Chelsea ‘not tough enough’ in defeat at Southampton

Southampton 2 Chelsea 1

Southampton came from behind to hand Chelsea their second defeat in the first five games of the Premier League season.

Raheem Sterling’s first-half strike was quickly cancelled out by Romeo Lavia, before Adam Armstrong added another before the break to secure all three points for the Saints.

The Blues took the lead on 24 minutes when Mason Mount found space down the left to pick out Sterling, who prodded home from close range.

But the Saints found themselves level just five minutes later when the ball fell to Lavia near the edge of the box, who was given space to smash a powerful strike past Edouard Mendy.

Southampton made it 2-1 right before half-time when Romain Perraud’s low ball from out on the left found Armstrong in the box to rifle an effort past Mendy.

Mohamed Elyounoussi was presented with an excellent chance to add a third after the restart, first heading at Marc Cuceralla at the back post before seeing his follow-up effort stopped by Mendy.

And Southampton again went close with 15 minutes remaining when Mohammed Salisu’s header was brilliantly flicked off the line by Thiago Silva, before Chelsea substitute Armando Broja saw his back-post header tipped wide by Gavin Bazunu.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel pulled no punches in his assessment of the defeat.

“Obviously we’re not tough enough to win these away matches at the moment. It was the same story at Leeds,” he said.

“One set-piece again. One bit of sloppy defending again. We were not tough enough as a team.

“We stop it with pure mentality. Stop it with defending mentality. There is no need to give shots away. Just toughen up as a team and show a different mentality. That is my assessment.

“Both goals are soft, cheap goals and should not happen. We need to be tougher than that.”

Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta (Chilwell 66’), Silva, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Loftus-Cheek (Kovacic 45’), Jorginho (Pulisic 66’), Mount, Ziyech, Sterling, Havertz (Broja 66’)