Southampton 1-4 Chelsea
- Goals: Danny Ings (£5.9m) | Tammy Abraham (£7.7m), Mason Mount (£6.8m), N’Golo Kante (£5.0m), Michy Batshuayi (£6.6m)
- Assists: Yan Valery (£4.8m) | Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.9m), Willian (£7.0m), Marcos Alonso (£6.2m), Christian Pulisic (£7.2m)
- Bonus: Willian x3, Abraham x2, Batshuayi x1
Chelsea may be a work in progress and not without their issues but the Blues are fast becoming one of the more attractive teams from a Fantasy perspective, certainly in attack.
Frank Lampard’s side are, along with Liverpool and Manchester City, in the top three for big chances, attempts on goal, shots in the box, efforts on target and, most crucial of all, actual goals scored this season.
Not since the opening day of the campaign has the west London club failed to score and they are averaging just under three goals per match in the last six Gameweeks, with Sunday’s 4-1 rout of Southampton the latest success story.
Chelsea’s attacking assets are offering not just points but value for money.
Not a single Blues player started this season priced higher than £7.5m, while Mason Mount (£6.8m) and Tammy Abraham (£7.7m) are first and second among midfielders and forwards respectively for points per million spent in 2019/20.
This was another enjoyable day for owners of both players, with Abraham producing a brilliant lob to open the scoring and Mount doubling Chelsea’s advantage soon after when racing onto a Willian (£7.0m) pass to fire past Angus Gunn (£4.5m).
There could have been further returns, with Mount screwing horribly wide when teed up by Abraham and the latter ignored by Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.9m) when unguarded six yards out in the second half.
It wasn’t just their attacking returns that made this an encouraging afternoon, with a strutting Abraham causing Southampton plenty of problems and Mount unsurprisingly looking much more of a goal threat when deployed as a number ten rather than out on the left wing or further back in midfield.
Lampard said of Abraham after full-time:
When people are in good form, things happen for them. It comes from how Tammy has handled himself all season, from pre-season, from early season when people were questioning him in different ways, and the work ethic behind the scenes that gets him in such good nick.
He’s not just an incredible handful for defenders, with his running, holding the ball up and good feet; he’s getting the goals which is brilliant for him.
I trusted in Tammy at the start of the season. I felt it was his time to come back to Chelsea. He also has Oli Giroud, a World Cup winner, and Michy Batshuayi, a top-class Premier League striker, and he has made the position his own in the short term.
He has to keep that going because competition is key. Over the course of the season, we will need everybody, but he deserves the great week he has had and the great season he is having. I’ll keep on him because I want more.
Abraham trudged off gingerly late in the game but the Chelsea boss added:
He’s fine. He took a bang on the back of the knee, but I think he wanted a round of applause!
These two players need no introduction, of course, and each currently sits in more than 33% of FPL squads following their early-season exploits.
Might Hudson-Odoi offer us a differential third route into the Chelsea attack, though?
The young winger, playing in his preferred left-wing role, caught the eye here and supplied the assist for Abraham’s goal, also going close to scoring himself when firing at Gunn’s legs just after half-time.
Selected by just 0.9% of Fantasy bosses at the time of writing, Hudson-Odoi is a tempting option given that Chelsea sit top of our Season Ticker over the next four Gameweeks and have some appetising fixtures beyond that.
The Blues’ bloated squad is the main issue, of course, and with the likes of Ross Barkley (£5.6m), Christian Pulisic (£7.2m) and Pedro (£6.9m) waiting in the wings, the risk of rotation is an obvious one.
Having said that, Lampard has shown commendable loyalty to some of his ‘favourites’, with Mount an ever-present starter in the league, Abraham making the line-up in the last six Gameweeks and even Willian handed four successive 90-minute run-outs since his return from injury.
The Chelsea head coach’s trust in youth may also be to Hudson-Odoi’s advantage.
Lampard said of Hudson-Odoi’s performance:
He did well. It was a great assist for Tammy’s goal, a great ball. His work-rate was good, he stayed tight to the midfield and released himself to the full-back. It was all the things I want from the wingers.
He could have got a goal, he got in behind a few times where he can be lethal. That’s where I want him.
He can get better. He has had a serious injury so fitness has been a bit of an issue, and looking after him. Now he’s showing he’s getting towards proper match fitness.
Willian deserves an honourable mention for his man-of-the-match display down the right flank, teeing up not only Mount for his goal but also Hudson-Odoi for his aforementioned big chance too.
Lampard said of the Brazilian:
Willian was the standout today, without a doubt. If you wanted to show our wingers what we want from them, we would show them a video of his work ethic today, and his quality and burst of pace on the ball.
In the last four or five games he has been our best player. It’s a great thing to say when you have got players who are examples on the pitch around these young boys.
Chelsea’s defence have made strides in recent weeks following their early-season struggles but this was another match without a clean sheet (they only have one to their name this season) and Fikayo Tomori (£4.7m) was not his usual composed self, almost gifting Danny Ings (£5.9m) a goal with a slack backpass on the stroke of half-time – the excellent Jorginho (£5.0m) getting back to clear the Southampton striker’s goalbound shot.
The Saints’ goal was a weak one from a Chelsea perspective, too, with Yan Valery (£4.8m) waltzing past six players and teeing up Ings via a fortuitous deflection off Kurt Zouma (£4.7m).
The Blues’ boss said after the game:
The fact we allowed someone to stroll into our box to make it 2-1. We switched off from the throw-in, which we had talked about, and then we offered them up a chance at the end of the first half which would’ve made half-time much nervier than what it was.
To be fair there will be a lot of weeks I will sit here and say the boys at the back have been brilliant – and they have recently – but you can’t afford to give little moments. Those are pointers for all of us that we are not there, we are nowhere near the finished article at the minute.
Still, with Chelsea’s next four opponents all in the bottom half of the table for goals scored, it would be a surprise if there isn’t at least one or two shut-outs to come before the November international break.
While Chelsea’s forthcoming matches are appealing, Southampton’s own fixtures are anything but.
This was the second of seven straight matches against teams that finished in the top ten in 2018/19 and it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side slide into the bottom three by the time their fixtures turn for the better in Gameweek 14.
Their players are unlikely to appeal to Fantasy managers for the time being, then, but it is worth noting how Hasenhuttl’s troops are performing given that our Leicester, Manchester City and Arsenal assets will be facing the Saints before we reach December.
The in-form Ings, again keeping Che Adams (£5.6m) out of the side, was a threat with his pressing from the front, going close with a second-half header on top of the two efforts we have already discussed.
Nathan Redmond (£6.3m) fired narrowly over from distance but in truth there wasn’t much intensity in attack, aside from the busy Ings.
The defending was just as bad, with the combination of Hasenhuttl’s ever-changing, sometimes baffling tactics and the Saints’ tendency to shoot themselves in the foot costing them dearly.
Gunn made a big error of judgement, not for the first time this season, when rushing out for Abraham’s goal and it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Alex McCarthy (£4.3m) between the posts for the trip to Molineux.
Only Watford and Norwich have conceded more goals than Southampton this season, which will be encouraging news for Fantasy managers whose assets face the Saints in the coming weeks.
Hasenhuttl said after full-time:
I think this game was a little bit too easy for the opponent.
We only have a chance to turn around if you see clear and be very honest and say ‘ok, this is not enough, we must do it much better’, and then we have to work on it.
If we are as a team more committed than we are at the moment then we have chances to take something.
At the moment the work against the ball is not really in the net we normally do it and in one-against-one situations we know they are always very strong.
Southampton XI (4-3-3): Gunn; Valery, Yoshida, Bednarek, Bertrand; Romeu, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse; Redmond (Boufal 81′), Ings (Adams 80′), Long (Obafemi 73′).
Chelsea XI (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Mount (Kovacic 79′); Willian, Abraham (Batshuayi 84′), Hudson-Odoi (Pulisic 79′).
Lessons learned from Gameweek 8
- Brighton 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur
- Burnley 1-0 Everton
- Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City
- Norwich City 1-5 Aston Villa
- Watford 0-0 Sheffield United
- West Ham United 1-2 Crystal Palace
- Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth
- Manchester City 0-2 Wolves
- Southampton 1-4 Chelsea
- Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United
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