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Southampton 1-1 Chelsea: 5 talking points as the Blues drop points away from home | Premier League 2020-21 

Southampton and Chelsea played a 1-1 draw
Southampton and Chelsea played a 1-1 draw
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 20 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10
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Goals from Takumi Minamino and Mason Mount ensured that Chelsea and Southampton shared the spoils in their Premier League game at St Mary's on Saturday.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel made four changes from the side that picked up a 2-0 victory over Newcastle last week. Edouard Mendy, Kurt Zouma, N'Golo Kante and Reece James were all handed starts against the Saints.

A dominant first half saw the visitors control proceedings with over 70% possession recorded. However, they failed to make their dominance count, with Alex McCarthy forced into just one save in the first half when Antonio Rudiger struck a tame shot from distance.

The opening goal came against the run of play. A precise through ball by Nathan Redmond sliced open the Chelsea defense to put Minamino through on goal. The Japan international showed great composure to placed a controlled finish past Mendy to put the Blues behind for the first time under Tuchel.

The visiting manager's frustration was evident for all to see throughout the game and it came as no surprise when he made a substitution during the break.

Tammy Abraham went off for Callum Hudson-Odoi and the Blues drew level just nine minutes after the restart.

Mason Mount was too quick for Danny Ings in the box, leaving the Southampton number nine with no choice but to bring him down in the box.

The England midfielder dusted himself up to take the ensuing spot-kick and sent McCarthy the wrong way to draw Tuchel's first smile of the evening.

The rest of the second half followed the template of the first. Chelsea dominated proceedings but lacked the cutting edge in attack to make it count.

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Instead, it was Southampton that came closest to going ahead, with Jannik Vestergaard's hit rattling the crossbar after Mendy was beaten.

Ths draw ensured that Ralph Haunsenhutl's side snapped their six-game losing streak in the league, while Chelsea's four-match winning run was brought to an end.

Here are five talking points from the fixture.

#5 Impressive Takumi Minamino continues bright start to Southampton career

Takumi Minamino opened the scoring against Chelsea
Takumi Minamino opened the scoring against Chelsea

Takumi Minamino joined Liverpool after starring for Red Bull Salzburg but things did not go to plan for the 26-year-old at Anfield.

A loan move to Southampton was agreed on deadline day and he scored a debut goal for the Hampshire outfit just three days later.

He made it two goals from three games with the opener against Chelsea and the technique he showed in breaking the deadlock highlighted why Jurgen Klopp was keen on him.

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When Redmond played the ball into space, there was still a lot to do with Rudiger and Mendy playing a double-team on Minamino to narrow the angle.

However, his first touch left the Chelsea defender sprawling on the floor and out of the picture, while a deft finish took the ball beyond Mendy.

#4 Chelsea stutter in their quest for a top-four finish

Chelsea could leave the top four at the end of the weekend
Chelsea could leave the top four at the end of the weekend

Manchester City's emphatic form means that the title seems beyond reach of all the challengers already. Attention has now shifted to the quest for the lucrative Champions League places.

The highly competitive nature of this season's campaign means that it is extremely tight, with very little margin for error afforded.

Chelsea's run of four consecutive wins in the league had seen them consolidate their position in the top four. And they would have been seeking a victory against an out-of-sorts Southampton to put further daylight between them and the chasing pack.

However, a disjointed performance saw them fail to pick up all three points, which represents a significant opportunity lost.

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A win for the Liverpool in the Merseyside derby later on Saturday would see them go level on points with Chelsea in 4th spot and potentially top them depending on the margion of victory.

West Ham were also in with a shout ahead of their Sunday lunchtime kickoff with Tottenham.

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Published 20 Feb 2021, 22:13 IST
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