90 MIN: 5 minutes of added-on time.
86 MIN: Final Chelsea change sees Hazard depart for Moses and the back three (five) restored.
79 MIN, SOUTHAMPTON 2-3 CHELSEA: COMEBACK COMPLETE and it’s that man Giroud again, who’s made a huge impact since coming on. Meanwhile, both Romeu and Long go into the book for Southampton.
75 MIN, SOUTHAMPTON 2-2 CHELSEA: Chelsea keep up the pressure, work the ball around, and eventually find Hazard in the box who roofs the equalizer. GET IN!
70 MIN, SOUTHAMPTON 2-1 CHELSEA: Comeback on? Alonso’s excellent cross finds Giroud’s head in between two defenders. It’s the big man’s first league goal for Chelsea since joining in January.
59 MIN, SOUTHAMPTON 2-0 CHELSEA: Jan Bednarek, on his Premier League debut, unmarked at the far post, side-foots in a Ward-Prowse free kick. Chelsea in deep deep trouble, make a double-change with Pedro & Giroud coming on for Zappacosta & Morata. Chelsea switch to a back-four (Azpi right, Alonso left).
Jan Bednarek scores on his Premier League debut!— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) April 14, 2018
And what a free-kick from Ward-Prowse pic.twitter.com/i5fFFNuvod
55 MIN: Hazard has Chelsea’s first shot on target, followed by Willian from the resulting corner. Goalkeeper saves well both times.
53 MIN: Courtois saves well to deny Long on the counter. Chelsea dominating possession but can’t break So’ton down.
50 MIN: Southampton already engaging in “match management”, wasting time, delaying tactics. Chelsea need to step up.
HALF-TIME, SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 CHELSEA: A chippy end to a disappointing half, with Mike Dean losing control of the game (even Kanté showing frustration after a bad call), but more importantly, without Chelsea showing much cutting edge. Zero shots on target. Going to be hard to score like that.
42 MIN, A YELLOW CARD, FINALLY: Dean cautions Højbjerg after he slides through Zappacosta then boots the ball away. Southampton have fractured the game excellently and there is no flow to proceedings. Ward-Prowse joins his teammate a few minutes later for dissent. Alonso gets away with a rough looking step on Long’s calf in the meantime.
35 MIN, MIKE DEAN KEEPING CARDS IN POCKET: Morata avoids yellow after a bit of petulance (clash of heads called a foul on him); Romeu then avoids yellow for taking Hazard out to stop a dangerous-looking run through the middle. Shane Long also joins the list of would-be yellow cards a few minutes later as the Saints front man sneakily trips Azpilicueta off the ball.
30 MIN: Still 1-0 to the hosts. Chelsea took a minute to regain senses after going behind. Still not posing much threat.
20 MIN, SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 CHELSEA: Ryan Bertrand, captain and formerly of Chelsea sprints the full length of the pitch, beats Azpilicueta around the corner and sets up Dusan Tadić with a lovely cutback.
FIRST 15 MIN: Not much to write home about just yet. Chelsea dominating possession, but not doing much with it. Southampton defending deep and doing little else.
The weekend starts at St Mary’s, where Chelsea look for a long overdue three points and some happiness, while the home side battle valiantly against relegation. Early kick-offs tend to be sleepy, unenthusiastic affairs, but there’s plenty to fight for in this one, so get up, stand up, and show up.
We’re trying something slightly different with this post: instead of just an open thread, it will be updated regularly (while you comment away below) with highlights, stats, and anything else worthwhile for a live blog sort of thing. Let’s see how it goes.
COME ON, CHELSEA!
Southampton starting lineup (5-3-2):
McCarthy | Bertrand (c), Yoshida, Hoedt, Bednarek, Cedric | Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Højbjerg | Tadić, Long
Substitutes from: Forster, McQueen, Lemina, Boufal, Sims, Austin, Gabbiadini
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3):
Courtois | Cahill (c), Christensen, Azpilicueta | Alonso, Fàbregas, Kanté, Zappacosta | Hazard, Morata, Willian
Substitutes from: Caballero, Moses, Emerson, Bakayoko, Barkley, Pedro, Giroud
Date / Time: Saturday, April 14th, 2018, 12:30 BST; 7:30am EDT; 5:00pm IST
Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, England
Referee: Mike Dean
On TV: Sky Sports (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India)
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