Southampton vs Chelsea: Saints battle back to beat lifeless Blues (video)
Southampton vs Chelsea recap: Saints erased an early deficit to beat the Blues 2-1 at St. Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday, as Thomas Tuchel’s side suffered another disappointing defeat to a side that finished in the bottom-six of the Premier League last season.
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Raheem Sterling opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, but Romeo Lavia answered in emphatic fashion just five minutes later. Adam Armstrong struck the winner in first-half stoppage time before Saints’ almighty defensive effort in the second half.
A week and a half after being hammered 3-0 by Leeds, Chelsea were again unable to create scoring chances despite holding 67 percent possession in the game. With two times as much possession, Chelsea managed one less shot (8) than Southampton (9).
What we learned from Southampton vs Chelsea
Still plenty in the tank for Raheem Sterling
Just five games into his Chelsea career, it has become abundantly clear that it was simply time for a change of scenery for Sterling. After seven seasons at Manchester City, there was little left for him to accomplish there, but more importantly, perhaps there was little left he could do to paint Pep Guardiola a new picture of himself. At 27 years old, Sterling looks as fit and sharp as ever, but more importantly, he appears joyful in his football once again, and especially motivated with the 2022 World Cup now less than three months away.
Next great Saints side in the making?
Southampton invested rather heavily ($61 million) and smartly in a youth movement that saw them acquire three full-time and two part-time starters this summer, and Tuesday offered a glimpse of what could well be an up-and-coming side in a year or two’s time. Lavia’s first professional goal (below video) was a spectacular strike from outside the area (making him the first player born in 2004 or later to score a Premier League goal), Gavin Bazunu is settling in nicely as a 20-year-old starter in goal and Armel Bella-Kotchap is a raw, unrefined gazelle of a center back who’s only going to improve rapidly. Average age? 19.3 years old. It remains to be seen, of course, whether or not Ralph Hasenhuttl will still be the one in charge when the group reaches its apex.
Thomas Tuchel, Ralph Hasenhuttl reaction
Thomas Tuchel, on the defeat…
“It is not enough to win away matches, it is not enough to play 20-25 minutes on the level we want. It is too easy to put us off balance, to beat us, to confuse us. It is too easy. It happened against Leeds. We need to understand why and find solutions.
“We lose concentration, we lose our plan and lose consistency. It is too easy to beat us.
“A lot of key players are injured, it is something I don’t really understand. You can always lose football matches and I am humble enough to admit this, but in a match where you are in the lead there is no need to give away half-chances. To have no answers in the second half was disappointing.
“We need to have answers, we need to step up and play a level higher. We struggled to do this.”
“We started well in all the games almost, but obviously we are struggling with our focus and consistency in matches. We struggle to find answers and find the way back if things don’t go in our direction. Things did go in our direction today, but then we struggled after the equalizer.
“I don’t know if concern is the right word. I absolutely dislike to lose, it is the second time this season and I don’t think it takes a lot to beat us, and this I don’t like.
“I think in the first 20 minutes, we created half-chances but struggled to score. That is also not brand new for us.”
Ralph Hasenhuttl, on the victory and the rapid development of his young team…
“We deserved to take something today. On Saturday, we played a good game and today we took what we deserved, because we were fighting unbelievably — two times on the line they made a save and overall it was what people want to see, a team fighting for everything, and the perfect performance.
“We have this DNA, we want to do this against every opponent and we never stop running. This is a way you can hurt big teams when you are committed — it was not so clear after Saturday how fresh we were tonight, but we can show this.”
“I said it from the first day that we have the feeling [something special is brewing] that we have a team that is young, but there is a lot of empty space on the hard disk and they can learn. They have fun working hard, they have fun running a lot and, when the moment comes, they have fun scoring goals.”
How to watch Southampton vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 2:45pm ET, TuesdayOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
In-form players to keep an eye on
Saints’ young trio of Gavin Bazunu in goal, Armel Bella-Kotchap in defense and Romeo Lavia in midfield look like inspired signings and at 20, 20 and 18 years of age respectively, what a bright future they have in the game.
Raheem Sterling scored his first Chelsea goals last time out and he looks to be stepping up as a leader for this team, while Reece James continues to have a fine start to the season as he’s strong defensively and is delivering dangerous crosses galore.
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee)
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Conor Gallagher (suspension), Marcos Alonso (undisclosed)