Match Report

Short report: Held at home

A disappointing night at Stamford Bridge ended with the Blues having to settle for a point after we were held to a goalless draw by Southampton.

Alvaro Morata, restored to the starting line-up, appeared to have broken the deadlock in the 70th minute with a calm finish, but the Spaniard was adjudged to have been in an offside position.

Earlier in the game, Eden Hazard had been denied by a fantastic Angus Gunn save on the Southampton goalkeeper’s Premier League debut, and the youngster was equally impressive in the second half, first thwarting Hazard again, before saving from Morata, who had been put through by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Marcos Alonso went down in the box late on under a challenge from Shane Long, but our appeals for a penalty were ignored, meaning it was a frustrating evening all round.

Fine margins

The Blues may have had to settle for a point in the end but it could so easily have been all three.

Morata had a goal ruled out 20 minutes from time after finishing well from a Cesc Fabregas pass, and the offside decision was undoubtedly a very tight call.

 

That comes after two Olivier Giroud goals were ruled out against Crystal Palace on Sunday, both for offside and, again, both marginal calls.

The disallowed goal, coupled with an inspired display by Southampton goalkeeper Gunn, who made impressive saves in each half, in particular to deny Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, meant it just wasn’t our night.

Team news

There was just one change to the team which beat Crystal Palace on Sunday as Morata came in for the injured Giroud.

Ross Barkley retained his place in the midfield trio and both Fabregas and Loftus-Cheek, absentees at the weekend, were named among the subs.
 

Key moments

3: Hazard almost picked out the run of Willian with a wonderful ball in behind the Southampton defence, but keeper Gunn was quick off his line and got there just ahead of the Brazilian.

12: Cesar Azpilicueta found Morata with an aerial ball from deep, the striker still had a lot to do though and his header was saved by Gunn.
 

24: Chance for Chelsea as Willian drove into the box and turned inside Maya Yoshida, before the defender did enough to block his left-footed strike.

34: So close! Hazard was denied by a superb Gunn save after being teed up by Toni Rudiger. The Belgian brought the ball down brilliantly and fired towards goal, but the Saints keeper was equal to it and clawed the ball away.

37: The Blues were forced into a change as Willian limped out of the action, Loftus-Cheek the player coming on.
 

39: Another good opportunity went begging as Morata’s effort was deflected just wide following good work by N’Golo Kante and Barkley.

58: Hazard cut inside from the left and went for goal but Gunn thwarted the Chelsea attacker with a save at the near post.

60: David Luiz timed his tackle to perfection inside the box as he took the ball away from James Ward-Prowse, who was attempting to latch on to a Nathan Redmond pass.

67: Fabregas was introduced for Barkley, the Spaniard making his 350th Premier League appearance.

70: Goal ruled out! Hazard and Fabregas combined to tee up Morata, who finished well, but the offside flag was up against the striker. An extremely tight call.

77: Chance! The Blues broke quickly as Fabregas released Loftus-Cheek, who in turn found Morata, but the striker's left-footed effort was blocked by Gunn.

90+1: Penalty appeal! Alonso was bundled over by Shane Long inside the penalty area but the referee saw nothing wrong with the challenge and waved our appeals away.

What next?

There is no let-up in the hectic schedule with the team back in action on Saturday, when our defence of the FA Cup begins at home to
Championship side Nottingham Forest.

MORE FROM CHELSEA