Chelsea had a tough time playing against a team who is struggling in the bottom half of the Premier League table. It was obvious that Benitez wanted to rest his most important players seeing as the clash against Manchester United is just a few days away. Even so, there is no excuse for their poor performance against Southampton that resulted in losing the match to a one goal difference. The Blues lacked composure and were clearly not comfortable playing in this specific formation. Moses was a big disappointment and so was Marin. Torres was once again a shadow of what he once represented, barely touching the ball during the entire match.
The first half, although quite pleasing on the eye, came with few chances of scoring from both sides. The advantage was clearly in favor of Southampton, who had 6 attempts on goal, one of which saw the back of the net 24 minutes into the game. Jay Rodriguez found a huge gap in Chelsea’s defense after a brilliant display of teamwork.
The blues managed to level things up on their first attempt on goal. Marin executed a right side corner kick that found John Terry alone. He placed a powerful header in the back of the net without giving Artur Boruc any chance to save.
Only three minutes later, Rickie Lambert executed a perfectly placed free kick that gave Southampton a one goal advantage that lasted until the end of the game. The second half was not as entertaining as the first. Chelsea tried to come back again, but failed. Moses, Marin and Torres were not helping their team at all. The only ones that stood out were Azpiliqueta and Oscar, who performed like world class players.
Hazard came onto the pitch and changed the game for the better. He created some great opportunities for his teammates, but none were able to finish the job. Lampard also managed a good performance, but this time he could not save his team. Hopefully Chelsea will win against Man United especially considering the fact that these three points that were lost today may very well influence their position in the Premier League table at the end of the season.
Chelsea now sit in 4th, 2 points behind Tottenham with a game in hand and they are 2 points ahead of Arsenal who sit in 5th with both teams having played 30 games. Yesterday’s loss was not helpful at all given the fact that both Arsenal and Tottenham won against Reading and Swansea respectively.