Southampton vs Chelsea
Saturday’s Premier League action kicked off down south, as Southampton played host to Chelsea.
The Blues headed into the tie looking to continue their fine start to life under Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea are undefeated in six outings under the German, having won five and drawn one across all competitions.
Such fine form saw them move into the Premier League’s top-4 earlier this week, though the Londoners are still only clear of 6th spot by two points.
As a result, a win over Southampton was crucial to ensure that Tuchel’s men maintained a top-4 spot this weekend.
And, on paper, a Chelsea victory was widely expected. Southampton enjoyed a fine start to the campaign, and even, at one point, looked as though they were ready to compete for a European spot.
However, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have since lost five league games on the bounce, and slipped down to 13th place.
Despite Chelsea looking clear favourites to bag all 3 points, though, it was in fact the home side who went on to take the lead this afternoon.
Chelsea completely dominated the opening half-hour of the clash. But, as has become something of a running theme under Tuchel, they struggled to create any clear-cut chances, with the Blues’ final ball often lacking.
And the visitors were eventually punished for such struggles when Takumi Minamino ran through the heart of Chelsea’s backline, before sitting down Edouard Mendy and Cesar Azpilicueta to fire Southampton into the lead:
Takumi Minamino with an ice cool finish! ❄️
Despite all the Chelsea possession, Southampton take the lead at St Mary’s! 😇 pic.twitter.com/0ms95CCTpj
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 20, 2021
His latest strike was Minamino’s second in just three league starts for Southampton, since joining the club on loan from Liverpool.
And it has subsequently prompted viewers of the clash to questions the Reds’ decision to loan out the Japanese star in the first place:
Why on earth did Liverpool loan out Minamino, better than Firmino
— Brendan (@01BG__) February 20, 2021
I’ll never understand why Liverpool got rid of Minamino instead Origi. Very strange decision.
— Ryan.🇧🇷 (@FavelaFIair) February 20, 2021
That was cool/composed finish from Minamino. Why did Liverpool loan him out?
— Rivaldos bicycleKick (@FCB1mrankhan) February 20, 2021
Not sure why Liverpool allowed Minamino to go out on loan, similar style of play to Firmino surely a good back up option to have at CF/out wide?
— Oscar (@OscarMarrio) February 20, 2021
What goal by minamino. Liverpool why oh why did y’all loan him out. Wow 😳
— yasir said (@PRINCE_YAZ) February 20, 2021
Why did Liverpool loan Minamino out he’s class
— LUFCliam🍥 (@LUFCliam_) February 20, 2021
Minamino is actually class when played why tf did Liverpool loan him
— AJ☔️ (@UtdEvolution) February 20, 2021
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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