Southampton Frustrates Chelsea
Chelsea’s hope for a top four finish faltered after they were to a stalemate by Southampton.
Sarri’s men remain in fourth, but are just three points ahead of fifth place Arsenal who beat Fulham 4-1 on New Year’s day.
While Southampton have a lot to be optimistic about after losing their two previous matches, the result still meant they slipped into the relegation zone.
Chelsea on the other hand will need to to solve their profligacy in front of goal and aren’t helped by Olivier Giroud’s knee injury. Alvaro Morata was has only managed just seven goals this season and none in the league since November 6 was called to lead the line. Sarri had before that matched preferred to use Hazard in the central’s forward role instead of the Spaniard and the reasons were obvious against Southampton.
Morata spurned the first chance of the game after he could only direct Cesar Azpilicueta’s pass tamely at Southampton goalkeeper, Bryan Gunn. Hazard, returning to his favoured wing was Chelsea’s slightest and most likely to make something happen, but most times, met Bryan Gunn. in inspired form.
Like against Leicester, Chelsea controlled the game, but their lack of a cutting edge meant for the second consecutive home game, they failed to score and drop further points in what will be a keenly contested top four race.
The announcement of Pulisic, who will return to Dortmund on loan for the rest of the season didn’t do enough to lift the gloom in the stadium and there were many groans as Morata missed chance after chance.