Southampton have been a bit of bogey team for Chelsea in the last couple years, with a 2-0 home defeat last season followed by a most dramatic 3-3 home draw earlier this season. But Chelsea have had a pretty good away record at St Mary’s, having not lost there since 2013, and we expected that to continue this weekend with the two teams coming in on the backs of drastically different form: five unbeaten versus six lost in a row.
Instead, we’ve had to settle for a most frustrating 1-1 draw, giving up an entirely preventable goal and being able to score only from the penalty spot. Chelsea’s work in the final third left a lot to be desired (and not for the first time), which left those involved in the game quite frustrated as well — and not just the coaching staff but the players themselves as well.
Goalscorer and future captain Mason Mount reflected on the disappointment afterwards.
“We look at it as two points dropped. We’ve been playing good stuff, getting good results and I feel like we need to be winning these games if we want to be pushing and fighting to finish as high as we can.
“We controlled the game and had a lot of possession but we just weren’t at it in the final third. The link-up wasn’t really there, we weren’t creating the chances and sometimes that can happen, especially with an early kick-off where it takes some time to get going.
“In the second half, we were a bit more on it and maybe could have scored more with the chances that we had. We need to look at what we did wrong, where we can be better, which was in a lot of places today, and try to improve every day.”
The football itself may not have provided much in the way of drama, but we still ensured that there was plenty of D.R.A.M.A. While all eyes and tongues were concerned with the Hudson-Odoi substitution, there was an interesting development in the penalty-taking situation as well, with Mason Mount taking over duties instead of Jorginho, who was on the bench.
One might’ve expected Timo Werner to take it, but Tuchel had already confirmed that the striker was at best third-choice on that list. As it turns out, he’s actually no higher than fourth, with Tammy Abraham also ahead of him.
“Tammy was actually taking the first one but obviously he went off at half-time so it was either me or Timo. The manager said it should be whoever feels confident on the pitch so I just stepped up. I missed my last one at Tottenham in the Carabao Cup so I wanted to make it right and I was confident in scoring as well.
“I’ve said before that it does mean a little bit more to me [to score against Southampton] and I scored here last season as well so it’s a nice ground for me to play at but the most important thing is to get the three points and we didn’t manage to do that so it’s obviously a disappointment.”
Mount, who was born in nearby Portsmouth and was a boyhood fan of Southampton’s local rivals, took extra pleasure in scoring against Saints for the second time in five meetings. Unfortunately, his goal was the only one on the day for us.
With much more difficult games coming up, we’re going to need all the players to step up in a similar fashion. On the plus side, there should be no issues with looking beyond the task at hand on these massive Champions League and Premier League occasions.
“We spoke a bit about it before the game, saying we need to go into these next three or four weeks really focused. We have some massive games coming up that can really push us in the right direction so we’re very excited.
“These are the games we want to play in — big Champions League games, big Premier League games against top clubs so we’re very excited and we’re looking forward to them.”
-Mason Mount; source: Chelsea FC
Onwards and upwards!