Chelsea took on Southampton on Saturday for MW 5 of the Premier League season. Lampard selected a strong lineup with Kepa in goal, and Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma and Chilwell making up the defence. Kante and Jorginho made up the midfield with Mount, Havertz, and Pulisic making up the attacking 3 with Werner up front. It was an attacking lineup and everyone was particularly excited to see how Pulisic, Werner and Havertz would link up. Hassenhutl selected his usual lineup but Theo Walcott did make his debut.
Chelsea dominated the game from the 1st whistle as we had a few chances and set off a few shots that tested McCarthy in goal. The first goal came in the 15th minute as Werner did a brilliant dummy which sent him through on goal and he kept calm in the box to get his first Premier League goal for Chelsea. The 2nd goal followed in the 28th minute as Jorginho played his ball over the top which Werner chipped over McCarthy to then head it into the goal. 2 goals and Chelsea were flying. The Blues had several more chances to kill the game in the 1st half but a small Havertz give away in the 43rd minute sent Ings through on goal and he scored to make 2-1 right before half time.
The 2nd half started with Southampton more confident as they out pressed Chelsea and took the game to the Blues. The equalising goal came in the 57th minute as Zouma played a needless back pass to Kepa which fell well short of the goalkeeper and after some bouncing around Che Adams smashed the ball into the net. Chelsea replied back at once with some great play between Pulisic, Werner and Havertz who finished the move to restore Chelsea’s lead and get his first Chelsea goal in the Premier League as well. Chelsea held on for the remainder of the game and it looked like we would be heading for 3 points but in the 92nd minute Vestergaard shot from distance and it bounced into the bottom right corner to get the Saints a point. Lampard and the team were left frustrated as it was another 2 points dropped.
Kepa – Kepa made some decent saves throughout the game and generally I didn’t think he had a poor game. The goals weren’t his fault although I do think Mendy had been the keeper he might have saved the last one. Still 3 goals conceded due to multiple factors and the Spaniard won’t get any relief for now.
Azpilicueta – Good game at a personal level, Azpi went forward well and stayed strong defensively as with no Silva in the team he was always going to start.
Christensen – With Christensen around I can’t help but feel we always concede several goals and it’s not because of him but he doesn’t seem to pair well. Christensen is a good defender but maybe Tomori should have stared alongside Zouma with their parntership being quite solid. The poor organisation at the back with Silva missing was clear to be seen by everyone.
Zouma – Zouma was at fault for the 2nd goal as his poor pass put Kepa in an awkward situation. The Frenchman could have kicked the ball anywhere else but to pass it back to the goalkeeper with no pace was a poor decision. Zouma did also make a game saving tackle at the end and so a mixed bag and things he needs to improve on.
Chilwell – Chilwell had another strong outing especially offensively as he was heavily involved in the 1st half. Ben put in several crosses and also got an assist for the first Werner goal although he didn’t do much. The Englishman certainly looks like an upgrade on the options we had previously.
Kante – I feel like Kante started the game poorly as he gave away the ball to easily and broke up Chelsea’s movement on a couple of occasions. Kante did grow into the game though but alongside Jorginho one really needs to decide to stay back and screen the back four.
Jorginho – Jorginho was magesitc in the the 1st half as he looked like Pirlo with some of the balls he passed around. The assist for the 2nd Werner goal has almost become trademark from the Italian. The 2nd half saw some issues though and if Jorginho is to continue to play then him and Kante need to sort out their defensive duties.
Mount – I feel like there is no need to start Mason out of position as he was put on the left with Pulisic being forced onto the right. Mason did play well in the first 45 but he was probably the least eye catching of the front 4. Mount needs to either play alongside Kante or he needs to benched because Havertz will play CAM. Lampard needs to stop forcing him into the lineup.
Havertz – Brilliant in the 1st half up till the cheap giveaway and got a goal in the 2nd half as well. It was a game of two halves and getting caught out is just a mistake that shouldn’t be over analysed. Havertz in the CAM position was heavily involved in a fluid attack which kept changing positions especially with Werner and Pulisic.
Pulisic – No goals for Pulisic on his return to the starting lineup but he was heavily involved and their were several brilliant moments as well that showed why he got the no 10 shirt. Christian for sure is only getting warmed up and Chelsea will be better with him.
Werner – Timo with two goals and two brilliant goals as he got his League account running and took some pressure of his shoulders. That first half was brilliant from the whole attack in general and just a taste of what is to come.
Ziyech – Ziyech came on in the 72nd minute for Mount to make his Chelsea debut as the Moroccan saw his first minutes on the pitch since March. There were some good passes played but one could see a player that had been away from football for 7 months. Much more to come but very excited.
James – Reece James came on for Pulisic in the 87th minute to see out the game as they joined in the midfield and Chelsea shifted to a 4-3-3. Not much to analyse with so little time on the pitch.
Abraham – Abraham came on for Werner late on but he had little to nothing to do.
Lampard – There has been criticism of Lampard to sort out his defence and people who were calling the lineup solid were asking why he selected Kepa and Christensen in the end. My personal opinion is that Lampard does need to sort out the defence and Silva and Mendy showed what they can bring to the backline when available. I don’t think one should overly analyse the result especially the way the league is going at the moment BUT stopping these individual mistakes has to be key.
So, a great 45 minutes of attacking football and a somewhat mixed bag in the 2nd half as we sit 7th in the League having won 2 drawn 2 and lost 1, 5 points from league leaders Everton. Next up is a visit from Sevilla on Tuesday night followed by a trip to Old Trafford where we will take on Manchester United. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!