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Premier League: Chelsea lose Azpilicueta in defeat to Southampton

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Chelsea 0 1 Southampton
Southampton players celebrating a goal in the match. | PHOTO: Eurosport |
  • Chelsea hosted relegation-threatened Southampton at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon
  • The Blues headed into the match with the hope of winning amidst a poor run of form
  • The poor form continued as they fell 1-0 to a James Ward-Prowse free-kick goal

Chelsea fell 1-0 to Southampton at Stamford Bridge as their terrible run continued, and they also lost captain Cesar Azpilicueta to what appeared to be a catastrophic injury.

The Spaniard needed 10 minutes of treatment on the field before being removed when Sekou Mara accidentally booted him in the head while he was defending a corner in the 74th minute.

The visitors took the lead against Graham Potter’s team in the first half thanks to a free kick by James Ward-Prowse, extending Chelsea’s four-game league losing streak.

Ruben Selles, the caretaker manager for Southampton, will be pleased with his team’s three points after they picked up a significant victory in their first game following Nathan Jones’ dismissal.

Chelsea 0-1 Southampton

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse celebrates after scoring the winner in the Premier Legaue clash against Chelsea directly from a free-kick. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |

In the first five minutes, the Saints had the better start, as Paul Onuachu forced a save from Kepa Arrizabalaga.

A low-quality match eventually gave Chelsea a foothold as Azpilicueta did his utmost to put his club on top.

His foul on Stuart Armstrong outside of his own box in the 45th minute opened the door for Ward-Prowse to take a signature free kick just before halftime that he dipped over the wall and into the bottom left corner of the net.

With a deficit to erase, the hosts had a number of opportunities to score after the break, but Romain Perraud made a spectacular save to keep substitute Raheem Sterling from scoring.

Both teams battled to find unity after the restart after such a protracted break for Azpilicueta’s treatment, but Saints held on for an important victory.

Chelsea continues poor run of form

The Blues have only managed two victories in nine league games since they returned from the World Cup in December.

Since they edged Crystal Palace nearly five weeks ago, they have not experienced a Premier League triumph. The writing may already be on the wall for Potter.

Sterling struggles

It is fair to say that the winger has struggled at Stamford Bridge after moving there from Manchester City last year to reclaim his spot in the England lineup.

Despite only appearing in the second half, he was still his team’s top offensive performer today with four shots. Yet, one on-target shot reveals the weaknesses in the Blues’ offence.

Ward-Prowse closes in on Beckham’s record

Chelsea 0 Southampton 1

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse scored direct from a freekick in the 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, February 18 2023. | PHOTO: The Sun |

The Southampton captain has established a reputation as a set-piece expert thanks to his prolific line of direct goals from free kicks.

In the Premier League, he currently has 17, one less of David Beckham’s record of 18 free-kick goals.

Next Saturday, Southampton will visit Leeds United, a fellow team in the bottom three, while Chelsea will go to north London for a derby against Tottenham the following day.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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