Chelsea 0-0 Southampton: Maurizio Sarri's side held at home
Report and highlights from stalemate at Stamford Bridge
By James Walker Roberts
Last Updated: 03/01/19 7:41am
Chelsea missed the chance to strengthen their top-four position as they produced an ineffective display in a 0-0 home draw with Southampton.
Eden Hazard spurned the best opening of the first half when he fired at Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn, who was making his Premier League debut.
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Chelsea: Kepa (6), Alonso (6), Rudiger (6), Luiz (6), Azpilicueta (6), Kante (6), Jorginho (5), Barkley (5), Hazard (6), Willian (5), Morata (5)
Subs: Loftus-Cheek (6), Fabregas (5)
Southampton: Gunn (8), Cedric (7), Yoshida (8), Vestergaard (7), Bednarek (7), Valery (7), Romeu (7), Ward-Prowse (7), Armstrong (6), Redmond (6), Ings (5)
Subs: Long (5), Austin (5), Stephens (5)
Man of the match: Maya Yoshida
Chelsea continued to labour after half-time, with Alvaro Morata having a goal ruled out in the 71st minute after a tight offside call and then seeing a shot saved by Gunn.
Southampton rarely threatened but will likely be satisfied with a hard-earned point, while there were some boos from Chelsea fans at the final whistle.
Having lost their final home game of 2018 to Leicester, this was another lacklustre display from Chelsea in front of their own supporters, who had been buoyed earlier in the day by the signing of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea particularly struggled to get anything going in a forgettable first half.
Morata headed at Gunn while Willian had a shot blocked before he was taken off with injury in the 37th minute.
Chelsea's best chance fell to Hazard but he fired at Gunn after controlling Antonio Rudiger's pass over the top.
While Southampton didn't have a shot on target before the break, they were compact in defence and succeeded in frustrating Chelsea and keeping them at bay.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was called into action early in the second half to tip a low shot wide from Stuart Armstrong.
But the game soon settled into the same pattern as the first half, with Chelsea controlling possession and failing to create any clear openings.
Hazard and Jorginho shot at Gunn while Morata thought he had broken the deadlock when he finished from inside the box, only for the flag to go up for a tight offside call.
Chelsea made one change from their win at Crystal Palace as Morata replaced the injured Giroud.
Southampton made eight changes from their loss to Manchester City, with Gunn making his Premier League debut in goal and Cedric, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Valery, Armstrong, Redmond and Ings starting.
Substitutes Cesc Fabregas and Ruben Loftus-Cheek then combined to tee up Morata but Gunn blocked his low shot.
- Southampton have only won four of their 20 visits to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League (D6 L11), most recently a 3-1 win over Jose Mourinho's Blues in October 2015.
- Chelsea have failed to score in three of their last five Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, as many as in their previous 22 in the competition.
- Southampton have drawn nine Premier League games by a 0-0 scoreline since the start of last season; two more than any other side.
- Southampton have recorded their first Premier League clean sheet since October, conceding 24 goals in their previous 10 before today.
- At 22 years and 346 days, Southampton's Angus Gunn is the youngest English goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet on his Premier League debut since Ben Amos for Man Utd against Stoke in January 2012 (21 years, 295 days).
- Angus Gunn (1) has recorded more Premier League clean sheets at Stamford Bridge than his father Bryan did (0 in 3 attempts).
- Alvaro Morata has recorded 1.9 offsides per 90 this season, the most of any player to have played at least 90 minutes.
- Cesc Fabregas' appearance for Chelsea vs Southampton is his 500th for English club sides in all competitions.
Maurizio Sarri: "The match was under control with the ball possession and the opportunities, but it's very difficult to create a lot of opportunities if you are not able to score the first goal. If you are able to score then you can find spaces and it's easier to create a lot of opportunities. They were really very compact and it wasn't easy. You need to score the first goal otherwise it's very difficult. We are in trouble only in the last 20 metres, I think for 80 metres we played a very good match."
Ralph Hasenhuttl: "We made the right decision on Sunday to change so many players against Manchester City. We knew if we wanted to have a chance against Chelsea we had to put seven or eight fresh players on the pitch otherwise it's not possible to defend for 95 minutes and I think we did a good job."
Man of the match - Maya Yoshida
The experienced Southampton defender produced a strong performance to limit Chelsea's chances and ensure Gunn did not have an overly busy night on his Premier League debut. He made one crucial tackle towards the end of the match to prevent N'Golo Kante from having a clear sight of goal.
Chelsea host Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday and then travel to Tottenham for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports. Their next Premier League match sees them host Newcastle on Saturday, January 12.
Southampton face a trip to Championship side Derby in the FA Cup on Saturday and then travel to Leicester in the Premier League on January 12.