Chelsea suffered another defeat as Southampton came from behind to win at Stamford Bridge. The Blues went ahead through Willian, but strikes from Steve Davis, Saido Mane and Graziano Pelle left them 16th in the table. Jose Mourinho was defiant after the game, but given their horrible season so far, the pressure is surely mounting on the manager.
Before the game he restored John Terry to the starting line-up, along with winger Eden Hazard. Nemanja Matic was left out, with Cesc Fabregas and Ramires starting in the middle. Branislav Ivanovic once again started at right back, keeping his place despite his poor form this term. With Diego Costa still suspended, Falcao started up front.
Those changes seemed to be working early on, as the champions were the better side at the start of the first half. Willian put the home side ahead with his fourth free kick in four games. It was a wonderful effort, curling in from the left hand side and landing in the far top corner. At that stage, it looked like Chelsea were back.
Southampton slowly gained a foothold from then on, and with minutes to go before the break, Davis scored on the volley to equalise. He was given a little bit of space, and rifled home to give the Saints a goal that they deserved. After that went in, you could see heads dropping amongst the Chelsea team.
The second half was when the Blues really tailed off, and Southampton capitalised. Mane put the Saints ahead on the hour mark, after he slipped past Terry and got in on goal. He put the ball under the onrushing Asmir Begovic, putting his team on course for a first away league win in 10 games.
Mane was involved again as he picked the ball up in his own half, and ran through the Blues defence on the counter attack. The back four kept backing off him, and he was able to play in Pelle, who buried a third goal. Straight after that Nemanja Matic was hauled off for Loic Remy, despite the Serbian only coming on at half time.
Mourinho clearly had some things to get off his chest, as he gave a seven minute long answer to one question from Sky Sports. “When we were at the top, I understand that it is quite a big pleasure, and it is gone”, the manager said. “But when you are so down, I think it’s time to be a little bit honest and to say clearly the referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea.
“And this penalty in this game today is more than crucial, and do you know why? Because my team, in this moment, the first negative thing that happens, the team collapses. The team, mentally, psychologically, is unbelievably down. It looks like good players are bad players. In the first-half, we didn’t show our quality, but we were in control, we were more than in control, and one mistake, a lack of concentration, one goal and you have a tough time.”
Chelsea are back in action a week on Saturday, when they host Aston Villa, a side who are two places below them, in 18th.
LCN Man of the Match: Willian