Chelsea: Three lessons learnt in stalemate at Southampton

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Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on February 20, 2021. (Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea’s winning streak may have come to an end, but the Blues managed to keep their unbeaten streak going with a 1-1 draw versus Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium. This game was a little dull, with neither of the teams creating that many clear cut chances. This is especially true for Chelsea, who looked a bit off in every aspect, to be completely honest. There were more negatives than positives in this game, which doesn’t bode well for the upcoming fixtures.

Here’s a brief look at what we derived from this match:

1. There are problems in the attack

These problems have been there in all of the Blues’ games under Thomas Tuchel thus far. It wasn’t really that noticeable because Chelsea was getting the wins, but it was still prevalent, like in the win against Barnsley. We saw that once more against Southampton, where the team managed to keep the majority of possession, but it didn’t do a lot with it.

At times, it looked as if the Blues were not direct enough. Sometimes, they couldn’t break Southampton’s defensive line. Sometimes there wasn’t a lot of movement, sometimes the shots that they took were not really anything that tested Alex McCarthy.

Chelsea had an npxG (Non-penalty expected goals) of 0.5—that’s not good at all. After having 70 percent possession and completing over 655 passes, the Blues still only managed to take eight shots, with only two of them being on target. This is, of course, excluding the penalty kick. Out of the attackers that played, none of them had a fantastic game except for one guy (we’ll get to him later), and that’s not really what Chelsea fans expect from a team that has so much depth and talent in the attacking third.

It’s still the early stages of the Tuchel era, so there’s no need to ring the alarm bells just yet. This team is a work in progress, as we all know, and it will take a while before we get to witness just how good this Chelsea team can be under the German.

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