Mason Mount was the lone bright spark as Chelsea came from behind to play out a 1-1 draw against Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday in the Premier League.
Chelsea dominated the possession in the early stages but were unable to carve out any meaningful opportunities apart from a decent chance for Marcos Alonso who volleyed wide. And, against the run of play, it was Southampton who broke the deadlock with Takumi Minamino producing a brilliant finish in the 33rd minute.
Having gone into the half-time break trailing, Chelsea came back with renewed attitude in the second period and were able to level things up within ten minutes of restart as Mason Mount fired home a nerveless penalty after having been brought down by Danny Ings in the Southampton box.
Neither team was able to create any major opening in the search for a winner although Jannik Vestergaard did strike the woodwork for the Saints while Reece James squandered a great chance for the Blues as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
It was a toothless display from Thomas Tuchel’s men and the German tactician’s frustration was evident on the touchline throughout the contest. Here’s how we rated the performances of the Chelsea stars on the afternoon.
Edouard Mendy: 5/10
A spectator for the majority of the game with Southampton not threatening the goal a great deal. However, wasn’t able to keep the Saints only shot on target, as he was sat down by Minamino for the opening goal.
César Azpilicueta and Edouard Mendy on the floor. 😎 pic.twitter.com/E63GL47Pv7
— Squawka Bet (@SquawkaBet) February 20, 2021
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10
Left space open for Minamino to run into and could not stop the Liverpool loanee from scoring despite his last-ditch effort. Pretty solid apart from that moment though and held things together well.
Kurt Zouma: 5/10
Handed a start at the centre of the three-man defensive unit, the Frenchman didn’t always look all too comfortable in the role. Moved the wrong way to let Minamino run into space and score the first goal. Did win four aerial duels and came close to equalising soon after Chelsea conceded, but looks better in a traditional four-man backline.
Antonio Rudiger: 6/10
Another steady display from the German international who did little wrong on Saturday afternoon. Was solid when called upon, played out well from the back and showed some crisp passing throughout.
Reece James: 5.5/10
Created a good chance for Alonso in the first period but wasn’t able to pose the same degree of threat as Callum Hudson-Odoi has done in recent games. Completed four dribbles and made one key pass. But missed a great chance to score the winning goal in the second half.
N’Golo Kante: 7/10
N'Golo Kanté vs. Southampton:
◉ Most ball recoveries (13)
◉ Most tackles made (7)
◉ =Most interceptions (4)
◎ 100% take-ons completed
◎ 100% aerial duels won
A huge shift. pic.twitter.com/7KTHmSLz9b
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 20, 2021
Made a strong start to the game, breaking up play ever so efficiently in the middle of the park in the first period, allowing Chelsea to stay on the front foot. Made a game-high five interceptions and seven tackles, but seemed to tire out with time. Could have been more progressive with his passing.
Mateo Kovacic: 5.5/10
Sharp in the first period as he drove forward with purpose, completing four dribbles and made one key pass as well. However, influence waned as the game wore on and was a tad bit wasteful on the ball as well. Hooked off for Jorginho.
Marcos Alonso: 5/10
Preferred over Ben Chilwell once again, the Spaniard constantly got into dangerous positions but the end product was severely lacking much to the frustration of his manager. Fired a shot wide and squandered a couple of good opportunities to pick a teammate in dangerous positions. Showed vulnerability defensively in the second half.
Mason Mount: 8/10
Looked the liveliest of the Chelsea players on the day as he constantly probed the Southampton defence in search of an opening. Won the penalty and dismissed it coolly to equalise in the second half. Continued to ask questions of the hosts’ defence in search of the winning goal and created a couple of chances that his teammates were unable to convert. Impressive yet again.
Mason Mount vs. Southampton [Chelsea rank]:
24 attempted final third passes [1st]
18 successful final third passes [1st]
2 chances created [=1st]
1 goal [1st]
Showed his quality in the second half. 👏 pic.twitter.com/uS7ELjF32s
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 20, 2021
Timo Werner: 6/10
Showed good work-rate and energy as he pressed Southampton with intent from the front. Displayed some good understanding with Alonso in the left-side channel which could have been dangerous if the end product would have been on point. Not as effective as his display against Newcastle, but fairly sharp.
Tammy Abraham: 5/10
Deemed fit to start after going off injured against Newcastle last time out, the England international hardly got into the game in the first period and wasn’t helped by the lack of service. Hooked off at half-time as Tuchel sought to change things up.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 5/10
Replaced Abraham at half-time. Had a couple of bright moments but the end product was lacking which eventually led to him being hooked off in the 75th minute.
"I had the feeling that he was never really in the game."
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel singled out Callum Hudson-Odoi's performance in their 1-1 draw at Southampton after he was substituted in the 76th minute despite only coming on at half-time. pic.twitter.com/jz6VEA5YSP
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 20, 2021
Hakim Ziyech: N/A
Thrown on for Hudson-Odoi. Did little of note in the last 15 minutes.
On for Kovacic in the final 15 minutes. Hardly made any impact.