Chelsea are officially in crisis! Winners & losers as Graham Potter feels the heat after disastrous defeat to Southampton

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Things went from bad to worse for under-fire Chelsea boss Graham Potter as the Blues slumped to a dire defeat to Premier League strugglers Southampton

If Graham Potter wasn't already feeling the pressure, he will be shouldering the weight of the world after his Chelsea side slumped to a 1-0 home defeat to the Premier League's bottom club Southampton on Saturday.

James Ward-Prowse's free-kick was the difference, as he curled home in trademark style just before half-time. Despite having plenty of time to at least draw level, Chelsea simply could not find an answer.

The hosts began sluggishly and would have been behind inside three minutes if it wasn't for a smart double save from Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Southampton capitalised on their impressive start as set-piece wizard Ward-Prowse ruthlessly punished a naive foul from Cesar Azpilicueta right on the edge of his own box - a cardinal sin when the Southampton skipper is about.

Chelsea launched a second-half onslaught, led by substitute Raheem Sterling, but they were denied by a combination of incredible last-ditch defending and excellent goalkeeping.

Despite being rock bottom, the Saints have now done the double over the Blues this season. It's a defeat that thrusts Chelsea into full on crisis mode, and it remains to be seen whether Potter can weather the storm.

GOAL breaks down the winners and losers from Stamford Bridge...

  1. WINNER: Ruben Selles
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    WINNER: Ruben Selles

    The Southampton caretaker manager has already made it pretty clear he wants the job on a full-time basis, and he did his chances no harm here.

    Wearing a suit - albeit ill-fitting - with a turtle neck underneath, he certainly looked the part as he prowled the touchline.

    However, this was an all-round performance that suggested he isn't simply masquerading as a first-team coach. His players put their bodies on the line, with some incredible last-ditch defending ensuring the Saints left Stamford Bridge with all three points.

    With the game drawing to a close, the away end was singing his name. Keep getting results like this and he'll quickly become a fan favourite.

  2. LOSER: Graham Potter
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    LOSER: Graham Potter

    Potter would have earmarked this match as a turning point for his struggling side; a home game against the Premier League's bottom club, with more players being welcomed back from injury and his raft of new signings available, too. It was perfectly set up.

    Ninety minutes later and the head coach and his players have been humiliated by Southampton, outplayed for long periods, disjointed and blunt in attack - as has been the case in each of their last five matches in all competitions.

    Resting the likes of Reece James and Thiago Silva will be called into question, but Chelsea have hardly been fluent when those key players have started.

    The club's owners have been consistent in their message that Potter will be given time to turn their fortunes around and implement his ideas to the fullest extent, but with grumbles growing louder among the fanbase - with sections of the home support booing at the full-time whistle - it remains to be seen whether they stand by their word.

  3. WINNER: Raheem Sterling
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    WINNER: Raheem Sterling

    Sterling's Chelsea career has stuttered and spluttered to this point, but he came off the bench at half-time with renewed vigour and verve.

    He was the catalyst for his side's best attacks in the second half and was desperately unlucky to not score at least once as Southampton's defenders twice denied him from on or close to the goal line.

    Chelsea's raft of new attacking players have stolen the headlines, but this was a timely reminder of Sterling's ability. On this form, he simply has to start in what looks like a must-win London derby against Tottenham next Sunday.

  4. LOSER: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
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    LOSER: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    There's something Potter isn't telling us.

    With Chelsea in dire need of goals and having praised the striker's "professionalism" and "attitude" ahead of the game, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was once again left out of the squad altogether at Stamford Bridge.

    David Datro Fofana was thrown in from the start, and although he worked hard, he struggled against Southampton's usually leaky backline.

    You can't help but feel Chelsea could have done with the experience and nous of a proven Premier League goalscorer - even if it was off the bench.

  5. WINNER: Romeo Lavia
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    WINNER: Romeo Lavia

    There's absolutely no wonder this guy is among Chelsea's midfield targets - albeit an outside bet.

    Up against Enzo Fernandez in the middle of the park - who cost 10 times more than him - Lavia was outstanding, passing confidently and never wasting an opportunity to carry the ball into space.

    If this was his Stamford Bridge audition, he passed it with flying colours - although he didn't endear himself to the fans with some pretty blatant time-wasting.