Managerless Southampton stun struggling Chelsea
Onuachu impresses, Aribo missing at Stamford Bridge
Despite being without a manager, Southampton managed to defeat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to complete a first-ever league double over the Blues in the Premier League era. The Saints secured a first win after three successive league defeats.
After their poor run of form, the Southampton hierarchy decided to part ways with manager Nathan Jones, with Ruben Selles taking charge on an interim basis. Chelsea came into the game on the back of a five-game winless run that saw them lose to Borussia Dortmund in midweek.
Southampton started the more fired up of both sides, with Super Eagles striker Paul Onuachu proving to be a handful for Chelsea throughout the first half. The home side struggled with the intensity of the 20th-placed Saints, failing to really trouble the Southampton backline.
With the first-half nearing its conclusion, the visitors took a deserved lead. Cesar Azpilicueta committed a foul just outside his penalty area, allowing Saints skipper James Ward-Prowse to step up and fire a perfect free-kick into the back of the net. The Englishman has now scored 17 direct free-kicks, one shy of the Premier League record held by David Beckham.
Chelsea returned from the break rejuvenated after the introduction of Raheem Sterling. They started to create chances but were thwarted by outstanding rearguard action from the Saints.
Chelsea ended the match without their captain Azpilicueta, who took a nasty kick from Sekou Mara to his face, ending his evening early. Southampton held on for an important three points, boosting their hopes of avoiding the drop to the Championship.
Onuachu lasted 59 minutes after fading off in the second half following an impressive first half while Joe Aribo was not in the Matchday squad for Southampton.
Chelsea manager Graham Potter has now only won two games in the last 14 he has taken charge of with the club in the league. The former Brighton boss needs results to start going his way at the club or he could be facing the sack soon.