Chelsea Home Lost 0 – 6
There’s never really a good time for a club like Southampton to play a club like Chelsea and there are two schools of thought about taking them on after the Blues had suffered damaging home defeats: good, they’re out of form; bad, they’re due a top performance. Ralph seemed to be siding with the latter view but was positive enough to announce to fans that we were going to “try to make it as tough a possible for them.” A pity he didn’t tell his team, although it wasn’t a disaster from the word ‘go;’ then Saints were nearly caught out from their own corner when Werner went on to strike Forster’s right post from the breakaway. Werner then headed against the bar but hopes that the football gods were on our side were soon scotched after no-one seemed keen to mark Mount until Livramento decided it had to be him, leaving Alonso free to score. One became two when Mount scored from the edge of the box – maybe we could have closed him down better, but a good goal. Two became three when Ward-Prowse headed back towards goal, only to set up a one-sided foot race between Bednarek and Werner. Then Salisu decided to play his way out of trouble, rather than attempt a simple pass back; Werner robbed him and this time struck Forster’s left post only for Havertz to tap in the fourth. Romeu’s game was over soon after, apparently following an injury, but Saints now changed their shape by bringing on Valery and at least we managed to cling to 0-4 at the break. Adam Armstrong had a rare start with Broja ineligible so would have been disappointed to be taken off after 45 mins through no fault of his own before the start of the second half became as disastrous as the middle chunk of the first – first, Kante was allowed to march through a missing midfield only for this rare scorer to fluff his finish; after Forster’s save, the ball ended up with Werner, usually a goal-free striker… except against Southampton. Having made several saves to keep the score below the dreaded nine, Fraser’s mood was clearly getting worse and worse, especially after he did well to keep out Pulisic and Werner before statuesque defenders did nothing to stop the ball eventually reaching Havertz for another tap-in. And that’s where, with 39 minutes actual playing time remaining, Match of the Day’s coverage of events ended. For many home fans who voted with their feet, it was more than they saw live. Those who stayed for all the goals at least saw Saints create a real chance of their own with a good move, but Mendy saved from Adams to present 0-5 becoming 1-5 and neither side did a great deal to disturb the 0-6 scoreline.
LSSC Man of the Match: Fraser Forster I didn’t want to name him after letting in six but the TV highlights prove he did nothing wrong and very much right. You couldn’t say that about any of his colleagues.