Sports

Chelsea settle for draw against Southampton

London, Feb 20 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 2/20/2021 11:22:38 AM IST

A second-half penalty from Mason Mount secured a 1-1 draw for Chelsea away to Southampton on Saturday.

Saints took the lead with their first shot of the game at St Mary’s Stadium, Takumi Minamino becoming the first opposition player to score against Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel 33 minutes in.

Mount won and converted a spot-kick in the second half to reach four Premier League goals for the season – all of which have come on Chelsea’s travels – as the Blues edged into the top four.

Jannik Vestergaard hit the woodwork with a header but Southampton did at least end their six-match losing run, with a healthy gap of 11 points to the bottom three.

Many of Chelsea’s early attacks came through Marcos Alonso, who scuffed a volley wide from a good position after being picked out by Reece James.

The visitors enjoyed 73 per cent of the ball in the first half-hour but their only attempt on target was a speculative strike from Antonio Rudiger that was easily saved by Alex McCarthy.

Southampton then snatched the lead with their first chance of the match, Minamino sitting down keeper Edouard Mendy and the covering Cesar Azpilicueta before prodding the ball in after Nathan Redmond’s pass split the defence.

Saints were keeping Chelsea at bay well until 54 minutes in, when Mount converted from the spot after Danny Ings’ careless lunge brought him down in the penalty area.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men reacted well to the goal and nearly went back in front when Vestergaard’s stooping header came back off the crossbar, with Mendy beaten.

Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi threatened late on, but Chelsea ended the half with just one shot on target at the end of a somewhat blunt attacking display.

Chelsea were on a five-game winning run under Tuchel in all competitions but not all have been plain sailing and they are yet to score more than twice in a game under the German.

They were mostly frustrated by a resolute Southampton here, who brought their six-game losing run in the top flight to an end.

They are 13th, while Chelsea move a point above West Ham and into fourth, having played a game more.

Southampton’s losing run, and that 9-0 obliteration by Manchester United, had prompted plenty of worry about the state of their defence. They were far stronger and more organised here, with Vestergaard immaculate, making seven clearances, four interceptions and regaining possession eight times.

Ings has the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any Southampton striker with at least 15 goals in the Premier League, averaging one every 161 minutes before this game.

However, with chances scarce, he offered little as an outlet to the Saints defence, touching the ball just 29 times and conceding the penalty with a reckless tackle.

Chelsea’s attention now turns to Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Atletico Madrid. Saints are in league action the same day at Leeds United.

 

-Tags:#Chelsea

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