Football news - Chelsea drop points as Southampton hold firm at Stamford Bridge
Premier League, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea 0 Southampton 0
Chelsea were left frustrated by an inspired performance from Premier League debutant Angus Gunn as they drew 0-0 at home with Southampton.
The Blues, who earlier on Wednesday announced the signing of Christian Pulisic, could have done with the American in the first half as they carved out few chances against Gunn and a solid five-man defence.
Gunn made a fine save with his face to deny Eden Hazard but the Blues were then dealt a blow when Willian went off with an injury.
Willian of Chelsea is seen to by his medical staff after he is injured during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Southampton FC at Stamford Bridge on January 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.Getty Images
The Saints, who made eight changes to their side following back to back defeats, continue to defend brilliantly but they showed little attacking intent with Shane Long surprisingly coming on for Danny Ings at the break.
An inspired Gunn was again at his best in the second half to deny Hazard and Morata, who also had a goal correctly disallowed for offside, as the visitors held on for a deserved point.
The result sees Chelsea remain fourth but drop points on London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, both of whom won on Tuesday evening, as well as Manchester United who won on Wednesday, while Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side slip into the relegation zone.
Where will Christian Pulisic play? Ross Barkley’s place looks most at threat from the Dortmund player’s arrival in the summer after a largely anonymous display against the Saints. His form has dipped in recent games after a bright start to the season. The American should provide some much-needed creativity next season with Alvaro Morata starved of service.
Premier League - Chelsea v Southampton - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - January 2, 2019 Chelsea's Ross Barkley in action with Southampton's Oriol RomeuGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Angus Gunn (Southampton): The 22-year-old showed no nerves on his Premier League debut, racing off his line to deny Hazard and pulling off some fine saves. It was a bold move to start Gunn in a side with seven other changes but the gamble paid off. He looks to be the favourite to start for the Saints in their next game against Derby County in the FA Cup.
Southampton's English goalkeeper Angus Gunn catches the ball under pressure from Chelsea's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata (R) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge in London on January 2, 2019.Getty Images
CHELSEA: Kepa 6, Azpilcueta 6, Rudiger 7, Luiz 7, Alonso 7, Kante 5, Jorginho 5, Barkley 4, Willian n/a, Morata 5, Hazard 6. Subs: Fabregas 6,
SOUTHAMPTON: Gunn 9, Cedric 8, Yoshida 9, Vestergaard 7, Bednarek 7, Valery 9, Romeu 6, Ward-Prowse 5, Armstrong 6, Ings 5, Redmond 4...Subs: Long 4, Austin n/a, Stephens n/a.
13’ – CHANCE! Azpilcueta with an inviting cross for Morata who only needs to head it over the onrushing Gunn but his header is tame and straight at the keeper.
16’ - CLOSE! Cedric's cross from the left finds Ings 12 yards out whose header is narrowly over. The game has opened up.
35’ - GREAT SAVE! Rüdiger's ball over the top finds Hazard whose left-foot effort smacks Gunn bang in the face to keep it out.
37’ - WILLIAN INJURY - Willian's night is over, he is being replaced by Loftus-Cheek.
70’ - DISALLOWED GOAL! Morata puts the ball in from Fabregas' pass but he is flagged off-side, that was the correct decision but was marginal.
78’ - GOOD SAVE! Chelsea break, Loftus-Cheek finds Morata whose effort from a tight angle is kept out. Another impressive stop, standing tall.
Angus Gunn (22y 346d) is the youngest English goalkeeper to start their first Premier League match since Jordan Pickford (21y 315d) on January 16th 2016 (for Sunderland vs Spurs).
The Blues have netted just four goals in their past five games.