Chelsea 0-0 Southampton: New year, new entertaining Chelsea, we can dream right? Wrong.

Us : Giroud left the ground on crutches on Saturday, which adds to our striker woes considerably. No choice but to start with Morata up f...

Us: Giroud left the ground on crutches on Saturday, which adds to our striker woes considerably. No choice but to start with Morata up front, with Pedro Pony absent Barkley retained a place in the starting lineup and other than that it’s what you’d expect. Loftus-Cheek fit enough to take to the bench after a twinge.

Them: Happy Charlie Austin day girls. Only it wasn’t because he was on the bench. Swines.

Angus Gunn called into action whilst we were still debating if his dad played for Norwich or not. (Apparently yes) Southampton began by playing a 5-5 formation. We need to take a team apart to keep up with goal difference and to rouse the place a bit, for there have been a lot of results ground out of late. 75% possession and a smattering of attempts yielded nothing in the opening ten minutes. So I was not confident. Hazard played it in on 12 but Gunn beat him to it. We looked positive but there was no sustained momentum as yet.

In fact as the next ten minutes wore on we descended into more of that interminable dicking around on the edge of the box and sloppy giving the ball away that bored us all to tears against Palace. Downwards we sank into a Pulisesque mire of bland, joy-sucking fare.

In on 24 but Willian’s effort was blocked, chip across the box by Morata on 27 but not a single blue was storming into the box to meet it. Every relegation fodder team in the league’s team talk pre-Chelsea is: “just don’t concede and they’ll a*se it up and give us a chance eventually.” They then spend the rest of the build up eating all the Milky Way Celebrations and Quality Street toffee pennies that nobody wanted over Xmas. On this note, f*ck eHarmony. Everyone’s suitability should be measured using a box of Celebrations. If you marry someone whose going to insist on eating all the Malteser ones first then your relationship isn’t going to last. Find someone who likes the Milky Ways, or is at least willing to eat them so you don’t have to. That’ll be true love.

29 Morata scythed down. How we could play advantage when our striker was lying on the floor dying and we were supposed to be attacking, only Jonathon Moss can tell you. Hazard had the skill to get a corner out of it but as usual we didn’t clear the first man.

Best chance yet on 32. High ball brought down well by Morata but his shot was over. Willian was off five minutes later - he didn’t look like he wanted to be out there at all to be honest. Our only remotely-capable-of-attacking options on the bench tonight were Cesc or Ruben, and we got the latter, who immediately tried to inject some pace into proceedings.

Finally we looked like we might score, or at least add a second shot on target on 39, but some bloke called Valery deflected it wide. A corner on 41. We cheered like Gooners. Eden cleared several men, but the final attempt from Alonso was tame and knocked out.

I chose today to ban myself from eating junk, in fact from eating anything after 6pm because a bellend in Chicago who shall remain nameless (let’s call him Budget Robert Downey Jr) convinced me it was a good idea. Wrong night. I sat there at half time gnawing miserably on my own fist after that display. Some other moron who shall remain nameless (Mowgli) reckons I should try and be more positive in 2019. Says the bloke who stayed at home with his cat tonight instead of sitting through that. Here goes: Morata was only offside once.

I feel much better now, she lied.

The game had given us nothing to talk about, so we reminisced about sweets gone by, like 
Marathons, Opal Fruits and marvelled at how long it has been since Boycie last ate a chomp. 

We bounced out for the second half, presumably to get away from the cloud of second hand smoke that hangs over Sarri in the dressing room. Change at the break for them. The little rodent that is Shane Long. Not that I’m bitter that they didn’t bring on Austin.

We put a ball into the box on 50. It went sailing over everybody. But let’s be f*cking positive, eh Mowgli? At least it was a start. We also crossed the halfway line. We played several consecutive balls forward instead of back to Kepa. Let’s all do f*cking jazz hands. This positive mentality stuff is sh*t. I gave it a go, for a whole half an hour, but it’s doing nothing for my emotional well-being. It’s making me f*cking angry that I’m not supposed to be negative. How do people live like this? They’ll be the same happy-clappy b*stards that claim to have inner peace then complain loudly about there being no vegan menu in a restaurant. Do you know where you can find vegan food? In a vegan f*cking restaurant. Why don’t you go there and sit with the other three? Here’s a thought - if being vegan is so cool why does all their food impersonate nice food they can’t eat? Like sausage rolls? 

This game was worse than watching Michael Owen recite War and Peace. I’d not been so f*cking bored since, well Saturday at Palace, or Budapest. Finally we forced a save on 59 but the next few minutes were all Southampton. If only the team could show the same desperation to get stuck in as the back of the Shed Upper trying to get us singing. 65 and we had a shot on target. Be still my heart. One option left on the bench to try and improve this and that was Cesc. Off went Ross. Just what we need, a bit of pace, quipped Boycie. At least he might try and out the ball in the box, we prayed. Then wait for it, wait for it, we scored. But Morata was offside. Leading offside goal scorer in the world. Probably. Positive your way out of that one. I f*cking dare you.

Bednarek, pointed out Alf Garnett, runs like newborn Bambi. We still couldn’t get past him. The away side were attempting to bleed all semblance of football out of the tie now, fully indulged by (Refwatch:) Jonathan Moss. Happy new year to you too PGMOL, you b*stards. Manages to make everyone in a half mile radius no matter their allegiance want to dig out his spleen with a rusty ice cream scoop. 77 the ball was here from Cesc. Ruben went storming towards goal and played in Morata. Should he have had a go himself? Irrelevant, as was the rest of the evening, as the actual attempt was saved by Gunn.

Shocking time-wasting. I could have negotiated Brexit single f*cking handedly in the time it took Cedric to drag himself off the pitch. Then his instant resurrection was on a f*cking par with Christ himself.

Suddenly we were playing with urgency. Where had this been for the last 85 minutes? Four paltry minutes added on. Cedric p*ssed that away on his own. There were chances to win it. Ruben to Hazard then Alonso with the shot but it was over the bar; a penalty shout that Moss never even considered in injury time. Off the line at the last. The sad Justin Bieber song they stuck on at the final whistle summed up the tragedy of my evening and guaranteed that I will never, ever be f*cking positive about anything, ever again.

So: Two home games without scoring. People are talking about Dry January. You’ll have to give up attending football for the time being. If I couldn’t go and suck down gin after sitting through performances like that I’d end up in a padded cell. To be honest there’s a lot of turgid sh*t throughout the league at the moment after a busy festive season. Unless you’re the Red Scouse and you get given three non-penalties in every game to help you on your way. But heavy legs was no excuse to be dropping points tonight. Southampton were pretty woeful, but we were no better. Right now winning the Europa League looks by far the most likely route into the Champions League next season, because we utterly lack any kind of consistency that will see us finish in the top four. On tonight’s showing I’m not even sure we’ll get past Malmo. 

AC - A Girl Who Likes Balls

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