Thursday, April 25, 2024

Chelsea´s drop in form welcomed by Hasenhuttl: ´It´s good to see the big teams struggle sometimes´

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Apr 2022


Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says it is a good thing to see a heavyweight club like Chelsea go through a rough patch as the two sides prepare to meet this weekend.

The Blues have lost back-to-back home games over the past week, going down 4-1 to Brentford in the Premier League and 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

It is only the second time Chelsea have lost successive matches in all competitions this term, while never before under Thomas Tuchel have they lost two league games in a row. 

Indeed, Tuchel – appointed by the west London side in January 2021 – has managed the most matches without losing consecutive games in the history of the competition (48).

Despite Chelsea’s recent wobble, however, Hasenhuttl is expecting the visitors to be on top of their game at St Mary’s on Saturday.

“It’s a good thing to see that the big teams are struggling sometimes. The bad thing is that this doesn’t happen very often,” he said at Thursday’s pre-match news conference.

“So, as I know them and how they work, he’ll definitely be critical with them and will try to show a reaction.

“I always expect the most difficult opponent, even if they win this game 3-0 and have the next leg on Tuesday against Madrid.

“I know Saturday’s game is very important for them also, and a Premier League game for Chelsea is always important against us, especially because it’s not easy coming here.

“I think it will be a tough game, tough fight and we will try to make it as tough for them as possible.”

Karim Benzema netted a hat-trick in Madrid’s victory, becoming the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017 to score consecutive Champions League knockout-game trebles.

Asked what he learned from Madrid’s midweek win at Stamford Bridge, Hasenhuttl joked: “That you need a player like Benzema to win against them! 

“This is what we have learned. I think those who saw the game saw a very, very good Real Madrid side. Surprisingly good, I must say, that they played in this way.

“First half the way Chelsea played is not good enough for the Champions League. Thomas knows this.

“It is interesting also such a team also looked like they were affected by the home loss to Brentford. You could feel it. They were not so confident with everything they did.”

Chelsea have lost just one of their 13 Premier League games at St Mary’s and are unbeaten in their last eight visits since a 2-1 loss in March 2013.


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