Southampton stun Chelsea to inflict more misery on Potter

Southampton beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night.

Relegation threatened and bottom of the Premier League, the Saints have emerged victorious after three consecutive league defeats.

Interim manager off to perfect start

It was also the first game in which interim manager Ruben Seles took charge after the club sacked Nathan Jones in disastrous fashion last week.

However, the result was a huge blow to Chelsea’s hopes of reaching the Champions League.

The Blues have just won two of their last 14 games in all competitions. The Graham Potter-led team is in jeopardy despite a huge outlay in the January transfer window.

Despite dominating the first half and making changes at halftime, the hosts looked disjointed, barely playing as a team and making no progress over the course of the game.

Minutes before the first-half whistle blew, Ward-Prowse’s trademark free-kick beat Chelsea custodian Kepa Arizabalaga at the near post to give the away side the lead.

Raheem Sterling, who came on in the middle of the first half, was guilty of missing out on three brilliant chances to level the game, each time being held back by Southampton’s final defense.

First Ainsley Maitland-Niles blocked Sterling’s goalbound effort in the 68th minute, and three minutes later Romeo Labia deflected the winger’s effort off the line.

Kai Havertz and Mihailo Mudrik were on the bench, but Chelsea failed to score, showing just how lacking a recognized striker is in the squad.

Southampton could have closed out the match in the 73rd minute, but Stuart Armstrong’s close range was blocked enough by Kepa to keep Chelsea blushing in front of their home fans.

Cesar Azpilizueta had to be sent off on a stretcher with six minutes remaining after suffering a severe head injury.

Despite 12 minutes of injury time, Potter’s side failed to restore parity as Southampton held onto an unlikely victory to take a blow to their own arm in the relegation battle.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are in 10th place with 31 points from 23 games, 10 ahead of fourth-placed Newcastle United.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Colorsport