Player ratings: Southampton 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea scored a dramatic late winner against Southampton to take home all three points. The Blues were trailing at half time a Shane long goal after Rahman’s mistake. But after Fabregas equalised after a moment of misjudgement by Frazer Forster Ivanovic powered home the winner in the 88th minute of the game and extend Chelsea’s unbeaten run since Hiddink took charge. Here are how the players fared:
Fraser Forster – 5/10
Wasn’t tested too much throughout the game with the defence doing a good job for the team. Unfortunately, when he was called upon he didn’t deliver. Misjudged Fabregas’ cross which curled past him for the first goal and could have done better with second as well
Cedric Soares – 6/10
The Left wing back was very good going forward. Put in few good balls for Long and Austin to attack but didn‘t look too assured in defence allowed too much room for Chelsea’s midfielders to work the ball in the second half
Jose Fonte – 7/10
Was strong and commanding today. Frustrated the Chelsea attack for most of the game with a good number of tackles and interceptions. Could not do anything about the goal after Forster let in that howler
Virgil Van Dijk – 5/10
He was solid at the back giving Costa not much room to work with in the first half. But was very poor in the second. Got involved in several clashed with Chelsea’s striker> Misjudged the flight of the ball for the first goal with Hazard getting in behind him if it had not gone in and also lost the header to Ivanovic for the second
Ryan Bertrand – 7/10
Bertrand had a decent game against his former club as part of that back three. He did well to deal with he threat of Costa and Oscar. Did not commit too many mistakes and a good all round performance.
Matt Targett – 7/10
The youngster was better than Cedric in both forward as well as defensive play. He threatened down the right wing and gave Baba Rahman all sorts of problems. Linked up very well with Long as well.
Shane Long – 8/10
Long was probably Southampton’s best player on the night. Was full of running and great positional play. Scored the first goal after great awareness to pick up the loose ball. He also showed great composure to dink the ball over Courtois. Could have scored earlier with a header from Van Dijk’s cross but didn’t
Oriol Romeu – 7/10
A fine performance in the absence of Wanyama. Got his chance to face his former employers and harrowed and hurried the Chelsea midfield winning possession on several occasion but also moved the ball nicely when he had it.
Steven Davis – 6/10
Davis had a quiet evening in terms of attacking play but did the defensive work quite well. He did struggle a bit more against Kennedy that Baba Rahman after the former came on as a substitute in the second half.
Jordie Clasie – 7/10
Another tireless display by the midfielder. Was all over the pitch today and constantly won the ball from Chelsea. Didn’t give their creative players too much time to think and formed a good partnership with Romeu.
Austin – 5/10
Wasn’t at his best today. Didn’t cause the Chelsea defence too many problems on his firs start as for Southampton since his move in January. Got into good positions sometimes but otherwise still lacked a bit of sharpness
Pelle – 4/10
Came on as a late substitute, but couldn't impose himself on the game
Thibault Courtois – 6/10
Looked shaky in the first half of the game. Southampton always looked like a threat and some of his decision making was questionable. Probably should have come out of his line a little faster than he did for the Shane Long’s goal. Had a lot less to do in the second half.
Cezar Azpilicueta – 7/10
Was once again solid in his game. Defended well and has adapted nicely to his new role at right back. Linked up well witht the likes of Willian and Fabregas in attack making sure the ball found a teammate on most occasions
Gary Cahill – 8/10
Made several crucial interceptions and block tackles in the first half. Has been a good stand in for the injured Zouma and once proved to his manager why he deserves a starting berth in this Chelsea team.
Branislav Ivanovic – 8/10
The match winner for Chelsea today. His last minute goal was vital and Ivanovic after having a rough season so far finally came to the fray for Chelsea. The stand-in captain also had a good showing at the back not allowing Austin too much time on the ball
Baba Rahman – 4/10
Not a performance he would want to remember. Was majorly responsible for the goal Chelsea concede just befoe half time. He has always seemed a but short at the back during his recent performances for Chelsea and today was not different. Hiddink replaced him at half-time with Kennedy coming on for the second half.
John Obi Mikel – 7/10
Mikel is starting to become a reliable player for Chelsea. Put in another fine shift for the Blues and has kept his place ahead of Matic in the last few games. He made sure Romeu and Clasie didn’t boss the game in midfield and kept things ticking along with his no-nonsense passing
Cesc Fabregas – 7/10
A mixed day for the Spaniard. Played some good balls but didn‘t really influence the game until his goal. The player has enjoyed a resurgence in form but it seemed to evade him today. His gaol was probably lucky but it was an important contribution nonetheless
Pedro – N/A
Taken off after six minutes in the game after pulling a hamstring. Was replaced by Oscar
Willian – 9/10
Chelsea Man of the match and man of the season for Chelsea. Once again produced a sparkling performance in midfield. His energy running and commitment finally got the better of the Southampton midfielders in the second half. Put in a great corner for Ivanovic’ header.
Eden Hazard – 6/10
Has been anonymous all season but recent games showed he is clawing hsi way back into form. Couldn’t influence the game too much today but didn’t make any high-profile error either. An average performance, not expected from a player who we know is capable of more
Diego Costa – 7/10
Costa was his usual bullish self, today but was marshalled well by Fonte. Imposed himself much more in the second half but got himself unnecessarily involved too many times with Van Dijk eventually getting a yellow card for his troubles. Otherwise same old Diego Costa
Oscar – 7/10
Came on for Pedro in the 6th minute and was bright from the very beginning. Was always involved in the attacking play trying to find pockets of space in front of the Southampton box. Linked up well with Costa and got Chelsea's’ first shot on target in the match.
Kennedy – 7/10
Came on for the error-prone Baba Rahman. Was a big improvement on that right-hand side. Gave Chelsea another option in attack and caused some problems for the Southampton defence. Was also much more solid at the back that Rahman
Matic – N/A
Came on as a late substitute for Mikel