Chelsea defensive frailties prove costly despite Werner brilliance

Date published: Saturday 17th October 2020 4:58 - Steve Pearson


Chelsea were made to rue further cases of shambolic defending as Southampton fought back to secure a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues welcomed Christian Pulisic back to the starting line-up, and with Werner chosen to spearhead the attack, Chelsea’s eleven resembled close to what boss Frank Lampard will have had in mind after a blockbuster summer transfer window.

As expected, Chelsea started the match the quicker of the two sides, and took just three minutes to carve out the game’s first goalscoring opportunity.

The ball broke to Ben Chilwell marauding down the left, who fired a low shot across goal that forced a smart diving stop from Alex McCarthy. The rebound fell straight to Kai Havertz, but McCarthy was once again equal to the task from the German’s resulting effort.

Chilwell again continued to cause problems for Saints, with his pinpoint cross then finding Timo Werner after escaping his marker.

His header proved too hot to handle for McCarthy, but the flag went up for offside, much to Southampton’s relief.

The reprieve was short-lived, however, when Werner broke the deadlock mere moments later.

A superb dummy to himself opened up a pocket of space before driving at the Saints defence.  a series of touches to drift inside creating a shooting lane and the marksman made no mistake as he rifled a low drive beyond McCarthy to make it 1-0.

Werner Chelsea TEAMtalk

The 24-year-old seemed to be relishing the centre-forward role after a string of appearances out wide, and quickly doubled his tally with another superb piece of centre-forward play.

Jorginho set Werner in behind the Saints backline, with Werner lobbing the ball over the stranded goalkeeper before nodding into the empty net without breaking stride.

Two could’ve become three for both Chelsea and Werner just prior to the break, but the striker’s effort from an increasingly acute angle was blazed high and wide.

As half-time approached, Chelsea gifted Southampton a lifeline after sloppy play from Havertz coughed up possession deep within his own half.

The ball was quickly played through to Danny Ings, who rounded Kepa with ease and tucked home to cut the deficit to one.

Southampton emerged with renewed vigour in the second half, and regain parity in a goal that defied belief.

Kurt Zouma’s light backpass gave Che Adams the opportunity to nip in, with the forward then easily evading the onrushing Kepa.

Adams’ cutback from an acute angle was blocked by the hastily retreating Azpilicueta, but Kepa’s attempts to resolve the situation then did more harm than good.

Adams was ultimately able to sweep the ball high into the roof of the net after the goalkeeper’s comical attempts at clearing the ball resulted in the ball coming back into play off the woodwork.

Chelsea hit back almost immediately, with Werner this time turning provider.

The German raced away on goal before squaring to Havertz who had the simple task of stroking the ball into the empty net.

Lampard handed Hakim Ziyech his debut from the bench as he went in search of more goals to put the game to bed.

Havertz could’ve done just that with 15 minutes to go, but he failed to rise high enough as his unmarked header from a corner flew over the crossbar.

That miss would prove costly, when Jannik Vestergaard glanced Theo Walcott’s goalbound effort beyond Kepa deep into added time to ensure both sides had to settle for a draw.


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