SOUTHAMPTON 3 – 2 CHELSEA

By Jez Walters
Nov 5th, 2000

In December 1993, Chelsea rested at the foot of the Premier League and came to Southampton only to be thumped 3-1. Our manager then was Glen Hoddle. Seven years later and Hoddle finds himself bottom of the league once again. This time as manager of Southampton. He must think it’s Groundhog day.

So did we when Beattie tapped into an empty net in the second minute.

Why do we hold our own against Liverpool, United and Arsenal but pit us against poor teams like Bradford and the Saints and we lose?

The first half was, quite frankly, a shocker and we were lucky to go in at half time only 2-0 down. The blame rested with the defence. The absence of Ferrer, Desially and Melchiot can be no excuse. Southampton cut through us with ease and Panucci can only be regarded as a bad jinx. The players are also clearly not coping with three at the back away from home. It simply leaves too many gaps for the opposition – however inferior – to exploit.

The second half saw us play like a team possessed with Ranieri’s lack of English obviously no barrier to a stern teamtalk. I suppose a smashed tea cup is the same in any language.

For 45 minutes our comeback was awesome and we battered Southampton’s goal. Having equalised we should have wrapped up the three points but in stoppage time, James Beattie scored a wonder free kick.

A kick in the teeth and yet another defeat to relegation fodder. No change there then.

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