Chelsea suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. The result pushed them further away from European football, let alone the top four, while the pressure on Graham Potter is now at its peak.

James Ward-Prowse scored his 17th free-kick in the competition to seal all three points for the Saints. The midfielder is now just one behind the legendary David Beckham, who has 18.

Following the game, former Arsenal player Paul Merson was not impressed with how the Blues performed. He singled out Mason Mount, saying he was disappointed with the midfielder:

“I don’t see this [Chelsea’s poor form] stopping, I don’t. They’ve bought a lorry load of individuals, I’m afraid. They’ve not bought anybody for the team, it’s all dribblers.

“Forget Enzo Fernandez, he’s a top player, he’s a holding midfield player but the others. … [Mason] Mount played today and got eaten up. People were dribbling, there was no phases of the game, it’s only when [Kai] Havertz came on and he started playing with [Joao] Felix and [Raheem] Sterling that there were passages of play.”

Merson raised questions about Chelsea’s true quality after they failed to beat a team languishing at the bottom of the league on their own patch, saying:

“Chelsea fans will be fuming, they won’t want to come for this, ‘Oh Southampton have got a new manager so that helped them.’

“If you don’t beat Southampton at home, their goalkeeper should be the best player on the pitch and he wasn’t the best player on the pitch.”

Despite splashing the cash in the January transfer window, the Blues did not address key areas of the squad that needed bolstering, instead spending big money on multiple wide players.

Chelsea have had a worrisome record under Potter

In 2023, the Blues have played 10 games across competitions but have only registered one win — a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace. They have drawn four games, including two goalless draws, and suffered five defeats.

In something very uncharacteristic of a Chelsea team, they have scored a mere four goals over the course of these games. Despite adding the likes of Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueke, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Blues have failed to hit the ground running in most of their games.

All the pressure will be on the manager as he is expected to produce a quick solution and get some wins under his belt.

The Blues will make a short trip to North London to face Tottenham in their next league game on February 26.