Boos for the Blues as they lose 1-0 at home to bottom of League outfit Southampton
By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 0 v Southampton 1
Massive boos, and chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning” from the stands greeted Chelsea head coach Graham Potter as his team slumped to their worst performance of the season, losing 1-0, at home to bottom of the league Southampton.
Only Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount had the guts to remain on the pitch and give the fans a clap at the end, as the rest headed straight to the comfort of the dressing room.
It’s tough to see how much worse the side can go. To add to the anguish, skipper Cesar Azpilicueta was taken to hospital after a clash in the penalty area, that needed 10 minutes of treatment.
Chelsea are 10 points off top four, 23, points away from league leaders Arsenal, and 11 points away from the relegation slot
Kamaldeen Sulemana and Stuart Armstrong could have put Saints into an early lead but Kalidou Koulibaly hacked the ball off line after a mistimed backpass by Benoit Badiashile let the visitors through.
On the counter-attack, Chelsea looked threatening and a long run and shot by Noni Madueke saw his effort saved by Gavin Bazunu.
It was a dismal opening 25 minutes by the home side, who hardly had much of the ball.
And the half continued to deteriorate to the point, that the Blues gave away a free-kick within James Ward-Prowse territory, and the midfielder did not disappoint and curled the perfect shot over the wall and beyond the desperate dive from Kepa to give the Saints a deserved lead.
The boos from the furious supporters that greeted the players as they trudged off the pitch will live long and head coach Graham Potter.
On came Raheem Sterling and Wesley Forfana, off went Koulibaly and David Forfana.
Mount missed a glorious chance to level the score on 50 minutes, but he failed to connect with his head to a wonderful left-wing cross by Sterling.
Potter then opted to bring on Kai Havertz and Mykhailo Mudryk - off went Madueke and Mount.
The Blues fashioned a chance on 68 minutes, but Sterling’s shot was blocked by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Sterling was then denied by sensational goalline defending by Romain Perrauld. While at the other end, Kepa foiled substitute Adam Forfana.
Azpilicueta was then involved in a nasty challenge by Sekou Mara who tried an overhead kick.
He was treated for 10 minutes.
Potter brought on Conor Gallagher and concussion substitute Trevoh Chalobah. Azpilicueta was carried off and straight to an ambulance.
With 12 minutes added to the 90, the visitors reverted to some dark art time-wasting. But the onus was on the home side to create chances, they didn’t.
Next up for Chelsea, a little trip to arch nemesis Spurs.
Teams: Chelsea, Kepa, Badiashile, Enzo, Kovacic, Felix, Mount, Chilwell, Koulibaly, David Forfana, Azpilicueta, Madueke
Subs: Bettinelli, Chalobah, Mudryk, Sterling, Zakaria, Gallagher, Havertz, W Forfana, Hall
Saints: Bazunu, Maitland-Niles, Ward-Prowse, Onuachu, Perrault, S Armstrong, Sulemana, Elyounoussi, Bednarek, Bella-Katchap, Latvia
Subs: Caballero, Walker-Peters, Lyanco, A Armstrong, Djenepa, Alcaraz Duran, Diallo, Walcott
Referee: David Coate