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5 Things Learned: Chelsea 1-1 (4-3 pens) Southampton | Carabao Cup

Chelsea are through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after beating Southampton 4-3 on penalties.

The first half saw both sides create very few clear cut chances. On the stroke of halftime, Kai Havertz headed Chelsea in front.

In the final forty-five, Southampton equalised through Che Adams to force to game to a penalty shootout. The Saints missed two of their spot-kicks with Reece James scoring the decisive penalty. 

Reece James scored the winning penalty to send Chelsea through.

Reece James scored the winning penalty to send Chelsea through.

Here are five things we learned from Chelsea's win:

1) Hakim Ziyech failed to take his opportunity

In the cup competition, managers tend to rotate the squad and give chances to players who may not have featured regularly. Against Southampton, Hakim Ziyech was given the nod for the Blues. So far, this season, Ziyech has failed to hold down a regular place in the starting eleven. In his chance to shine, Hakim Ziyech failed to do just that. Throughout the game, the Morrocan looked like a mere passenger and was unable to take the game by the scruff of the neck when he was needed.

2) Saul looking sharper but not there just yet

After arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid, Saul has found it difficult to get into Thomas Tuchel's starting eleven. Since joining the Blues, Tuchel has questioned Saul's fitness. The Spanish international was given the nod in midfield against Southampton. In his first few games for the Blues, Saul has failed to catch the eye of the Chelsea faithful. However, against Southampton, he looked a bit sharper. It's evident that he's nearing full fitness and is starting to adapt to his new surroundings. Throughout the game, Saul was consistent and did everything required at the heart of the midfield.

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Kai Havertz netted Chelsea's only goal in normal time.

Kai Havertz netted Chelsea's only goal in normal time.

3) Callum Hudson-Odoi showing his versatility when the Blues needed it

Going into the cup clash with Southampton, it was confirmed that the Blues were going to be without Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen. Therefore, Tuchel decided to start Reece James as a right centre back, rather than his favoured wingback position. At wingback, Callum Hudson-Odoi featured for the Blues. After playing out wide in the league win over Norwich, Hudson-Odoi was required to drop back and help the backline out against the Saints. Going forward, this season, it's a certainty that the Blues will have more injuries to the defence. Therefore, Tuchel will be grateful that he has a player like Hudson-Odoi who can drop back and help out when needed.

4) The performance was far from convincing 

In the cup clash with Southampton, it was inevitable that Thomas Tuchel was going to make several changes. The likes of Ross Barkley, Marcos Alonso, Hakim Ziyech and Saul all started for Chelsea. With that being said, with the way the Blues have been playing this season, any team fielded would be capable of getting the job done. Regretfully, the display against Southampton was completely below par. The eleven fielded against the Saints were poor. It was difficult to name a real stand out performer. 

It's fair to say that it wasn't all plain sailing against the Saints.

It's fair to say that it wasn't all plain sailing against the Saints.

5) Kepa making up for his mistake

In the game against Southampton, Edouard Mendy was given a rest. That meant that Kepa Arrizabalaga had the chance to impress Thomas Tuchel in the cup clash. The keeper didn't have much to do in the first half. However, the Spaniard was tested dearly in the final forty-five. It's fair to say that the equalising goal was Kepa's fault. A shot on goal was fumbled by Kepa which allowed Che Adams to score his first of the season. However, after the mistake, Kepa pulled off some heroic saves. In added time, the Saints had several, corners. Kepa came to Chelsea's rescue to force extra time in what was a mixed display from the Spaniard. 

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