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How Southampton’s players rated in their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea

Southampton have been excellent in recent weeks and would have been confident of getting something from their match against Chelsea this weekend. That wasn’t to be and they were on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat. Although they will be disappointed, Southampton came up against a strong side and gave them a good game. It won’t be matches like these that determine Southampton’s season and for that reason, it is crucial that they prevent this defeat from damaging their momentum. Here is how their players rated on Sunday:

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Fraser Forster – The goalkeeper impressed and made a few key stops to keep his side in the game. There was little he could do to stop either goals, especially the second from Diego Costa. Forster did well at controlling his area and will be pleased with his afternoon’s work, despite the result. 6

Cuco Martina – Although he isn’t the first choice right back at the club, Martina applied himself well and had a relatively good game. He finished the game with two tackles, while his pass accuracy of 91% shows how good he is with the ball.  6

Jose Fonte – He can’t be faulted for either of the goals and was solid once again. It is his aerial ability that is most impressive as he won four duels. The Southampton captain has been one of the most consistent defenders in the league over the last few years and showed on Saturday that he can compete with the best in the division. 6

Virgil van Dijk – The Dutchman was the standout performer in the Southampton defence again. During the match, he completed five tackles and made a further two interceptions. He has a good sense of positioning and rarely makes mistakes, which leads to many believing that he should be playing at a higher level. It is surely a matter of time before he leaves the South Coast for better things. 7

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Ryan Bertrand – It was a disappointing return from injury for Bertrand as he faced the difficult task of trying to contain the runs of Victor Moses. He didn’t know whether to follow Moses or Pedro and that created space for the Chelsea attackers to exploit. Moreover, his decision making on the ball was questionable, but that will improve as he reaches full fitness again. 5

Steven Davis – The Northern Ireland international put in another good display and competed well against the powerful Chelsea midfield. He was good in possession and finished the match with a pass accuracy of 90%, including two key passes. Late in the match, he hit the crossbar with an audacious effort. 7

Oriol Romeu – It was an opportunity to impress against his former club and he did well but couldn’t dominate the Chelsea midfield of Ngolo Kante and Nemanja Matic. His ball retrieval skills stood out, as he ended the match with six tackles and three interceptions. He has been excellent at the beginning of this season as he grows into the role vacated by Victor Wanyama. 6

Jordy Clasie – He was withdrawn early into the second half after failing to get into the match. The Dutchman is good at distributing the ball, but he needs to influence matches more and create openings for his team. He didn’t create anything and could find himself out of the starting eleven next week. 4

Dusan Tadic – The Serbian rarely gave the ball away and there were examples of his superb vision as he tried to break down the Chelsea defence. His team-mates couldn’t get him on the ball as much as was required. It was a case of an excellent defensive performance from Chelsea rather than a poor performance from Tadic. 5

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Nathan Redmond – After some good performances of late, Nathan Redmond was given the chance to lead the line again this weekend, but his decision making was poor. He was dispossessed on seven occasions showing how he needs to improve in possession, especially against the better sides in the league. Southampton needed their attackers to hold up the ball when they had possession in the final third to give them any chance of securing a positive result, but Redmond failed to do that. 4

Charlie Austin – He competed well in the air, winning seven of his eight aerial duels showing his impressive aerial ability. However, he didn’t threaten as much as he has in recent weeks. Like Redmond, he couldn’t make the ball stick in the final third and he will be disappointed with his attacking contribution. 5

Sofiane Boufal – The new signing tried to make things happen after coming on, but his side were already two goals down and it was difficult for him to have an impact. The attacker will need time to adjust to the Premier League and could be frustrating until he gets to grip with English football. However, it is clear that he has a lot of ability and Southampton fans should be excited at the prospect of watching his development over the coming years. 5

Sam McQueen – The academy graduate didn’t have a lot of time to make an impact, but he will be encouraged at being given more game-time in the first team. N/A

Pierre-Emile Hojberg – Like McQueen, he didn’t have much time to make an impact. He could be given another chance in the starting eleven after the disappointing performance from Clasie.

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