Mourinho’s men halted by Sadio Mane

Published 12/28/2014, 3:06 PM EST


Jose Mourinho’s men will start 2015 form the top of the table despite managing to get a 1-1 draw against the Saints. The match turned out to be an exciting one as Chelsea was tested by Saints on many occasions especially in the first half. The entire match could be one of those frustrating matches for Jose Mourinho and Chelsea fans as the team failed to capitalize on some good chances.

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The game started with Saints domination and Chelsea was not looking what they were last game against West Ham. Hazard and Costa barely got the ball in the starting minutes and the former ended up in making some costly miss passes. Though Chelsea slowly started putting pressure on the home team, a goal form the ex-Salzburg player Sadio Mane turned it around. The goal resulted of some sloppy defending from John Terry, who went on a bit forward expecting the ball to move towards the other half only to find the ball getting passed to Mane who was beside him, unmarked. The goal added a lot of pressure on Chelsea as they were separated by just three points from Manchester City. But an impressive moment of brilliance from Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a late first half equaliser.  The second half was entirely dominated by Chelsea as they keep pressing and penetrating the Southampton defence. But it stayed strong throughout the match and was crucial in denying goals on many occasions despite the absence of Chelsea loanee-Ryan Bertrand. Cesc Fabregas was given a yellow card for diving, but television replays showed that the decision was a harsh one to give for the Spaniard. Another chance was there for Diego Costa but he slipped as soon as he tried to make full use of the chance. Late into the game, Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off due to a red card but the Soton defence managed to hold on with the result for the rest few minutes.

Earlier Mourinho experimented with the first team which didn’t have Oscar, Willian or Azpilicueta. He included Schurle, Mikel and Felipe Luiz instead. As a result, Fabregas played the Center Attacking role and later on went to give the assist for Hazards goal. Schurrle was surprisingly substituted for Willian and as the game progressed both Drogba and Remy were introduced. For the Saints, teenage full-back Targett was given his first league game as Chelsea loanee Ryan Bertrand was unavailable. The whole team switched to a defensive mind-set especially during the second half and got a draw that will make them happy as the team has been struggling with the premier league’s elite clubs recently this season.

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The draw made Chelsea three points ahead of Manchester City as Burnley came back from 2 goals down to equalise at Ethihad. With a very less lead over Manchester City, a slight slip can cost the title to either of these teams. After all its Premier league- where you can expect the unexpected.

 

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Dhruv George

11730 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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