Tuchel has Mount to thank for draw at Southampton - but where are Chelsea's match-winners?

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Mason Mount Tammy Abraham Timo Werner Chelsea Southampton GFX
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The much-maligned midfielder stepped up to the mark in Saturday's 1-1 draw at St Mary's but none of his fellow attackers followed suit

Southampton 1-1 Chelsea: Match statistics

Thomas Tuchel must be so thankful for Mason Mount.

The much-maligned midfielder won and scored the penalty which earned Chelsea a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Saturday afternoon, underlining why he has quickly become one of the new Chelsea manager's most trusted lieutenants. 

However, Mount's contribution wasn't enough to secure three precious points for the Blues in their bid for a top-four finish. He stepped up but none of his more vaunted or expensive team-mates followed suit, meaning Chelsea failed to capitalise on their 71 per cent share of possession.

Consequently, fans are entitled to ask the question: where are all Chelsea's supposed match-winners?

The game at St Mary's should temper some of the unrealistic expectations suddenly surrounding Stamford Bridge. Chelsea aren't suddenly on an unstoppable ascent towards the summit of the Premier League table just because they replaced Frank Lampard with Tuchel in late-January. 

There are still issues to resolve, as Takumi Minamino underlined when he pierced a hole in the Blues' reinforced armour by opening the scoring 33 minutes in with a cheeky finish after leaving Cesar Azpilicueta and Edouard Mendy on their backsides with clever feints.

The goal may have come against the run of play but it was an undeniable example of how a high-pressing team can hurt Chelsea, particularly when they switch off for a split-second at the back and in midfield, as they are still prone to do.

Still, the dropped points owed more to a lack of fluidity in attack than carelessness in defence. Tuchel is well aware of their attacking issues but while he has Chelsea conceding fewer goals, he is still trying to work out how to get them scoring more.

The stable base has been provided by a 3-4-3 system that sometimes operates in a 3-4-1-2 shape. The net result is that Chelsea have become more difficult to break down. Their goals conceded average has plummeted from 1.2 per game to 0.3.

Takumi Minamino Southampton vs Chelsea Premier League 2020-21

It has come at a small cost, though, as Chelsea are now averaging 1.3 goals per game, as opposed to 1.7 under Lampard. The lack of spark in attack could simply be down to relying on young wingers and playmakers, as well as Timo Werner's struggles.

In fairness, Werner looks to be on the road to recovery after a few good displays in a row but Chelsea still want far more from their £47.5 million ($67m) striker.

Hakim Ziyech has also been struggling for form since his return from injury during the winter, while Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz still can't be relied upon due to their own fitness issues.

Consequently, Tuchel is now depending on the same player that Lampard was accused of favouring too much: Mount. And why not? The 22-year-old is becoming a leader at Chelsea. He offers consistency, both in terms of his form and his fitness. How many of his team-mates could say the same?

Mount was involved in everything good Chelsea did at Southampton and it was he who looked most likely to score or create a winning goal for the visitors.

Indeed, nobody else even looked remotely capable of making something, much to the frustration of Tuchel, who showed his ruthlessness in the second half by replacing Hudson-Odoi 30 minutes after bringing him on.

The 20-year-old, who was visibly upset by his withdrawal, wasn't the only player to displease Tuchel either, as Abraham had been hauled off for Hudson-Odoi at the break.

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The obvious conclusion was that Tuchel can rely on Mount, but few others. Remarkably, after spending millions on new attackers during the summer, Chelsea are still looking for their new Eden Hazard, the kind of talent that can break down the meanest of defences.

Chelsea's lack of match-winners cost them two points at Southampton. It could prove even more costly in the coming weeks, with Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United up next for the Blues. 

Tuchel knows that Mount will deliver in those games. What he needs, though, is for one or two of Werner, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech and Havertz to do likewise. 

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