Chelsea Away Lost 1 – 0
That Saints should alter their line-up for the visit to Chelsea was no surprise, and they would surely have done so had the performance against Leicester been more acceptable. Six changes, though, did raise eyebrows, but the nature of the surgery was even harder to fathom: are we ever a better side without Van Dijk, Davis and Austin? We were also without Soares through injury before the game was very odd, his place being taken not by Van Dijk, but Lemina, who still seems far from fit himself. Nevertheless, Saints remain hard to break down and although the home side had no shortage of shots, they tended to be from distance and handled capably by Forster. Just before the interval, Lemina was caught in possession and Pedro Ledesma shot against the foot of the post; unfortunately this did not turn out to be a pre cuppa let off as Yoshida fouled Hazard in added time, but approaching some 30 yards from goal. This time Alonso’s aim was better than Ledesma’s, but you felt at the time that either the defensive wall or the goalkeeper’s reactions could have been better – TV replays back up that view and it didn’t need the BBC’s army of pundits to reinforce it. A pity as Forster continued his shot stopping after the break, but the damage had been done and it was hard to see what Saints were going to do to get back into contention. Austin managed our first meaningful shot at goal immediately after coming on, and the stats show we must have had another on target somewhere in the 90 minutes, even if it’s hard to recall where; meanwhile at the other end Fàbregas had a goal disallowed for offside and saw another effort roll along the goal-line. Post match, the manager bemoaned missed opportunities: “the two Charlie chances and Manolo got a one-on-one on the first half.” Really?
LSSC Man of the Match: Ryan Bertrand, always looking to break out of defence, but without much support.
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