The telling sequence of play which came so close to costing Chelsea two points in their meeting with Southampton this afternoon saw the judgements of Thomas Tuchel proven right, regarding not one, but two players.
Werner amongst the goals
The Blues were of course back in action a short time ago.
After slipping to defeat at the hands of Juventus in the Champions League in midweek, the club’s 2nd-straight across all competitions, Tuchel and co. welcomed Southampton to Stamford Bridge, eyeing a return to winning ways.
And, when Trevoh Chalobah opened the game’s scoring amid a dominant first-half in the English capital, Chelsea looked well on their way to exactly that.
2 – Trevoh Chalobah is Chelsea’s joint-top scorer at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League under Thomas Tuchel (2 goals), despite only attempting two shots. Yield. pic.twitter.com/fp0jE9tcXA
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 2, 2021
Southampton, though, refused to go down without a fight, and ultimately levelled things up early in the 2nd-half, when James Ward-Prowse stepped up to slot home in confident fashion from the penalty spot.
But the visitors’ captain soon went from hero to zero, opening the door for Chelsea to regain control courtesy of a needless red card.
And, from here, reestablish dominance is precisely what the home side went on to do, taking the lead once more through Timo Werner’s close-range finish, before Ben Chilwell added some gloss to the scoreline with a late 3rd.
As outlined above, however, despite their eventual triumph, proceedings, at one point this afternoon, looked of an altogether concerning nature for Chelsea.
This came upon the scoreline being levelled, as Southampton were allowed a frankly unnecessary route back into proceedings by one of the hosts’ defenders.
The culprit? Ben Chilwell.
Yes, Chilwell ultimately bagged the Blues’ 3rd on Saturday, and looked a threat going forward throughout.
However, the fact remains that in his one true defensive challenge of the day, the English international was left badly wanting, scything down Tino Livramento in needless fashion.
Chelsea’s 2020/21 academy player of the year Tino Livramento brought down by Ben Chilwell. Nailed on penalty for Southampton.
— Adam Newson (@AdamNewson) October 2, 2021
An interesting side-note when it comes to the Southampton penalty incident, meanwhile, comes in the form of the decision-making of Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.
Chilwell has of course been confined to the sidelines for the majority of the early weeks of the season, with Marcos Alonso preferred to his more glamorous big-money competition at left-back.
And though the former was ultimately let off the hook by Ward-Prowse versus Southampton, such poor defending in a one-on-one situation could and likely would have cost the Blues dear up against a superior side.
Not only that, but the man whom Chilwell took out in the Chelsea box – in the form of Tino Livramento – was just yesterday lauded by his now former boss, amid a scintillating start to life in Hampshire.
When drawn on the gifted young stopper’s decision to depart Stamford Bridge for St. Mary’s during the summer, Tuchel admitted that, had he had his way, Livramento would have stayed put, to play an increasingly prominent role in West London over the seasons ahead:
‘We did everything to keep him here and show him his future, to compete for a position in our team. He decided to go, there are no hard feelings. He was, of course, competing with Reece and Azpi for the wing-back position. There was a big chance for him to make it all the way. It’s fair enough, we wish him all the best. We saw the potential.’
🗣”We did everything to keep him here.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel reveals that the club did all they could to keep Tino Livramento this summer. pic.twitter.com/rI7irzP7KS
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 2, 2021
Were the judgements of the Chelsea boss proven right regarding both Chilwell and Livramento in the space of five seconds on Saturday afternoon?
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