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Guus Hiddink explains Baba Rahman half-time substitution

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Young Chelsea left back Baba Rahman made a pretty serious error in the 42nd minute of Chelsea's win at Southampton on Saturday, lackadaisically attempting to head the ball to Branislav Ivanovic.  He might've gotten away with that against many teams, but against Shane Long, the ever-vigilant Shane Long, such lazy plays are likely to get punished.  And so it was that Long took advantage and slotted past Courtois to open the scoring.  The Chelsea goalkeeper may have been just a touch slow off his line, perhaps aware of Long's pace and also wary of giving away a penalty, but while that wasn't ideal, the responsibility for the goal lay firmly with the left back.

Guus Hiddink agreed, and wasted no time in hauling Baba off at half-time.  (Baba wasn't exactly providing his customary impact at the attacking end either.)

"I don't want to make a fake injury. I took him off because of the error. He has to cope with that. He was very down in the locker room about his mistake, but we have to make decisions like we did."

-Guus Hiddink; source: Evening Standard

Hiddink does admit that it's perhaps a harsh decision, but it was one he had to make.

"I had to make a decision and taking Baba off was a bit harsh but I had to."

-Guus Hiddink; source: GhanaSoccernet

Baba's still young and despite his Bundesliga experience, the main theme of his first season at Chelsea has been one of needing to learn and improve.  Hopefully he can do that soon.

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