Putting in what was another toothless display on Saturday afternoon, Chelsea were hit with a stunning 1-0 loss at home against Southampton.
While the Premier League giants might have been smelling the chance to claim an essential boost at Stamford Bridge, the pressure on Graham Potter’s shoulders has now reached a real boiling point.
Getting their Champions League knockout stage adventure underway with a 1-0 loss away at Borussia Dortmund earlier in the week, it was a trademark James Ward-Prowse free-kick that snatched the relegation scrappers all three points.
Met by a chorus of boos come the full-time whistle, Chelsea also saw their outside Champions League ambitions take a major blow in west London.
In the midst of what has become a real nightmare at Stamford Bridge, we have taken a look at
the main talking points following Saturday’s shock 1-0 loss in the capital.
Time up for Potter?
While Potter might have only been appointed as the man to replace Thomas Tuchel back in September, the former Brighton boss is already fighting to keep his job in the Stamford Bridge dugout.
Although Todd Bohley might have once again broken the bank as Chelsea spent over £350million during the January transfer window, the Blues have failed to find any kind of stability under Potter.
With many fans around west London making it clear that they want a change in the hot seat, the former Premier League champions are now facing the prospect of missing out on European football entirely come next season.
Only coming under more public scrutiny following Saturday’s 1-0 loss in west London, Potter has only continued to break a string of unwanted records since making the move from the Amex five months ago.
Opening their Champions League knockout stage with another 1-0 defeat in rural Germany a few days ago, Chelsea have remarkably recorded just a single victory across any format since opening 2023.
Ending Saturday’s fixtures sat 10 points adrift of the top-four, it appears that Potter’s job is becoming more untenable by the week.
Dreamland for Southampton
While it might be Chelsea’s latest crisis that steals most of the headlines on Saturday
afternoon, Southampton deserve plenty of praise for a gritty performance in the capital.
Suffering a stunning late collapse against 10-man Wolves last weekend, that result at St. Mary’s was enough to cost Nathan Jones his job on the south coast.
Parting ways with the ex-Luton boss after just four months in charge, the Saints were also left heartbroken as a deal with Jesse Marsch fell threw at the eleventh hour.
However, despite making the trip to Stamford Bridge without a new permanent boss in their dugout, Saturday’s display as certainly handed Southampton a major platform to build on over the coming weeks.
With Ward-Prowse notching yet another stellar free-kick and with eight domestic strikes in the bank, the Saints will now be starting to believe that they can mount a genuine charge for Premier League safety in 2023.
Although they might still end the weekend fixtures sat bottom of the table, their result and performance here would have sent a real message to the likes of West Ham and Leeds.
Chelsea’s attacking crisis
In the midst of a Premier League nightmare and only showing a string of issues since returning from the World Cup’s winter break, fans around Stamford Bridge will be most concerned by their side’s glaring struggles in the final third.
While the Blues might have welcomed the likes of Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk to the Premier League in a pair of blockbuster deals last month, Chelsea have gained a real reputation for their toothless displays.
With Potter making it clear that one-time Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not part of his plans in west London, the English heavyweights have remarkably bagged just 23 Premier League strikes this season.
Drawing another blank on Saturday afternoon and with their all-star new arrivals failing to strike up any kind of chemistry, Potter’s pragmatic approach has been a huge problem when it comes to his rocky relationship with the Chelsea fanbase.
In fact, now failing to bag a single strike over the past week, it should also be highlighted that the Blues have not recorded more than a single goal since opening the New Year.
Shockingly not adding a new number nine to their ranks last month, Chelsea will be ruing that costly mistake.
Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Badliashile, Koulibaly, Chilwell, Kovacic, Fernandez, Madueke, Felix, Mount, D. Fofana
Subs: Chalobah, W. Fofafa, Sterling, Mudryk, Havertz
Southampton: Bzunu, Maitland-Niles, Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Perraud, Elyounoussi, Lavia, Ward-Prowse, S. Armstrong, Sulemana, Onuachu
Subs: Mara, Walcott, Diallo, A. Armstrong, Alcaraz
Goals: Ward-Prowse (45+1′)
Yellow Cards: Chelsea: Kepa, Kovacic, Koulibaly – Southampton: Mara, Perraud, Lavia, Bella-Kotchap
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: David Coote
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