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Chelsea 3-1 Saints - Match Thread


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1 minute ago, Roo1976 said:

So nearly every goal scored from a corner should be considered as in the keepers line of sight?............

The assist for goals from corners comes from the ball being kicked from the by-line and going backwards onto the pitch, so if it is a corner and then a one touch goal it can't be obstructing a keeper's line of sight whilst offside.

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3 minutes ago, Saint Matty 76 said:

This is bizarre even for you.

1) Are you not going to explain why you think it is 'bizarre'? 

2) Azpilicueta was offside and him being offside meant that McCarthy could not see the ball for a period of time, nor was McCarthy able to get closer to the ball because Azpilicueta was in the way whilst offside. McCarthy was only able to see the ball when it was too late and he didn't have enough time to react due to an offside player meaning he couldn't track the path of the ball.

So hardly 'bizarre'! 🙄

Edited by Matthew Le God
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33 minutes ago, Shroppie said:

Another game that shows what a mess VAR is

We need to change things radically so that the norm is VAR only comes into play if the ref requests that an incident be reviewed or VAR can demonstrate that the ref has actually missed something, rather than VAR intervening to express an alternative view on a event the ref has seen and ruled on.

Whenever VAR is invoked, the on-field ref should be able to have any replay, from any available angle, at any speed HE requests.

The current system is still broken and at the mercy of attention-seeking VAR refs wanting to prove they’re better than the ref or to find a view that supports their prejudiced take on things.

I agree, plus it has ruined the spontaneous crazy goal celebrations, I'd scrap it personally. 

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5 minutes ago, hasper57saint said:

If JWPs was a Red why was the Red and Penalty overruled v City. Mike Dean has form against us and today is no exception. We were crap in the first half and more than held our own in the second. Until the sending off I had hopes we could sneak this. Ralph needs to have a bloody good look at himself because he’s the one who picks the team. 

I am really puzzled by this. You say that "we more than held our own in the 2nd" and until the sending off had hopes we could sneak it.  Couldn't agree more. It was particularly impressive against the European champions with £150m worth in talent just in the 2 players up front. 

And then you have a go at Ralph for picking the team ?     Are you suggesting he shouldn't have picked JWP as he might get sent off ?  Or did you just want to take the opportunity to have a go at Ralph for no other reason than to have a go at Ralph ?  

 

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7 minutes ago, JRM said:

I agree, plus it has ruined the spontaneous crazy goal celebrations, I'd scrap it personally. 

How can Rugby, cricket and hockey do it so well (albeit in different ways) but football do it so abysmally? 

To answer my own question, because they can't accept that other sports have developed systems that work and it would be good to draw on their experience. No, football is far too important and must set its own rules, even though they're a complete clusterfuck.

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17 minutes ago, Matthew Le God said:

1) Are you not going to explain why you think it is 'bizarre'? 

2) Azpilicueta was offside and him being offside meant that McCarthy could not see the ball for a period of time, nor was McCarthy able to get closer to the ball because Azpilicueta was in the way whilst offside. McCarthy was only able to see the ball when it was too late and he didn't have enough time to react due to an offside player meaning he couldn't track the path of the ball.

So hardly 'bizarre'! 🙄

What a crock of shit that answer is .........as i said like most corners then. McCarthy is the only one who can handle the ball correct?......so why not claim the area and punch or collect the ball and ease the pressure on the defence?

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2 minutes ago, Roo1976 said:

What a crock of shit that answer is .........as i said like most corners then. McCarthy is the only one who can handle the ball correct?......so why not claim the area and punch or collect the ball and ease the pressure on the defence?

A comparison to corners is utterly bizarre. You cannot be offside from a corner as the ball goes backwards from where the corner is taken.

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5 minutes ago, Vancouver Saint said:

So what's the mood about no JWP for the next how many games?

2 weeks to work on how we fix the midfield to stop teams being able to play straight through it! I’d be tempted to try a 3 of Romeu (sat in) with Diallo to his left and Armstrong to his right. Romeu to play more as a blocker and to then just give the ball to the others to progress (think Wanyama in his first season with us)

We do need someone to step up as a leader with both JWP and Stephens out, Salisu seems vocal so hopefully he steps up now

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1 minute ago, Fabrice Fernandes no.1 fan said:

1) 2 weeks to work on how we fix the midfield to stop teams being able to play straight through it! I’d be tempted to try a 3 of Romeu (sat in) with Diallo to his left and Armstrong to his right. Romeu to play more as a blocker and to then just give the ball to the others to progress (think Wanyama in his first season with us)

2) We do need someone to step up as a leader with both JWP and Stephens out, Salisu seems vocal so hopefully he steps up now

1) That is the formation we played in the 2nd half today when Diallo came on and vs West Ham. Man Utd and Man City hardly played straight through our team so it isn't as bad as you make out.

2) Romeu is the vice captain.

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Meh. 

Chelsea are looking exceptionally good this season and I expected us to get beaten two or three nil before KO.

First half they should have been out of sight really. It's all very well saying we let them play through us too easily, but you have to give them credit because they played some beautiful one-touch stuff going forward. To get to HT at only 1-0 was quite remarkable really.

Then you have to give Ralph a lot of credit. Usually it's the other way round, but he made the tactical switch and we got much more control in midfield and frustrated Chelsea. It was a nice move to play in Tino to win the penalty, and when we had got to 1-1, we really looked like we would at least hold on for a really good point.

And then Mike Dean intervened again didn't he. As soon as I saw he was going to be on VAR today I should have placed a large bet on us getting a red card, and he duly obliged. It was a late tackle, but there was no malicious intent and he wasn't off the ground or out of control. So although there is an argument to be made that it *could* have been deserving of a red anyway, the ref made his initial decision and there really wasn't enough there to claim he had made a clear and obvious error, so it shouldn't have been upgraded to red on review IMO. 

Of course, we'll never know if we would have held on for a draw had the red card not happened, but it changed the game and there was only ever going to be one outcome once Chelsea started piling on the pressure again.

So, overall, I'm not too down-hearted. We got the sort of result I was expecting before the game anyway, having played some good stuff in the 2nd half and fought our way back into the game. There were a few positives to take from it: We kept Lukaku quiet most of the afternoon. McCarthy made at least one really good save and was unfortunate not to keep it out for the third goal, and is actually looking much better than many people gave him credit for before the season started. And Nathan Tella looked lively and full of promise. 

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Certainly not one of our best performances;  it all looked a little desperate and frantic. We seemed to make a very complicated job out of what other teams seem to find simple and straight forward with the result that we often ended up tying ourselves in knots and losing any sense of purpose. Despite the usual huff and puff we created very little threat of any merit and it was worrying that when our goal did come it was by way of a penalty. 

Our stand out player today was obviously McCarthy and Redmond could not be faulted for effort. KWP did his best with some nice runs on the left but is not comfortable at LB. Livramento seemed a little overawed by the occasion and was more subdued than usual but Chelseas were sharp and gave us little time on the ball with the result that our close passing game at which we often excel just didn't get going. It was too soon to throw Theo in from the start, he was well off the pace and Armstrong was anonymous, a big worry.

I'm not sure where we go from here, its too early to panic but if we don't get a result against Leeds it may be time to start another chapter.

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Just back from the game. Thought I'd post my reflections on here before reading too much as don't want to be swayed by others.

To remind you, I was sitting in Chelsea's West Stand, using a season ticket offered by a friend.  It was a very different experience as you can imagine.  As well as being surrounded by opposing fans and not feeling able to shout, sing or jump up, I was also five rows from the front so much lower down than I'm used to (almost at pitch level as the stands are below pitch level).

First things first, I thought our fans were excellent.  Would love to hear from people who went as to how that compared to usual games.  From my perspective the fans were loud, very supportive (even sang for Long when he warmed up) and non-stop. They had a good range of songs, sang and cheered consistently throughout and gave Chelsea's 'library atmosphere' plenty of banter. As good as the average away fans at St. Mary's if not better.  By contrast I though the home support was very quiet and half-hearted (until they went 2-1 up).  When the teams came out at the start is was just weirdly quiet and I actually missed the start of the second half because so many were still in the bar area and there was no noise from the arena.

First half we started ok, our game plan was clearly the high press and we did a pretty good job.  It seemed a really soft set-piece goal to give away, I've only seen 1 reply but obviously someone should have been following their roving centre half at the back post - not sure who.

We grew into the game, good combinations down the left with KWP and Redmond, who I though played very well.  Over the other side (too far for me to tell) it seemed like Tino and Theo were not doing so well.  The centre halves looked very solid and Romeu and JWP also playing well.  But it was clear we were hanging on.  The foul on KWP for the disallowed Werner goal seemed very soft, and I was surprised it got chalked off.

Second half we changed the shape, pushing Romeu back into a three and bringing Diallo on for Theo.  We suddenly looked much more solid and Chelsea became increasingly less dangerous.  As the half went on we started to actually get on top, without creating loads, though I remember Armstrong having a good chance that was deflected.  It was no surprise we got the penalty and I had to sit on my hands as it was taken.

The turning point was obviously the sending off.  Up until then I really thought we could go on and win.  We were on top and they had run out of ideas.  I've not had a good look at the tackle but first viewing was that he did lose control (nothing nasty, just part of our very aggressive play at the time) and so it was about how high his foot/studs were.  I expect it was one of those that we'll be annoyed about but would have screamed for if it was the other way.  

From there I thought for a while we would hang on, as they were still short of ideas.  I remember thinking their 2nd goal was a thing of beauty at the time, a great ball from Barkley, a perfect cross from 'Dave' as they call him in the West Stand and Werner in the right place.  Hands up, no arguments or blame.  From then it was hard for us.  Their 3rd goal was extraordinary, need to see it again, but it seemed to hit several bits of wood before a worldie from McCarthy wasn't enough to keep it out.

So a game we played well in, but came away pointless.  As I've said elsewhere, I focus more on performances than results at this stage of the season and ours was pretty good.  We were set up well, and differently in both halves, showed lots of good things on the pitch, including leadership, aggression and commitment.  We imposed ourselves on the second half and, without the red, could well have won, and would probably have drawn.  I always get a bit miserable when we lose, but there was much to be happy about today.  We're obviously still a little short creatively (as well as being a little short on height!) but in pretty good order.

I think everyone played pretty well, with standout performances from McCarthy, Salisu, KWP and Redmond; although having said that Bednarek, JWP and Romeu weren't far behind and Tella played well (I realise that's nearly everyone!!).

I'm imagining the usual suspects will be wanting Ralph out.  To me, based on today, that is complete nonsense.  The team had clear identity (two actually, one each half) was well-set up, and the players were fully committed and motivated. They also showed good leadership and aggression. The selection was good, the subs were right (though the latter two couldn't do much given the situation) and so I think criticism based on today is misplaced.  It's the European Champions away and we had the upper hand at 1-1; I've no complaints.

Redmond is the other piñata at the moment and I thought he played really well.  He went looking for the ball all the time and was direct and skilful.  I see why Ralph will always pick him for these sort of games.  He combined well with KWP and Tella and I think was only subbed because of cramp.

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23 minutes ago, The Left Back said:

Just back from the game. Thought I'd post my reflections on here before reading too much as don't want to be swayed by others.

To remind you, I was sitting in Chelsea's West Stand, using a season ticket offered by a friend.  It was a very different experience as you can imagine.  As well as being surrounded by opposing fans and not feeling able to shout, sing or jump up, I was also five rows from the front so much lower down than I'm used to (almost at pitch level as the stands are below pitch level).

First things first, I thought our fans were excellent.  Would love to hear from people who went as to how that compared to usual games.  From my perspective the fans were loud, very supportive (even sang for Long when he warmed up) and non-stop. They had a good range of songs, sang and cheered consistently throughout and gave Chelsea's 'library atmosphere' plenty of banter. As good as the average away fans at St. Mary's if not better.  By contrast I though the home support was very quiet and half-hearted (until they went 2-1 up).  When the teams came out at the start is was just weirdly quiet and I actually missed the start of the second half because so many were still in the bar area and there was no noise from the arena.

First half we started ok, our game plan was clearly the high press and we did a pretty good job.  It seemed a really soft set-piece goal to give away, I've only seen 1 reply but obviously someone should have been following their roving centre half at the back post - not sure who.

We grew into the game, good combinations down the left with KWP and Redmond, who I though played very well.  Over the other side (too far for me to tell) it seemed like Tino and Theo were not doing so well.  The centre halves looked very solid and Romeu and JWP also playing well.  But it was clear we were hanging on.  The foul on KWP for the disallowed Werner goal seemed very soft, and I was surprised it got chalked off.

Second half we changed the shape, pushing Romeu back into a three and bringing Diallo on for Theo.  We suddenly looked much more solid and Chelsea became increasingly less dangerous.  As the half went on we started to actually get on top, without creating loads, though I remember Armstrong having a good chance that was deflected.  It was no surprise we got the penalty and I had to sit on my hands as it was taken.

The turning point was obviously the sending off.  Up until then I really thought we could go on and win.  We were on top and they had run out of ideas.  I've not had a good look at the tackle but first viewing was that he did lose control (nothing nasty, just part of our very aggressive play at the time) and so it was about how high his foot/studs were.  I expect it was one of those that we'll be annoyed about but would have screamed for if it was the other way.  

From there I thought for a while we would hang on, as they were still short of ideas.  I remember thinking their 2nd goal was a thing of beauty at the time, a great ball from Barkley, a perfect cross from 'Dave' as they call him in the West Stand and Werner in the right place.  Hands up, no arguments or blame.  From then it was hard for us.  Their 3rd goal was extraordinary, need to see it again, but it seemed to hit several bits of wood before a worldie from McCarthy wasn't enough to keep it out.

So a game we played well in, but came away pointless.  As I've said elsewhere, I focus more on performances than results at this stage of the season and ours was pretty good.  We were set up well, and differently in both halves, showed lots of good things on the pitch, including leadership, aggression and commitment.  We imposed ourselves on the second half and, without the red, could well have won, and would probably have drawn.  I always get a bit miserable when we lose, but there was much to be happy about today.  We're obviously still a little short creatively (as well as being a little short on height!) but in pretty good order.

I think everyone played pretty well, with standout performances from McCarthy, Salisu, KWP and Redmond; although having said that Bednarek, JWP and Romeu weren't far behind and Tella played well (I realise that's nearly everyone!!).

I'm imagining the usual suspects will be wanting Ralph out.  To me, based on today, that is complete nonsense.  The team had clear identity (two actually, one each half) was well-set up, and the players were fully committed and motivated. They also showed good leadership and aggression. The selection was good, the subs were right (though the latter two couldn't do much given the situation) and so I think criticism based on today is misplaced.  It's the European Champions away and we had the upper hand at 1-1; I've no complaints.

Redmond is the other piñata at the moment and I thought he played really well.  He went looking for the ball all the time and was direct and skilful.  I see why Ralph will always pick him for these sort of games.  He combined well with KWP and Tella and I think was only subbed because of cramp.

Excellent post. Exactly how I saw the match and completely agree with all wrote. Most especially the fans. I watched on TV and you could clearly hear our fans throughout the entire match - load and proud. Hats off to all there.

Also fully agree about Redmond. Thought he had a very good game. And yes, their third hit the woodwork twice before Macca seemingly made a worldy, but it was definitely a few inches over the line (from fancy TV stuff). 

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39 minutes ago, The Left Back said:

Just back from the game. Thought I'd post my reflections on here before reading too much as don't want to be swayed by others.

To remind you, I was sitting in Chelsea's West Stand, using a season ticket offered by a friend.  It was a very different experience as you can imagine.  As well as being surrounded by opposing fans and not feeling able to shout, sing or jump up, I was also five rows from the front so much lower down than I'm used to (almost at pitch level as the stands are below pitch level).

First things first, I thought our fans were excellent.  Would love to hear from people who went as to how that compared to usual games.  From my perspective the fans were loud, very supportive (even sang for Long when he warmed up) and non-stop. They had a good range of songs, sang and cheered consistently throughout and gave Chelsea's 'library atmosphere' plenty of banter. As good as the average away fans at St. Mary's if not better.  By contrast I though the home support was very quiet and half-hearted (until they went 2-1 up).  When the teams came out at the start is was just weirdly quiet and I actually missed the start of the second half because so many were still in the bar area and there was no noise from the arena.

First half we started ok, our game plan was clearly the high press and we did a pretty good job.  It seemed a really soft set-piece goal to give away, I've only seen 1 reply but obviously someone should have been following their roving centre half at the back post - not sure who.

We grew into the game, good combinations down the left with KWP and Redmond, who I though played very well.  Over the other side (too far for me to tell) it seemed like Tino and Theo were not doing so well.  The centre halves looked very solid and Romeu and JWP also playing well.  But it was clear we were hanging on.  The foul on KWP for the disallowed Werner goal seemed very soft, and I was surprised it got chalked off.

Second half we changed the shape, pushing Romeu back into a three and bringing Diallo on for Theo.  We suddenly looked much more solid and Chelsea became increasingly less dangerous.  As the half went on we started to actually get on top, without creating loads, though I remember Armstrong having a good chance that was deflected.  It was no surprise we got the penalty and I had to sit on my hands as it was taken.

The turning point was obviously the sending off.  Up until then I really thought we could go on and win.  We were on top and they had run out of ideas.  I've not had a good look at the tackle but first viewing was that he did lose control (nothing nasty, just part of our very aggressive play at the time) and so it was about how high his foot/studs were.  I expect it was one of those that we'll be annoyed about but would have screamed for if it was the other way.  

From there I thought for a while we would hang on, as they were still short of ideas.  I remember thinking their 2nd goal was a thing of beauty at the time, a great ball from Barkley, a perfect cross from 'Dave' as they call him in the West Stand and Werner in the right place.  Hands up, no arguments or blame.  From then it was hard for us.  Their 3rd goal was extraordinary, need to see it again, but it seemed to hit several bits of wood before a worldie from McCarthy wasn't enough to keep it out.

So a game we played well in, but came away pointless.  As I've said elsewhere, I focus more on performances than results at this stage of the season and ours was pretty good.  We were set up well, and differently in both halves, showed lots of good things on the pitch, including leadership, aggression and commitment.  We imposed ourselves on the second half and, without the red, could well have won, and would probably have drawn.  I always get a bit miserable when we lose, but there was much to be happy about today.  We're obviously still a little short creatively (as well as being a little short on height!) but in pretty good order.

I think everyone played pretty well, with standout performances from McCarthy, Salisu, KWP and Redmond; although having said that Bednarek, JWP and Romeu weren't far behind and Tella played well (I realise that's nearly everyone!!).

I'm imagining the usual suspects will be wanting Ralph out.  To me, based on today, that is complete nonsense.  The team had clear identity (two actually, one each half) was well-set up, and the players were fully committed and motivated. They also showed good leadership and aggression. The selection was good, the subs were right (though the latter two couldn't do much given the situation) and so I think criticism based on today is misplaced.  It's the European Champions away and we had the upper hand at 1-1; I've no complaints.

Redmond is the other piñata at the moment and I thought he played really well.  He went looking for the ball all the time and was direct and skilful.  I see why Ralph will always pick him for these sort of games.  He combined well with KWP and Tella and I think was only subbed because of cramp.

Very good balanced post. I only watched the second half and thought we played well until the red card changed the game. Yes we have challenges - top third goal chances and conversion being the main one - but Hasenhutl is not one of them. Everybody seems to discount we've played 4 of the top 5 clubs, 5 of the top 7...

We've had two bad halves this season..Everton away first game second half and Wolves at home first half. Otherwise Ralph has generally managed the team well. The next run of games is hugely important so it's a real shame we won't have the consistency of JWP in those crucial games. But I'm interested to see how we do without him...

Edited by Vancouver Saint
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43 minutes ago, The Left Back said:

Just back from the game. Thought I'd post my reflections on here before reading too much as don't want to be swayed by others.

To remind you, I was sitting in Chelsea's West Stand, using a season ticket offered by a friend.  It was a very different experience as you can imagine.  As well as being surrounded by opposing fans and not feeling able to shout, sing or jump up, I was also five rows from the front so much lower down than I'm used to (almost at pitch level as the stands are below pitch level).

First things first, I thought our fans were excellent.  Would love to hear from people who went as to how that compared to usual games.  From my perspective the fans were loud, very supportive (even sang for Long when he warmed up) and non-stop. They had a good range of songs, sang and cheered consistently throughout and gave Chelsea's 'library atmosphere' plenty of banter. As good as the average away fans at St. Mary's if not better.  By contrast I though the home support was very quiet and half-hearted (until they went 2-1 up).  When the teams came out at the start is was just weirdly quiet and I actually missed the start of the second half because so many were still in the bar area and there was no noise from the arena.

First half we started ok, our game plan was clearly the high press and we did a pretty good job.  It seemed a really soft set-piece goal to give away, I've only seen 1 reply but obviously someone should have been following their roving centre half at the back post - not sure who.

We grew into the game, good combinations down the left with KWP and Redmond, who I though played very well.  Over the other side (too far for me to tell) it seemed like Tino and Theo were not doing so well.  The centre halves looked very solid and Romeu and JWP also playing well.  But it was clear we were hanging on.  The foul on KWP for the disallowed Werner goal seemed very soft, and I was surprised it got chalked off.

Second half we changed the shape, pushing Romeu back into a three and bringing Diallo on for Theo.  We suddenly looked much more solid and Chelsea became increasingly less dangerous.  As the half went on we started to actually get on top, without creating loads, though I remember Armstrong having a good chance that was deflected.  It was no surprise we got the penalty and I had to sit on my hands as it was taken.

The turning point was obviously the sending off.  Up until then I really thought we could go on and win.  We were on top and they had run out of ideas.  I've not had a good look at the tackle but first viewing was that he did lose control (nothing nasty, just part of our very aggressive play at the time) and so it was about how high his foot/studs were.  I expect it was one of those that we'll be annoyed about but would have screamed for if it was the other way.  

From there I thought for a while we would hang on, as they were still short of ideas.  I remember thinking their 2nd goal was a thing of beauty at the time, a great ball from Barkley, a perfect cross from 'Dave' as they call him in the West Stand and Werner in the right place.  Hands up, no arguments or blame.  From then it was hard for us.  Their 3rd goal was extraordinary, need to see it again, but it seemed to hit several bits of wood before a worldie from McCarthy wasn't enough to keep it out.

So a game we played well in, but came away pointless.  As I've said elsewhere, I focus more on performances than results at this stage of the season and ours was pretty good.  We were set up well, and differently in both halves, showed lots of good things on the pitch, including leadership, aggression and commitment.  We imposed ourselves on the second half and, without the red, could well have won, and would probably have drawn.  I always get a bit miserable when we lose, but there was much to be happy about today.  We're obviously still a little short creatively (as well as being a little short on height!) but in pretty good order.

I think everyone played pretty well, with standout performances from McCarthy, Salisu, KWP and Redmond; although having said that Bednarek, JWP and Romeu weren't far behind and Tella played well (I realise that's nearly everyone!!).

I'm imagining the usual suspects will be wanting Ralph out.  To me, based on today, that is complete nonsense.  The team had clear identity (two actually, one each half) was well-set up, and the players were fully committed and motivated. They also showed good leadership and aggression. The selection was good, the subs were right (though the latter two couldn't do much given the situation) and so I think criticism based on today is misplaced.  It's the European Champions away and we had the upper hand at 1-1; I've no complaints.

Redmond is the other piñata at the moment and I thought he played really well.  He went looking for the ball all the time and was direct and skilful.  I see why Ralph will always pick him for these sort of games.  He combined well with KWP and Tella and I think was only subbed because of cramp.

Wrong forum per chance? (You appear to have posted a balanced viewpoint on Saintsweb. Surely some mistake?)

;)

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1 hour ago, Shroppie said:

How can Rugby, cricket and hockey do it so well (albeit in different ways) but football do it so abysmally? 

To answer my own question, because they can't accept that other sports have developed systems that work and it would be good to draw on their experience. No, football is far too important and must set its own rules, even though they're a complete clusterfuck.

These sports are mainly stop and go. Football is superior in that it can be end to end stuff at high pace and intensity.

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Having watched the highlights I hope they appeal the red card. A bit reckless but should have been yellow I think. Clearly went for the ball and kept his leg close to the ground, just possibly catching the back of Jorginho’s foot. Much less contact than Walker on Armstrong and that wasn’t even given as a foul, by the same referee I think.

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2 hours ago, Chapel End said:

I have, now you try

It says Norwich and us and Burnley and Newcastle for other 2. 

2 plus 2 = 4

😄

As I said read it again  "Norwich will be bottom for sure, then ourselves, Burnley and Newcastle for the other 2 spots". Norwich and the other  2 being ourselves, Burnley or Newcastle. what is being said it's 2 out of the other 3. I'm just being pedantic as you are being picky.

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Why is it our players never contest bizarre decisions. Take the penalty that wasn’t given at the etihad, the city players were all over Jon moss, getting into his ear. Today when the red card incident occurred I didn’t see anyone getting into the refs ear. We seriously need to work on the dark arts a bit more. As for the game, I thought we could of got something out of it. But we just look like there are a couple of empty shirts playing up front. Armstrong really needs a goal but the service is just non existent. Another season of struggle ahead.

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Most teams will lose to Chelsea. No disgrace in the result but I am annoyed by the number of cards. Some indiscipline from pros there. It will cost Saints later in the year.

Armstrong and Diallo will no doubt replace JWP and Walcott, that isn't a massive downgrade if at all. I like Diallo and I think he needs more time on the pitch.

I thought Redmond had a good game, but Armstrong and Walcott really were passengers.

Standouts for me were McCarthy and Salisu.

Suck up the result, forget it and move on. Still very tight at the bottom. Certainly isn't time to panic .... yet. That will come later in the year I suspect.

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3 hours ago, sydney_saint said:

Come on man, you just can't wait to have a dig at him. I've seen many stupid red cards. This wasn't one of them. Even if it is a red, our game is to press and force mistakes. He's been a little unlucky that on another day it would be yellow. 

It’s not just him though is it. Same with Vestergaard v Leicester last year, this team has a habit of playing themselves into trouble and unnecessarily allowing referees to make big decisions. I think whoever is captain though has more of a responsibility to try and avoid these situations.
 

And yeah it is our style to press and force mistakes, which is why simply conceding a risky foul there was a stupid decision, when we could of had a throw-in in an advanced position. When do you see the best players throw themselves into tackles like that? They don’t, they force the other team make the mistake. Instead, diving in and giving away a free-kick takes-off all the pressure and a red card is just the cherry on top of the cake. Sorry, but in my view there’s no reason whatsoever to commit yourself there when you have the other team on the back foot and under pressure.

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2 hours ago, The Left Back said:

Just back from the game. Thought I'd post my reflections on here before reading too much as don't want to be swayed by others.

To remind you, I was sitting in Chelsea's West Stand, using a season ticket offered by a friend.  It was a very different experience as you can imagine.  As well as being surrounded by opposing fans and not feeling able to shout, sing or jump up, I was also five rows from the front so much lower down than I'm used to (almost at pitch level as the stands are below pitch level).

First things first, I thought our fans were excellent.  Would love to hear from people who went as to how that compared to usual games.  From my perspective the fans were loud, very supportive (even sang for Long when he warmed up) and non-stop. They had a good range of songs, sang and cheered consistently throughout and gave Chelsea's 'library atmosphere' plenty of banter. As good as the average away fans at St. Mary's if not better.  By contrast I though the home support was very quiet and half-hearted (until they went 2-1 up).  When the teams came out at the start is was just weirdly quiet and I actually missed the start of the second half because so many were still in the bar area and there was no noise from the arena.

First half we started ok, our game plan was clearly the high press and we did a pretty good job.  It seemed a really soft set-piece goal to give away, I've only seen 1 reply but obviously someone should have been following their roving centre half at the back post - not sure who.

We grew into the game, good combinations down the left with KWP and Redmond, who I though played very well.  Over the other side (too far for me to tell) it seemed like Tino and Theo were not doing so well.  The centre halves looked very solid and Romeu and JWP also playing well.  But it was clear we were hanging on.  The foul on KWP for the disallowed Werner goal seemed very soft, and I was surprised it got chalked off.

Second half we changed the shape, pushing Romeu back into a three and bringing Diallo on for Theo.  We suddenly looked much more solid and Chelsea became increasingly less dangerous.  As the half went on we started to actually get on top, without creating loads, though I remember Armstrong having a good chance that was deflected.  It was no surprise we got the penalty and I had to sit on my hands as it was taken.

The turning point was obviously the sending off.  Up until then I really thought we could go on and win.  We were on top and they had run out of ideas.  I've not had a good look at the tackle but first viewing was that he did lose control (nothing nasty, just part of our very aggressive play at the time) and so it was about how high his foot/studs were.  I expect it was one of those that we'll be annoyed about but would have screamed for if it was the other way.  

From there I thought for a while we would hang on, as they were still short of ideas.  I remember thinking their 2nd goal was a thing of beauty at the time, a great ball from Barkley, a perfect cross from 'Dave' as they call him in the West Stand and Werner in the right place.  Hands up, no arguments or blame.  From then it was hard for us.  Their 3rd goal was extraordinary, need to see it again, but it seemed to hit several bits of wood before a worldie from McCarthy wasn't enough to keep it out.

So a game we played well in, but came away pointless.  As I've said elsewhere, I focus more on performances than results at this stage of the season and ours was pretty good.  We were set up well, and differently in both halves, showed lots of good things on the pitch, including leadership, aggression and commitment.  We imposed ourselves on the second half and, without the red, could well have won, and would probably have drawn.  I always get a bit miserable when we lose, but there was much to be happy about today.  We're obviously still a little short creatively (as well as being a little short on height!) but in pretty good order.

I think everyone played pretty well, with standout performances from McCarthy, Salisu, KWP and Redmond; although having said that Bednarek, JWP and Romeu weren't far behind and Tella played well (I realise that's nearly everyone!!).

I'm imagining the usual suspects will be wanting Ralph out.  To me, based on today, that is complete nonsense.  The team had clear identity (two actually, one each half) was well-set up, and the players were fully committed and motivated. They also showed good leadership and aggression. The selection was good, the subs were right (though the latter two couldn't do much given the situation) and so I think criticism based on today is misplaced.  It's the European Champions away and we had the upper hand at 1-1; I've no complaints.

Redmond is the other piñata at the moment and I thought he played really well.  He went looking for the ball all the time and was direct and skilful.  I see why Ralph will always pick him for these sort of games.  He combined well with KWP and Tella and I think was only subbed because of cramp.

That was a good read. I’m pretty negative on here, particularly during a game I know. I get frustrated easily when watching. I have a stressful job so I want to relax and enjoy my team playing well and winning so obviously that’s where the frustration stems from.

I'm usually more pragmatic after the game so it’s good to read the balanced view of someone actually at the game.

Edited by OttawaSaint
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Looking at Chelsea's first goal Saints had 11 players defending in the penalty area but still left a free header at the far post by a Chelsea defender. Armstrong standing in the "D" marking nobody would have been be better placed standing on the halfway line occupying some defenders there while also being available for a quick break.

image.png.55c17f1faeaeb7a8e1b677d68f7be3a4.png

Edited by obelisk
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3 hours ago, Matthew Le God said:

1) That is the formation we played in the 2nd half today when Diallo came on and vs West Ham. Man Utd and Man City hardly played straight through our team so it isn't as bad as you make out.

2) Romeu is the vice captain.

1) We haven’t won any of our first 7 games, so maybe we could be doing something different, and the balance of our midfield seems to not be working in my eyes. We often end up with Romeu on the ball near the opponents box, which isn’t his strength. That and the gaps between the wide/attacking midfielders and JWP and Romeu has been frightening at times.

2) factually correct, but that doesn’t equate to him being a leader/organiser. He leads by example, but not in the same way JWP and Stephens do in terms of vocal leadership on the pitch 

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Having now seen the Red card - it’s hard to give any defence, black boots with a red sole: studs up through the back - slick pitch doesn’t help.

Ah well nothing new - the slice of toast has land butter side up sooner or later, because it’s not as if we are totally crap.

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12 minutes ago, obelisk said:

Looking at Chelsea's first goal Saints had 11 players defending in the penalty area but still left a free header at the far post by a Chelsea defender. Armstrong standing in the "D" marking nobody would have been be better placed standing on the halfway line occupying some defenders there while also being available for a quick break.

image.png.55c17f1faeaeb7a8e1b677d68f7be3a4.png

Criminal that JWP is in the middle of the goal with 2 behind him. Where’s Tino? Is that him jumping with the Chelsea player on the left edge of the 6 yard box?

Edited by OttawaSaint
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I’ve just seen MOTD. McCarthy got caught a couple of times by being too close to his line. The disallowed Werner goal he started to come for the cross and then retreated to his line. For their third he was a couple of feet too close to his line.

I think the red card was harsh especially in those conditions. We had been told that VAR would not lead to re-refereeing of the game but this has happened a lot. 

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56 minutes ago, obelisk said:

Looking at Chelsea's first goal Saints had 11 players defending in the penalty area but still left a free header at the far post by a Chelsea defender. Armstrong standing in the "D" marking nobody would have been be better placed standing on the halfway line occupying some defenders there while also being available for a quick break.

image.png.55c17f1faeaeb7a8e1b677d68f7be3a4.png

 

44 minutes ago, OttawaSaint said:

Where’s Tino? Is that him jumping with the Chelsea player on the left edge of the 6 yard box?

Yep... Somewhat bizarre position for a right-back to adopt at a corner kick?! #headscratcher

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10 minutes ago, Whitey Grandad said:

I’ve just seen MOTD...

I think the red card was harsh especially in those conditions

Just watched it too. On reflection, I think it was just about the right decision. I don't think we'd have been questioning the decision if that had been them on us. 

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5 hours ago, Matthew Le God said:

Only those who are unware of the rules of the sport! They make it pretty clear you can't obstruct the keeper's view whilst standing in an offside position, which is what clearly happened.

At risk of upsetting you there no "Rules of the sport". There are however "Laws of the game", I assume that is what you were referring to? 

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27 minutes ago, Whitey Grandad said:

Not without falling asleep.

That screams "I have never watched a game of League" if I'm honest. Union is incredibly pedestrian compared to League in my opinion as the latter doesn't have long periods where players are kicking the ball from end to end. I guess that is why 4 tries in union is considered worthy of a bonus point whereas in league it's considered a disappointment! :) 

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18 minutes ago, trousers said:

Just watched it too. On reflection, I think it was just about the right decision. I don't think we'd have been questioning the decision if that had been them on us. 

Have to say I think it was very harsh, the ref had already given a yellow, maybe he could have given a red, some refs would have, some wouldn't.  The issue I have is that var is supposed to be there to correct glaring errors, a yellow in this situation wasn't a glaring error so should have stood.  This smacks of Dean looking at it, deciding he would have given a red and telling the ref he should too, the bloke is either incompetent or corrupt, either way he shouldn't be involved in officiating any football matches

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24 minutes ago, Millbrook Saint said:

Have to say I think it was very harsh, the ref had already given a yellow, maybe he could have given a red, some refs would have, some wouldn't.  The issue I have is that var is supposed to be there to correct glaring errors, a yellow in this situation wasn't a glaring error so should have stood.  This smacks of Dean looking at it, deciding he would have given a red and telling the ref he should too, the bloke is either incompetent or corrupt, either way he shouldn't be involved in officiating any football matches

That’s my view too. If Atkinson had given the red straight away I wouldn’t have complained but having someone else looking over his shoulder and marking his work is an intrusion too far.

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35 minutes ago, Millbrook Saint said:

The issue I have is that var is supposed to be there to correct glaring errors, a yellow in this situation wasn't a glaring error so should have stood.

Actually, yep, fair point. The question VAR should be asking is: "was giving a yellow a reasonable reaction by the ref based on what he saw?" rather than:  "was that a red card tackle?". Still very much a borderline decision IMO, but agree that Dean was probably asking himself the latter question rather than the former. 

Edited by trousers
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12 minutes ago, Whitey Grandad said:

That’s my view too. If Atkinson had given the red straight away I wouldn’t have complained but having someone else looking over his shoulder and marking his work is an intrusion too far.

Not only that, when he was looking at the monitor they played it back frame by frame rather than at normal speed, removing any context of the tackle, you can't tell how hard he hit him like that, all you see is the frame his foot touches him, he could have smashed into him, or just lightly tapped, you can't tell the difference like that, my opinion is the same Dean is either incompetent or biased

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  • Lighthouse changed the title to Chelsea 3-1 Saints - Match Thread
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