Neither Ross Barkley, who was making his first start of the season, nor Hakim Ziyech had an impact on the game before being hung 25 minutes from time, although Ziyech created the opening goal when his corner kicked off. was headed home by Kai Havertz at the stroke of halftime. -time.
Barkley looked rusty and short on fitness, while Ziyech’s inconsistent display seemed to frustrate Tuchel, who often waved the Moroccan into different positions in a quick and often end-to-end contest, which s ‘finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. .
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Saul Niguez, who was only making his fourth appearance at Chelsea, showed more quality bursts, although both will likely remain on the sidelines of the first team when Premier League and Champions League football will resume this weekend and the next week.
Hudson-Odoi could be confident being among the scorers there with Reece James scoring the winning penalty, just as he did in the last round against Aston Villa.
Young center-half Malang Sarr also had a rough night and lost Kyle Walker-Peters to Southampton’s equalizer by Che Adams immediately after the restart.
A quarter-final in December will give Tuchel’s fringe players another chance to impress ahead of the busy festive schedule, but on this evidence Barkley, Ziyech and Saul are unlikely to show up against Newcastle this weekend.
Chelsea have more reasons than most clubs to keep their goalkeeper happy and involved, with No.1 Edouard Mendy set to leave for the Africa Cup of Nations in January potentially ruling out the Senegalese for up to eight matches. .
The world’s most expensive goalkeeper will replace in the new year and Kepa Arrizabalaga showed his best and worst sides in a memorable display against the Saints.
The Spaniard was responsible for leveling the visitors when he allowed Walker-Peters’ shot to ricochet off his leg and down the path of Adams, who couldn’t miss a yard. Still, he made amends with a string of fine saves in an action-packed second half, including two header saves from Lyanco Vojnovic and Mohammed Salisu.
For the third time this season, he’s been the hero on penalties, saving from Theo Walcott and psyche Will Smallbone, who soared above the bar after Kepa appeared to have words with the substitute.
It followed similar exploits against Villa in the third round, when Chelsea also won 4-3 here on penalties after a 1-1 draw, and in the Super Cup, when he came off the bench just minutes away. of late and saved two Villarreal. efforts in the shooting.
Havertz missed a goal in Norwich’s 7-0 demolition this weekend despite Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner coming in in the middle, but the German delivered here with a clinical header.
Havertz had already come close twice and demonstrated his skills with relentless effort – one with his right foot, the other with his left – before rising above two Saints players and his teammate Sarr for nodding in the corner of Ziyech.
It was the German’s second goal in three games and it was part of a lively performance, during which he also came close in the second half.
His confidence seems to be returning and just at the right time for Chelsea, with Lukaku and Werner out for an unknown period.
Havertz still looks far from his best, as evidenced by his head-to-head second-half clash, but it was an encouraging display nonetheless.