Chelsea’s fall in form welcomed by Hasenhuttl: ‘It’s good to see the big teams fight sometimes’

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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says it’s a good thing to see a heavyweight club like Chelsea go through a tough game 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.

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

In fact, Tuchel – designated by West London in January 2021 – has managed the most matches without losing consecutive matches in the history of the competition (48).

Despite Chelsea’s recent twists and turns, however, Hasenhuttl expects the visitors to be at the top of their game at St Mary’s on Saturday.

“It’s a good thing to see that the big teams sometimes fight. The bad thing is that it does not happen very often, “he said at Thursday’s press conference before the match.

“So, since I know them and how they work, he will definitely be critical of them and try to show a reaction.

“I always expect the toughest opponent, even if they win this match 3-0 and have the next match on Tuesday against Madrid.

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

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

Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick in Madrid’s victory and became the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017 to score triples in Champions League knockout matches in a row.

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 watched the match saw a very, very good Real Madrid team. Surprisingly well, I have to say they played this way.

“The first half of the way Chelsea played is not good enough for the Champions League. Thomas knows that.

“It’s interesting, even such a team also looked like they were affected by the home loss in Brentford. You could feel it. They were not so sure of everything they did. “

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

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