We assess the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Southampton’s surprise win over Chelsea in our latest Scout Notes piece.
The numbers and graphics you see in this article are taken from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.
Chelsea’s poor form under Graham Potter continued on Saturday, as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat against managerless Southampton.
The result means the Blues have now won just two of their last 14 games in all competitions. And it’s clear where their main issue lies, with just six goals scored in their last nine Premier League matches.
Creating opportunities isn’t necessarily the problem, particularly yesterday, as they racked up 17 shots, including two Opta-defined ‘big chances’. They do, however, need to become more clinical in front of goal, highlighted by their post-World Cup -6.65 expected goals (xG) delta.
|23||West Ham (a)||1-1||12||1||1.15|
|20||Crystal Palace (h)||1-0||15||4||1.52|
|19||Man City (h)||0-1||8||0||0.42|
|18||Nott’m Forest (a)||1-1||7||2||0.94|
Chelsea, who were also beaten 1-0 at Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, went behind through a trademark James Ward-Prowse (£6.2m) free-kick. The goal was his fifth in eight matches and the first Kepa Arrizabalaga (£4.7m) has conceded in three home Premier League games.
Potter made six changes to his side to face Southampton, including handing David Datro Fofana (£5.0m) his full Chelsea debut up front. It was all change on the flanks, too, as Noni Madueke (£5.5m) and Mason Mount (£7.3m) replaced Hakim Ziyech (£5.5m) and Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.9m).
However, the former failed to make much of an impact and was hooked at half-time. His replacement, Raheem Sterling (£9.7m), will be wondering just how he didn’t score, having been denied by last-ditch blocks on no fewer than four occasions.
Above: Raheem Sterling registered four shots v Southampton in just 45 minutes
Reece James (£5.8m) and Thiago Silva (£5.5m) also missed out, as Potter continues to manage his players’ workload.
“No injuries. More just the turnaround and demand of the games considering a few of them had injuries previously. With Reece [James], two 90s in a row, which is more than we expected at the start of the week. It was a case of managing the load and managing the squad.” – Graham Potter
A serious injury to Cesar Azpilicueta (£4.8m) completed a miserable afternoon for Chelsea, who were booed off at full-time.
They now have a rare week-long break before they make the trip to London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Gameweek 25.
“He’s in hospital, so he’s in the best place. He’s conscious and he was speaking to his wife so that’s good. We were obviously really concerned, especially when it first happened, but hopefully he’s in the best place and we’ll keep monitoring him. I think he was unconscious when it happened so we have to take all the precautions we need to take now and make sure he’s okay, but it was worrying. It was a horrible incident.” – Graham Potter on Cesar Azpilicueta
“I think the truth is we took a step back in performance, especially in the first half. It was a below-par performance in the first half. Returning from the Champions League and we had to make a couple of changes so you lose a bit of fluidity, you lose a bit of cohesion.
Southampton set up with a plan and an idea, they mixed up the game well with a big target man, but our performance wasn’t what we wanted in the first half and I take as much responsibility as anyone for that.
The response in the second half was good but it wasn’t good enough. I thought we deserved a goal. We created enough chances, good enough chances, to score but when we don’t then obviously it’s difficult to win football matches.
When we’ve lost 1-0 at home to Southampton and, with the greatest respect to them, it’s not good enough, because of the results we’ve had recently. As I said, the first half was as much my responsibility as anybody’s, the performance wasn’t good.
I thought the second-half performance was better and I thought we deserved to score. If you score then the game changes around but at the same time 1-0 isn’t good and we’re disappointed with that.” – Graham Potter
SAINTS UNDER SELLES
Southampton recorded just their second Premier League clean sheet of the season at Stamford Bridge, in their first match under interim boss Ruben Selles.
The Spaniard made three changes from Nathan Jones’ last line-up, as Armel Bella Kotchap (£4.5m), Mohamed Elyounoussi (£5.2m) and Stuart Armstrong (£4.7m) returned in place of Mohammed Salisu (£4.4m), James Bree (£4.5m) and Carlos Alcaraz (£5.0m).
Lining up in a 4-4-1-1/4-4-2 formation, the Saints twice went close before taking the lead, with Kamaldeen Sulemana (£5.0m) and Stuart Armstrong registering efforts on goal. However, the deadlock was broken by a familiar source, with Ward-Prowse scoring his third free-kick goal of the season so far.
“It’s a familiar way of playing for us. We want to be front footed and take the game to teams, especially if Chelsea themselves aren’t in a great moment.” – James Ward-Prowse
Selles has made no secret of his desire to become Southampton’s permanent manager, and this performance will have done his hopes no harm at all.
“We saw a team that works together and fights together and it is how we need to play from now for every single minute. When we perform at our best we can beat anybody. I feel that from now the teams we face are going to have to be at their best to beat us.
We saved a goal at Stamford Bridge and leading 1-0 that means something, it has to mean something and we celebrate them. Let’s see what happens. We got the result, the boys are together. We will see how to beat Leeds next week.” – Interim Southampton manager Ruben Selles