Southampton’s Romeo Lafia celebrates after scoring against Chelsea
London (AFP) – Thomas Tuchel urged “soft” Chelsea to take a tough stance after their shock 2-1 defeat at Southampton plunged his side into turmoil in the Premier League on Tuesday. Tuchel’s side blew up their lead at St Mary’s after Raheem Sterling put them ahead midway through the first half.
England striker Sterling scored his third goal in two matches with a close shot in the 23rd minute.
But Chelsea squandered quite a few chances before the Sterling opener, and it wasn’t the first time in Tuchel’s tenure that poor finishing touches came back to haunt them.
Romeo Lafia equalized in the 28th minute with his first goal for Southampton after he failed to clear a corner kick.
Adam Armstrong put Southampton ahead after the first half, firing in a pass from Romain Peraud and curling the ball past Chelsea goalkeeper Edward Mendy.
Chelsea, who lost 3-0 to Leeds in their previous away game, were unable to muster any response after losing again in their last three games.
“Soft, smooth and soft defense,” Tuchel said. “There is no need to give up shots. You just have to be stronger as a team and show a different mentality.”
With just two wins out of their first five matches, the Blues are already five points behind leaders Arsenal, who play their postponed match against Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Despite their big spending spree at the end of the season, which is set to continue with several other signings ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline, Chelsea are struggling to find any sustainable momentum for now.
While it is too early to take them out of the title race, Tuchel will be concerned about his team’s recent dirty show – with major faults at both ends of the field – having publicly criticized them after the Leeds loss.
“It’s very easy to be lopsided and confused and confusing. It’s very easy. It happened against Leeds. We need to understand why and find solutions,” Tuchel said.
“We lose focus, we lose our plan and we lose consistency. I don’t understand why we have so many injuries.
“In a match where you are at the top, you don’t have to give up half the chances. The lack of answers in the second half was disappointing.”
– Everton foil –
Everton’s wait for their first win of the season continued after Luis Sinistera scored his first league goal for Leeds in a 1-1 draw at Island Road.
Frank Lampard’s side took the lead when Alex Iwobi’s crucial pass was passed through Diego Llorente’s legs by Anthony Gordon, whose clinical end was capped off with a superb move in the 17th minute.
But Colombian winger Sinistera makes his memorable debut with Jesse Marsh’s men with a finishing touch of Brenden Aaronson’s pass in the 55th minute.
Fulham ended Brighton’s unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage that lifted them to sixth place.
Fourth-placed Brighton have won three of their first four matches, but the rise of Marco Silva’s side broke the tie in the 48th minute with Aleksandar Mitrovic’s fifth goal of the season.
Neskens Kebanu provided the pass and Serbia striker Mitrovic hit the far post to score his 100th league goal for the Cottage.
Fulham doubled their lead after seven minutes when Brighton defender Louis Dunk turned Andreas Pereira’s cross into his own net.
Alexis McAllister scored a penalty kick in the 60th minute for Brighton after Pervis Estupinan’s foul on Bobby de Cordova-Reid.
A late equalizer for Yoann Wesa saved Brentford in their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
Wilfried Zaha showed why Arsenal and Chelsea are linked with him, as the Côte d’Ivoire forward gave Palace the lead with a superb strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 59th minute.
But Wesa was left unchecked with a header from close range in the 88th minute
Tuchel’s side blew up their lead at St Mary’s after Raheem Sterling put them ahead midway through the first half.