Chelsea started brightly, with intensity to match and even exceed the hosts, and generated several dangerous passages of play, and posed plenty of threat, but without being able to generate too many meaningful shots.
As it so often happens however, once that early threat petered out after the first 15-20 minutes, we had to settle in for a bit of a grind. Still, Chelsea maintained a firm grip on the game with control through possession.
And, as it can also happen in such situations, Southampton would grab the opening goal completely against the run of play thanks to a momentary lapse in concentration at the back — Liverpool loanee Takumi Minamino staying cool and composed for an easy finish to become the first opposition player to score against Tuchel’s Chelsea.
Chelsea started the second half brightly as well, with Hudson-Odoi coming on for Abraham, and this time were rewarded when Danny Ings wiped out Mount in the area. Mount himself took the spot-kick and converted coolly.
But Chelsea did not press on from the equalizer, and it were hosts instead who grew into the game. Eventually, Chelsea took charge again, with Reece James making things happen. Tuchel then tried to inject some impact into the game by putting on Ziyech for Hudson-Odoi and taking off the tiring Kovačić ... to no avail.
Two points dropped.
- Three changes from last weekend, not including the goalkeeper, with Zouma, Kanté, and James coming in for Christensen, Jorginho, and Hudson-Odoi.
- Half-time change of Hudson-Odoi for Abraham, who’s subsequently spotted with an ice pack on the ankle. Not sure how fit to play he really was. Similar type of substitution as against Burnley.
- Ziyech for Hudson-Odoi and Jorginho for Kovačić completed the changes. Subbing the sub leading to plenty of hot takes already!
- Chelsea remain fourth, but the gap to the teams behind is practically non-existent, and they all play later this weekend.
- Next up: Atlético Madrid away (in Bucharest, Romania) in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.