Southampton shocked Chelsea by winning 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day as Frank Lampard’s Blues continued their Jekyll and Hyde form.
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After winning at top four rivals Tottenham last time out, Chelsea were sluggish against Saints and were punished as Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond scored in each half to lead Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side to a big victory.
With the win Southampton move on to 21 points, while Chelsea stay on 32 points.
The defeat marked the first time Chelsea have lost back-to-back home games in the Premier League since 2011.
3 things we learned
1. 3-4-3 not the way forward for Chelsea: Frank Lampard stuck with the 3-4-3 formation which worked so well at Spurs on Sunday, but it was a surprise he went with it at home against Southampton. Chelsea have now lost 2-0 to Saints and 1-0 against West Ham and Bournemouth in their last four home games at Stamford Bridge and their young team has been a little naive. Lampard’s admission that they will be in the transfer market in January seems to have unsettled some of his players as their transfer ban is now over.
2. Saints alive and kicking: Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have now won four of their last six games but this was the most impressive victory of the lot. Away from home against Chelsea, Saints took the game to the Blues and their high-pressing style unnerved Chelsea. Danny Ings, their leading goalscorer, was left out and the young forward duo of Che Adams and Michael Obafemi delivered with grit and the latter with a fine goal. This was Southampton’s first clean sheet in 14 games and back-to-back wins have taken them from the relegation zone to eyeing a top 10 finish. There is still a long season ahead but Saints have finally got going.
3. Pulisic’s lack of game time concerning: When USMNT winger Pulisic didn’t start against Spurs on Sunday we assumed he was being rested to play against Southampton. He came on for the final 25 minutes and did well, winning free kicks and firing just wide, and you have to imagine he will start against Arsenal on Sunday. If he doesn’t that will be even more concerning.
Man of the Match: Jack Stephens - Won the battle against Tammy Abraham and he led the Southampton defense calmly. What a turnaround in his career over the last few months.
Early on Southampton were comfortable enough without having a clear chance on goal and the first big chance of the game came to Chelsea.
Callum Hudson-Odoi’s shot was deflected wide by Jack Stephens and from the resulting corner Fikayo Tomori headed straight at Alex McCarthy.
Saints frustrated Chelsea in the first half and then took the lead as 19-year-old Obafemi turned, settled himself and curled home a stunner into the top corner.
Cesar Azpilicueta’s flick at the near post from a corner almost snuck in as McCarthy tipped the ball away.
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Mason Mount came on at half time for Kurt Zouma as Chelsea switched their formation to a 4-2-3-1 and Tammy Abraham slammed a shot into the side-netting from close range.
At the other end Nathan Redmond broke free and crossed for Che Adams but Tomori cleared superbly at the back post.
Redmond then spurned a great chance as he was clean through but Kepa saved down low.
USMNT’s Christian Pulisic came on for the final 25 minutes to try and salvage something for Chelsea but then Southampton killed the game off.
A break found Redmond and he calmly dinked over Kepa and in to seal a shock win for Southampton at Stamford Bridge.