RADIO CLIVE'S FIVE: SOUTHAMPTON V CHELSEA
Throughout the season former player Clive Walker provides radio and TV commentary on Chelsea's games. Here he selects five aspects from Saturday's FA Cup goal flurry that caught his eye…
1. By scoring, Southampton gave Chelsea the kick-start needed. It was similar at the start of the match to the QPR game in that we didn't impose ourselves. In hindsight we might say if QPR had also scored in the first half that might have kicked us into gear a bit quicker last week. Southampton weren't much better than us in the first half but they got the initial breakthrough and all of sudden the Chelsea players were thinking we could go out the FA Cup here, and started to play. Gradually Juan Mata, Victor Moses and Eden Hazard began to get on the ball.
2. The Chelsea back four were caught in unusual positions for the Southampton goal. There was a mistake by Branislav Ivanovic when he went for a ball and tried play it, and he was quite far forward. The pass by Jason Puncheon was sublime and Jay Rodriguez's first touch set him up for the finish, but Cesar Azpilicueta, who moments earlier had tried to cross into the Saints area, didn't get back down field quickly enough and was too far behind play.
3. The first Chelsea goal was all about Eden Hazard initially and it is good to see him making darting runs and committing defenders. We have other players good at linking up but he is one of our best at drawing defenders towards him and he did that so well for the goal. It gave Mata the opportunity to shoot.It was unselfish play from Hazard. There was a slight deflection on Mata's chip and of the two players going for it, Demba Ba was the stronger and the keener to get something on that ball.
4. Hazard was playing mostly on the right side with Moses on the left but he kept appearing on the left with Moses and caused Southampton problems there. In Rafael Benitez's first couple of games the three attacking midfielders were quite fixed in position whereas before it almost looked like they did what they wanted. I think Benitez has tried to get a little bit of structure with those three positions, whoever is selected, so as to not leave us wide open to counter-attacking. But more recently when they go forward we are seeing players able to pop up in different positions as well, which is fantastic.
5. Ramires was back playing deeper in midfield and we saw him make those runs of his, ghosting past the Southampton midfield from deep and making up 50 to 60 yards. He is not a player you would say is a dribbler of the ball but he is a great runner with the ball, and showed on Saturday he had the capacity to put Southampton's midfield out of the game time and time again.