Tale of two Chelseas in draw with Southampton
Chelsea - Southampton: Timo Werner had two goals and an assist to Kai Havertz but Chelsea’s dreadful defending helped Southampton earn a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
It was a helter skelter affair that saw delightful attacking and dreadful mistakes from Frank Lampard’s Blues, who drew a 3-3 match for the second time this season after coming back from 3-0 down against West Brom.
USMNT star Christian Pulisic returned to the Chelsea starting lineup and did the heavy lifting on Havertz’s third goal as the Blues slipped to 2W-2D-1L on the season, the same record as their visitors.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
Saints got a stoppage-time goal from Jannik Vestergaard from returning hometown hero Theo Walcott to tie it. Southampton also got goals from Danny Ings and Che Adams, the latter scoring off a miserable sequence between Kurt Zouma and Kepa Arrizabalaga
Chelsea - Southampton delivered entertainment as well as plenty of food for thought.
3 things we learned
1. Healthy Chelsea’s scary attack: Seasonal reference met. If this is what Chelsea looks with a healthy batch of attackers, then their sketchy defense is only as much of a concern as their title rivals and the sky is the absolute limit. Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, and Mason Mount were rampant in the first half against a Saints team entering the match on a 188-minute shutout streak (albeit against Burnley and West Brom). Jorginho’s pass for Werner’s second was simply sensational and Pulisic’s dribble to nab a ‘hockey assist’ on the winner was marvelous.
2. Kepa, Kepa, Kepa (and Zouma): An injury to Edouard Mendy cast Kepa Arrizabalaga right back into the fire, and Chelsea’s former No. 1 made a very nice early save on Theo Walcott and a good stop on Ings in the 82nd. Kepa couldn’t do much to deny Ings’ goal, but what will have everyone talking is his inadequate response to a poor back pass from Zouma. The keeper saw the ball bounce over his leg and then he slid into the goal post before Adams ripped the equalizer into the top of the goal. Mendy will be back to reclaim the starting spot but can Lampard continue to keep Antonio Rudiger out of the lineup? Thiago Silva also did not play as Lampard opted for Zouma and Andreas Christensen.
3. Werner flashes the otherworldly: Earlier this season, Timo Werner had some moments against Liverpool that showed pure and elite class without the requisite finish. The German had it all on Saturday, with scintillating turns and calm touches delivering the goods. His assist on Chelsea’s answer to make it 3-2 was the least of his Man of the Match contributions and still a good one. Both Werner and Havertz scored for Germany at midweek, so don’t sleep on the international building of chemistry for Chelsea’s new expensive attackers.
Man of the Match:
Well it’s gotta be Werner.
Chelsea - Southampton recap
The Blues sent an early warning sign to Saints when Ben Chilwell’s rip was saved by Alex McCarthy, who got across to the other side of the box to acrobatically deny Kai Havertz’s bid at the rebound.
Werner was the star of the first half, first using an incredible dummy to get a Chilwell pass and carry down the left and across the box to cut past McCarthy.
He made it 2-0 off Jorginho’s terrific pass, though Werner still had plenty to do with his chip over McCarthy and header into the goal.
Ings put Saints within one just before halftime, the dreaded time for a leading team to concede and the fault lies with Kai Havertz.
The German gave the ball away in the middle of the pitch and Ings raced onto an incisive Che Adams pass to touch around Kepa and slot home.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Saints made it 2-2 thanks in large part to Kurt Zouma’s awful back pass and Kepa’s terrible response to it, Adams ripping the ball into the top of the net from close range.
The deadlock didn’t last long, though, as Pulisic danced through the Saints defense and slipped Werner into the right of the box. Werner found Havertz for 3-2 and there was still more than 30 minutes to play at Stamford Bridge.
Hakim Ziyech made his Chelsea debut off the bench over the final 19 minutes, and Arrizabalaga made a fine save on Ings late but could not stop Vestegaard in the second minute of stoppage.