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Chelsea 1 v 1 Southampton
Carabao Cup
Tuesday, 26th October 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Southampton At Chelsea The Carabao Cup Verdict
Tuesday, 26th Oct 2021 22:14

Saints went out of the Carabao Cup in a penalty shootout, but they came through the came with a fighting spirit and pride that made you proud to be a Southampton fan, we can march on with our heads held high.

Both sides put out vastly changed sides from the weekend and it was the home side who made the early running and it needed a great save from Fraser Forster to keep Saints in it.

It was the same old story for Saints though just before the break, we had got ourselves into the game and looked solid then we got caught on the break and although we got the ball out for a corner Havertz had a free header to put Chelsea ahead on the stroke of half time.

When the teams came out for the second half there weren't many Saints fans with high hope of the second half, surely Chelsea would now swamp an inexperienced Saints side.

But within two minutes of the restart it was the home fans who were silenced, Yan Valery pressed and won the ball, Kyle Walker Peters surged forward and his cross ball was swept home from close range by Che Adams.

Now it was game on and both sides went backwards and forwards, but Chelsea found Lyanco a solid rock in the centre of the Saints defence, he was mobile he was strong and he didn't know when he was beaten, he inspired his team mates both in his performance but verbally as well, I can see Lyanco being the latest cult hero.

If Chelsea did get past the defence and that was mainly from shots rather than carving us open they found Fraser Forster in inspired form, he produced several superb saves and stood strong from start to finish, he looked like the Fraser Forster of old, confident and strong.

But it wasn't just these two it was every player on the pitch, some were not having the run of the ball but they put in a shift and battled hard to make sure Chelsea never got a real grip on the game even when they brought on the big guns late on.

In the final minutes it was Saints who could have won it, Arrizabalaga saved brilliantly twice in quick succession as Saints ended with a flurry of corners, both Lyanco & Salisu were left wondering how he had kept out their attempts.

But it was not to be and in the final minute Fraser Forster had to make a smart save before the referee blew for time.

So to penalties and sadly it was not be our night, Forster saved well from Mason Mount but Theo Walcott and Will Smallbone failed to convert and Saints were out.

But as disappointing as it is there were plenty of plus points from this game, the main one being that we have a squad now who have spirit and fight.

Jan Bednarek and Alex McCarthy must be worried about their place for Watford on Saturday, Forster was magnificent and Lyanco was the big strong defender we have lacked for a long while, if he can repeat displays like this in the Premier League , then he will tighten up our back four.

All in all as I said in the Preview, a couple of years ago I would have said the League cup was our best chance for Europe, but with Manchester City winning it 5 times of the last 6, that has now changed.

We should be proud of our team tonight, no one and i mean no one let us down tonight, they played for the club they played for the manager and they played for pride, we may still be short in a few things but we don't lack spirit, this can see us through.

Photo: Action Images

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dirk_doone added 22:27 - Oct 26
"We should be proud of our team tonight" I agree until Walcott came on. The only time he touched the ball was to miss his penalty. Forster is a top class Premier League goalkeeper, whereas McCarthy is about League One standard. Unfortunately, Ralph will keep playing Walcott and McCarthy, which must be demoralisng for the other players and it's going to cost us a lot of points.

I like Ralph, He motivates the players and gets the best out of them but it's such a pity he has blind spots where team selection is concerned.

saintmark1976 added 22:37 - Oct 26
Ralph finds a new method of coming away with nothing after a good performance in normal time. On this occasion by allowing an out of form Walcott to take a penalty which to nobody’s surprise he duly misses, thus heaping pressure on Smallbone, a young guy who hasn’t played a competitive game for months.

Sadoldgit added 22:42 - Oct 26
After that performance tonight I would be quite happy for Lyanco to replace Bednarek on Saturday. Can’t fault the commitment tonight and it’s a shame the pressure didn’t pay off at the end. With an important game coming up perhaps it was best that we didn’t play another 30 minutes but we could well have won it in extra time.

smartjoe added 22:53 - Oct 26
Ralf applied his usual sabotage to the team when he thinks we may win the game.....this time bringing on Walcott. Does the guy never learn from his mistakes?
He is just too proud and stubborn to listen to the fans and follow their advice.
I guess it is a waste of time getting him an assistant as he would always go his own way even though it has been proved time after time that it is a route to disaster.
We are doomed.

KriSaint added 23:00 - Oct 26
Hugely impressed by Lyanco.
What a shame we didn't progress to the quarters. Very well done Saints (minus Walcott).
Bednarek out. Lyanco in. Sorry Jan B, but allowing Cornet to score to 2-2 on saturday, so easily, was it for me.
Heads held high. Bring on bloody Watford.

ElijahK added 23:01 - Oct 26
I do think we put out a great display today, but unfortunately just didn’t take our chances! As much as I do like Ralph, why did he bring on Walcott as he did bugger all and missed his penalty, but other than that I thought he was ok, as Long (surprisingly enough) was actually really decent.

Boris1977 added 23:04 - Oct 26
Good to see Long tuck his penalty away. Hopefully Armstrong putting his away will build a bit of confidence. Still drawing against a second string Chelsea though not a surprise is disappointing

davidargyll added 23:04 - Oct 26
I agree with all your comments except that the only person I thought was completely anonymous was Nathan Tella. I don’t think I ever saw him touch the ball. Lots of people on here have been crying out for him to start. On tonight’s evidence I can’t see him starting again for a while.
Of the rest, Lyanco I think was the best defender in a Saints shirt for many a year. Yan Valery seemed to have taken on a new lease if life. Stuart Armstrong seemed to be lacking zip. Adam Armstrong is fighting more and may yet come good. KWP was really trying hard to get back into a regular spot in the team. But I was proud of them all.
Re the penalties, if a good kick gets saved, that’s the way of it, so no blame attached to us going out on them. However I was surprised to see Will Smallbone so high up the list for one so inexperienced and was not surprised he cocked it up. Surely the likes of Salisu and KWP should have come above him in the kicking order.
But hey ho, it was still a really cracking performance.
The thing about Chelsea though is that they do let you play; but they are very quick and subtle so will tend not be out of possession for long, so It does make for a very entertaining and open game and so it proved tonight.
But surely, on this performance, the “sleep walking into the Championship “ brigade will have less to be concerned about…?

JoeEgg added 03:57 - Oct 27
Once again I repeat we have probably the best squad of players seen at St Marys for many years. I saw Lyanco for the first time since his Torino days and what an improvement! Strangely enough more popular choices like Diallo and Tella were disappointing and I do feel sorry for Theo!! I gather the highest paid Saints player on the field but nothing is going right for the guy! Last night also underlined just how much we miss a fit Danny Ings!
I have always liked Fraser Forster - admittedly he went through a bad patch but keepers often do - surely on last nights performance he deserves to be the Number One keeper?
I have been very critical of Ralph recently having welcomed him initially as a breath of fresh air after the previous Boss. But choosing the best starting eleven looks to have become more difficult than ever with Forster, Lyanco, Walker Peters and Smallbone all be pushing for a start.
The second half was both entertaining and encouraging for Saints. I firmly believe that there is so much more to come from this group of players; We should certainly not be looking at them, as Nick put it just "to see us through", but they should soon be taking us into a comfortable top half of the league position.

EasyToger added 07:08 - Oct 27
I don’t know about anyone else but I’m sick and tired of being the plucky loser.

WestSussexSaint added 07:32 - Oct 27
The EFL cup has been a useful exercise this season for giving those players who aren’t first team regulars a chance to prove why they should be. Elyanoussi and Broja have both taken that route into the PL starting XI this season. It will be interesting to see if the two outstanding performers from last night get a chance. Lyanco may do as Bednarek has been pretty average this season although whether it will be the next game against Watford may be determined by how well he recovers from his first 90 mins since last season. The other is Forster, however the narrative is different for him. I have always thought he is the better keeper compared to McCarthy but with the former out of contract next summer and the latter being offered a new one it is clear McCarthy is the number one. Only a dramatic loss of form or injury to McCarthy will see a change and to be fair his performance level has been pretty good this season. I’m afraid we won’t see Fraser again until the FA cup starts in the new year.

SaintPaulVW added 07:34 - Oct 27
Great performance, faced up to Chelsea and matched them on the pitch.

Can only echo that Lyanco was superb.

Valery - great return. We seem to have gone from famine to feast at fullback.

Roll on Watford



Colburn added 11:28 - Oct 27
Great effort but felt like we weakened the team with the subs soon after pulling level and looking like we were in the ascendancy.. Why Walcott? Apart from helping the youngsters, I can't understand this signing.. And at his wage, a waste of money. Why can all fans see this but not Ralph. Tella seems to have gone backwards after saying how much Walcott has helped him. Not sure what is going on there. Apart from that the new signings over the last two summers have been fantastic. Lyanco in for Saturday! For me after allowing another striker to turn him easily against Burnley, Bednarek needs to be dropped to the bench. There are at least more positive signs than two weeks ago..

schatfield added 13:18 - Oct 27
great game to watch! never mind the walcott/ralph moaners here...

Pleasure to see Lynaco play - really good performance. Likewise Smallbone who could have scored with his first touch. In fact all round, nothing really wrong. You cant fault anyone on penalties - it's the way it goes.

davidargyll added 13:35 - Oct 27
This really is no fun. The Saints put on a fantastic show and suddenly all the anti-Ralph lot (bar one I note) are all hushed.
What is the matter with you all? Run out of things to say? Come on don’t be shy, give your usual amount of utter rubbish and give us a good laugh…!

underweststand added 16:29 - Oct 27
Not often you see a full 90 minute game played at 100mph. Great Cup entertainment.

Glad that I didn't have the vote on Forster or Lyanco as MoM. Both gave 110%.
Lyanco and Salisu is our fourth CB partnership so far this season and it looked very good.
Valery did OK as a makeshift CB, but I have my doubts as a new strategy in League games.
Sadly, Tella didn't make any real impression and Diallo is ....not quite there yet.

Ché Adams finally got off the mark - even if it was tap-in, and Adam A. looked up for it .
Stuart Armstrong beginning to show his best form again and Walker-Peters could have had a shout for penalty when pushed over going into the box.

Penalty shoot-outs are the worst way to get a result (ask Gareth Southgate) and giving preference to recently subbed-on players doesn't work either, (ask Gareth Southgate).

This type of fast, courageous display will be needed v. Watford but I wonder how many of last night's heroes will get a chance on Saturday. ?

saintpete01 added 19:29 - Oct 27
Hi davidargyll

especially for you a good laugh


Saidou added 14:22 - Oct 28
We are a well drilled side you can all see that. We just lack quality. Especially upfront. Keep Ralph.

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