Chelsea took a 15-minute lead in the Carabao Cup to beat Premier League side Southampton on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Reece James scored a major goal for the team leaders as Theo Walcott and Will Smallbone didn’t block their minds and efforts for the Saints. Both teams made changes for the season after the Covid-19 guidelines were eased, Chelsea has signed six different players since the 7-0 Premier League win over Norwich over the weekend, and nine have entered for the visitors.
The visitors adjusted to their teammates and took the lead a minute before half-time when Kai Havertz took the lead in his corner to score his third goal of the season.
However, Southampton responded two minutes after the start when Che Adams came in from close range after Kepa knocked out Kyle Walker-Peters.
Chelsea’s goal keeps the game alive so that the game can move quickly from one end to the other.
Fraser Forster prevented visitors from returning to the route when he got into James’ car after a minibus, and Shane Long was depicted running away from the visitors.
A minor hamstring injury did little to return to the first team after nine months of an anterior cruciate ligament injury for the winner, but Kepa saved his head just in time, then scored two fine stops and intercepted to deny a Lyanco and Mohammed Salisu.
It shows that Chelsea needs to emerge on top of penalties to keep their lead this year.
Round four will take place on Saturday at 10:30 am WIB.
“It was a difficult football match,” said Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who revealed that César Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek failed to build on the game, ruining his preparations.
“It was an open fight, a difficult match. We were good at filming, with a lot of characters. Kepa saved one, and it was in vain.
“We are happy we did it because it is a completely new team. A lot of changes have been made.”
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “It was a fun and popular game. We wanted to give them a tough night and we did it, I think. Everyone did a great job.”
The glyph does the job
The Blues have got off to a great start to the season at home and in Europe, beating the Premier League and winning two of their three Champions League games so far.
But as the game progressed faster, manager Tuchel realized he had chosen to give some of the players and those around him a chance.
There was a mixed display from the attendees, Kepa grabbed his attention with two major saves, and twice Saul Niguez stepped forward to open his goal account for the club.
However, Ross Barkley – starting at the start of the season – and Hakim Ziyech were not named and were sidelined with 23 minutes to go.
It was the second time this year in the Premier League that Chelsea needed a penalty to progress by beating Aston Villa 4-3 last season, but they did their job in the end.
Tuchel will see this as a valuable opportunity to learn more about his players as the Blues continue to strive for success in many tournaments.