Saints 0-3 Chelsea
Ramirez earned a start against Chelsea following his good display off the bench at Everton, but whether he is a better option that Lambert is open to question, especially after another unproductive afternoon.
The way Saints fell apart in the closing stages of the match was particularly disappointing, and tended to make fans forget how they matched one of the league’s best teams for the first hour.
Southampton’s opportunities tended to be from more direct approaches and were thwarted by some desperate blocks, while the visitors always looked the more skilful but were failing to land a telling blow. That was until José Mourinho utilised the power of his bench by introducing Oscar and Willian on 53 minutes. Almost immediately Oscar rounded Davis only to earn himself a booking for choosing to dive to the ground instead of completing the apparent formality of knocking the ball into the net.
TV showed the referee’s decision to be correct (even José agreed!) and it also revealed how fortunate the opening goal was: Oscar’s cross took a wicked deflection and it was actually a good reaction from Davis to turn it onto the post, but even then Torres was able to score from the rebound.
Southampton’s attempts to get back on terms were poor, and a beleaguered defence was beaten again by a good strike from the other substitute, Willian. Oscar scored with embarrassing ease late in the game to confirm the importance of those substitutions, and the result means three home defeats in the last four outings, and three goals conceded in each of those losses.
Meanwhile Fleet Street’s finest are filling their pages with conjecture over where our home grown talent (and Lambert as well!) might end up when the transfer window closes. Happy New Year!
LSSC Man of the Match: Calum Chambers. Well, you come up with someone better on the day.