Southampton went into the weekend's action on the back of an embarrassing 4-1 home defeat to Claude Puel's Leicester City, and were eager to get back to winning ways even though the champions were provided as the next opposition for Mauricio Pellegrino's squad.
A number of changes were made by the Saints boss, who dropped both Virgil van Dijk and Charlie Austin to the bench, in place of Jack Stephens and Manolo Gabbiadini. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg also came into the starting eleven after missing out in the midweek action.
It only took a first-half stoppage time free-kick from Chelsea's Marcos Alonso to make the difference, but despite another strong and characteristic performance, Southampton remain in the bottom half having missed the chance to pick up any points.
Midfielder James Ward-Prowse has reacted to the game, following the full-time whistle.
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“It was an important reaction to Wednesday night''
The midweek loss to Leicester was nothing short of humiliating for the Saints who haven't enjoyed the best of runs in recent weeks, albeit they have come up against some of the Premier League's toughest outfits, including table toppers and runaway leaders Manchester City.
Pellegrino's narrow 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday has done a lot of gratitude to his side's performance and Ward-Prowse reflects on that, saying: ''Today the most important thing was the character we showed after a disappointing result in midweek.''
Despite the Saints conceding a late goal in the first-half, the 23-year-old says there was still plenty of confidence in the team during the internal; “There was a real belief in the changing room at half-time that we were still in the game''.
Although, Ward-Prowse does admit it was frustrating not to hold out a goalless score line going into half-time, having conceded moments before the break; “It’s a killer time to concede a goal, right on the stroke of half-time''. However, he states positivity remains within the first-team, ''we showed in the second half that we kept our spirits high.''
Southampton have slipped down a place into 12th in the Premier League table and the gap between themselves and the drop zone has been squeezed to just three points. Pellegrino's men can look ahead to their next fixture, against Huddersfield Town at St. Mary's in a week's time.