

Southampton bought on Charlie Austin and almost instantly improved their chances of scoring, he beat Chelsea`s offside trap but Tibo made the necessary save.

Conte`s first change of the afternoon saw Cesc Fabregas replace Pedro. That change almost bought a goal as well, a Fabregas ball into Hazard saw hom slot home, but he was just offside.

Another 20 yard shot from Alonso called Forster into action again, but the 1-0 lead was looking dangerous, Chelsea needed a second goal. With that Conte replaced Hazard with Morata and with the Blues susceptible to a late goal, was the Italian being wise? We would have to sweat it out.

The final change for Chelsea came in the final ten minutes when Davids Zappacosta replaced Victor Moses. With the game edging towards its end, Chelsea tried to play out time with the aid of some short corners.

With Marcos Alonso one game short of a match ban, having already collected four yellow cards, he was booked for time wasting on one of those corners, a cunning plan indeed. His ban will be for the EFL/Carabao cup game against Bournemouth on Wednesday evening. Chelsea held out for the important three points and once again drew level with Manchester United.

Next up for Chelsea is that Carabao Cup game at home to Bournemouth on Wednesday 20th December, kick off 19:45. That`s followed with a tricky trip up to our old friends at Everton for another early Saturday kick off.


27 Replies to “A Nervy Ninety Minutes, But Still Three Points”

  • Spurs trailing at City …. don’t know whether to be happy or sad ….. assuming the title is already wrapped up i should be happy that Spurs are dropping points given the likely dog-fight for CL places, , but somehow i feel a bit sad as a City win today will all but ensure our very faint title hopes are put to rest….would still like to kid myself into believing we are in with a chance 🙁

  • @ZeeNut – title?s long over, I?m happy with a City win today as it?s going to be a scrap for the remaining CL places. After today?s performance let?s be glad with the three points and move on. I?m not a fan of bats but if Morata is not selected he should be given a chance, he needs to move on in the January window and replaced with a competent striker.

  • I’ve always thought Bats could be the next Drog ….. maybe i’m wrong …. but i guess we’ll know only if he gets a good run of games …. he isn’t going to get them under Conte, so i guess its a loan for teh rest of the season for Bats

  • It is, thanks to Mourinho De Bryune is in different class!! We can only dream of a Hazard/De Bryune partnership.

  • Beating Spurs 3-0 even without David Silva …. worthy winners i guess … De Bruyne , what a screwed up sale by us ….. not only is he a brilliant player but a leader too,always giving instructions …. in fact i remember the few chances he got under Jose he looked good …. cant believe how badly we screwed up there

  • Spurs really are the most over rated team, big talking manager, cant beat the big clubs,never won anything of note since the league in 62. City are champions we accept that, now its about the CL places, we have a battle with United, Arse, and the dippers. Spuds are out of it for now. Its going to be dog eat dog between us and the other 3. We could still get 2nd place .More money in the kitty .

  • Conte is wasting resources by playing Hazard as a top striker. He has limited opportunity to influence the game as he should be doing.

  • Well Morata has been poor recently, sure he will improve once he gets used to the league, it made sense to keep with what worked the other day. Also Fab needed a rest .

  • I am not being rude but he is so weak.. also when we play he drifts wide where he is useless..comes inside where he is a cm then waits for a long ball ..! hey presto counter from apossing team !..KTBFFH

  • Morata been poor? LOL This is what happens when you hire-and-fire your way to a domestic title minded squad. He’s an incredible player, who deserves to have better complimentary players in his support. (Eden Hazard + Alvaro Morata do not equal a team – that just becomes the tactical focus of the opposition team) Instead of thinking towards a sustainable, UCL minded squad, our owner likes to just be hot and cold, in the national league. Say what you’d like about Man City… but their success boils down to the willingness of club and staff to be transparent, and open with the staff – to the end of valuing their knowledge and contributions, and crafting a stable, long term vision and identity for their club. The oligarch owner, with his iron fisted rule, will always give you the mixed bag. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some. But you will have some comfort in being consistently inconsistent. We didn’t need Pep Guardiola – but you can’t really ignore what’s going on over there at the baby blue club. You all hate my opinions about the club and owner – but you know I’m not that far off wrong.

  • We can barely cope with both UCL and league, and it shows. Our form is dependent on participation. We are not set up to compete on multiple fronts. And having a manager with pedigree who can’t get any better results that previous managers – even with phenomenal talent at his disposal – speaks to a larger issue.

  • We are looking at the EPL turning into another German League, or Scottish, and Pep is not done spending by far . We can just hope that Roman figures out at some point, its not the manager. And starts looking at the team.

  • And yes Morata has been poor, he is useless in one on one situations, his best asset is headers from set pieces . However, as stated he is new to the league and will get better . All of our attackers today could not hit water if they fell out of a boat. And who outside of TBO, Hazard, Fab, AC, Rudigar, Kante, and sometimes Willian and Pedro is a phenomenal talent ?. The rest range from poor, perm injured, Average and Above Average . Conte himself yesterday stated he has no input in players coming and going . Finally previous managers had a better team, we have actually declined since Mourinho came back.

  • Enjoyed the game and Forster made some great saves for Saints. Once again Willian was terrific, to watch and was involved in most of our dangerous moments.

  • Morata is poor because he’s not the best one-on-one forward? Hmmm… I’ve seen the lad cut apart defenses, and leave defenders for dead in a dead Sprint. He’s got a pretty good goal ratio, and his finishing is brilliant. Not perfect – but he’s been the difference in a few occasions. A you stated, he’s young, so we should have no issue with him. It’s clear that he’ll only get better. Now to the point of what “phenomenal player aside from this one, and that one and…” You’re kidding, right? You just named more great names in one squad than some clubs have fielded in the last decade.

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