For just about as long as people have been writing about football, player ratings have followed each and every game. Whether it’s letters, numbers, decimals or otherwise a raft of player ratings from a variety of publications seem to follow almost every game.

At Saintsplus we want to do things slightly differently so instead of rating each Saint in the immediate and emotional aftermath of full-time and rushing them up online, we’re taking a more relaxed and in-depth approach.

The rules:

Saintsplus will rewatch the recent game as many times as necessary in order to review each player’s performance as well as pick out any interesting tactical tidbits

- Each player will receive a grade on a sliding scale of A+ to F

- It’s important to note that we do not know the specific tactical instructions given to each player so we will attempt to grade with what we can see

- Each week we’ll choose a few players for our ‘standouts’ section

- Only players who play 15+ minutes in each game will receive a grade so late substitutes will almost always get a N/A

Daily Echo: Werner slots in Chelsea's third goal. Image by: PAWerner slots in Chelsea's third goal. Image by: PA

Last week we highlighted James Ward Prowse and Kyle Walker-Peters in the first extended player ratings while touching on Armando Broja’s recent struggles. Feel free to check back but I’m sure the 1-1 draw has largely been forgotten in the wake of Saturday's 6-0 thumping.

So, let’s get to the present. 6-0. 3-0 after 22 minutes. 4-0 after 31 minutes. Still somehow enough time for Timo Werner to hit both the post and the crossbar before Marco Alonso gave Chelsea the lead in the 8th minute.

A catastrophe from start to finish that only relented when Chelsea decided to take it easy with half an hour left to play.



There aren’t going to be many candidates for this week’s ‘Standouts’ section. In fact, there’s only one: Fraser Forster.

Forster was by no means perfect; he did still pick the ball out of the net six times and could have done better for Alonso’s opener. But he was the difference between 6-0 and something significantly worse.

In total, Forster made eight saves, a number of them rather spectacular ones, starting in the 17th minute when he got a big hand to this close-range effort from Werner that seemed destined for the the roof of the net…

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He then got a few crucial finger-tips to Mason Mount’s tricky deflected shot just prior to half-time…

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Before keeping out Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s deflected header from the ensuing corner with this stupendous piece of goalkeeping as the ball had already seemed to beat him…

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The futility of Forster’s terrific display was best summed up in the 54th minute when Mount tapped home Chelsea’s sixth and final goal of the afternoon following a superb double-save from the Saints keeper; stopping Christian Pulisic’s initial shot before denying Werner a hat-trick with his feet…

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The four Saints players in the vicinity couldn’t help out their goalkeeper though as Mount ghosted in to clean up and make it 6-0.

On a day when Saints players and management were found hiding, Forster was the one active member at St Mary’s who stood up in the face of the Chelsea onslaught. In doing so, he gave Saints a difficult decision.

Out of contract in the summer, there are no real signs to suggest Forster will sign a new deal with Southampton seemingly uninterested in matching his current 90k-per-week wages and the 34-year old likely to feel a pay-cut isn't warranted due to his impressive form.

With Alex Mccarthy signed to an extension, something’s going to have to give but Forster is Saints’ number one goalkeeper on merit and if he goes without a replacement, it will be a downgrade.



It’s more than just a bit harsh to solely focus on Livramento in this section as every single Saints player (other than Forster) could now fall under the ‘Struggling for Form’ banner following the 6-0 defeat which punctuated a run of six straight games without a win.

But Livramento’s struggles in many ways encapsulate those of his team. Outstanding for the first two-thirds of the campaign, the 19-year old ha dropped off somewhat dramatically in recent weeks.

Daily Echo: Livramento in action on Saturday. Image by: PALivramento in action on Saturday. Image by: PA

There are very valid reasons for this including the worrying knee injury suffered at the turn of the year.

But since returning in February, Livramento has been ever-present once again starting six of his side’s last seven league games as well as both of England U21’s games in the recent international break.

In his first season of professional football, Livramento looks tired and worn down and that was particularly evident as Chelsea rampantly picked apart their academy graduate and his fellow defenders.

Click here for a full analysis of Livramento's struggling form...






As already mentioned, it would be incredibly harsh to levy the blame for Saturday’s disintegration solely on any individual player, but the Saints centre-backs certainly didn't cover themselves in glory.

As Marcos Alonso breaks forward with the ball early in the second half, Kante is able to run unobstructed in a straight line through the heart of the Saints defence. There is a massive gap between Salisu and Bednarek while Valery and Bednarek are virtually on top of each other.

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This is not how any sort of well-functioning defensive set-up should look. 

Then, as Kante gets the ball, all four Saints players around him - Salisu, Bednarek, Valery, and Ward-Prowse - are drawn in while no one goes with Werner who ends up putting the ball in the net.

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From being stretched to such a degree that Kante can just stroll through without any sort of ‘intelligent’ movement, to so compact as to not mark the players around the ball, this is really a disastrous piece of defending.

We highlighted Salisu last week after an impressive performance at Leeds seemed to indicate he was back to his best following a rough period. But on Saturday, he was closer to his worst than his best.

Frequently out of position, he gifted Chelsea their fourth goal when dribbling into trouble before losing the ball for Werner to dart through and hit the post where Kai Havertz was following up to finish.

And while Salisu may have been the worst of a really poor defensive group, this was a team effort. Just take a look at the dual-disater from both Salisu and Bednarek for Chelsea’s opening goal…

As Ruben Loftus-Cheek drives forward with the ball, both Bednarek and Salisu converge around Werner. Meanwhile, Mount is allowed to run through completely unmarked. Loftus-Cheek finds him and when Livramento has to come across to cover, Alonso is left free to smash home.

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Bednarek may have been slightly better than his defensive partner - in that at least he didn’t actively gift Chelsea a goal - but they should be a partnership and they were more divorce than marriage on Saturday. The two centre-backs constantly seemed to have no idea where the other was.

After 36 minutes, Yan Valery replaced Oriol Romeu to offer some defensive help but in truth, it’s tough to evaluate the 23-year old’s performance. At 4-0 down the game was already long over, but Valery’s entrance didn’t really seem to change much.

Chelsea still waltzed through at will and added two supremely simple goals in the second half before deciding six was enough. It’s impossible to blame Valery considering the situation he was brought into, but it’s also hard to give him much credit.


Certainly not at his best, Walker-Peters was also not totally calamitous which is quite a compliment on the basis of the team's performance as a whole. The full-back had the second-most touches of any Saints player with 52 and his eight dribbles also led his team.

Defensively, he was caught out of position fairly often but it wasn’t as frequent as many of his teammates and going forward he offered something, if not a huge amount.

He should have been credited with an assist after putting a delicious outside of the boot cross on a plate for Che Adams, but the striker could only find Edouard Mendy with his first-time shot.

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It’s easy to give Walker-Peters a let-off for a performance that dropped well below his usual standards, such has been the impressive nature of his usual standards. But he need to bounce back - immediately.


Sacrificed after 36 minutes when Ralph Hasenhuttl switched to a back five, Romeu struggled desperately in a sea of struggling Saints players. 

We already touched on some the unsuccessful high-pressing he was a part of - including this strange attempt from Romeu and three other Saints to press Thiago Silva and leave Rudiger in all the space he wanted out on the left.

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This unimpressive passage of play was not Romeu’s fault and Romeu’s fault alone but he’s frequently tasked with leading the press from midfield and this was a press that epicly failed. 

Romeu and Ward-Prowse seemed on entirely different wavelengths as Saints were cut apart by by Chelsea through the middle time and time again. In total, Romeu won just two of his nine duels and a remarkable 72% of Chelsea’s attacks came through the centre of the pitch - compared to their season average of just 27%.

The 30-year old wasn’t the worst player on the pitch and his removal was likely at least in part a sacrifice of the system switch. But this is now the fifth-straight league game he’s been subbed off after completing the full 90 minutes in the seven games prior.


Much of the Romeu section could quite easily be transferred to Ward-Prowse who time and time again found himself on the back-foot as Chelsea sliced through Hasenhuttl’s side with ease.

Ward-Prowse - like Walker-Peters - is a player who has earnt slack for his efforts this season but Saturday was seriously unimpressive, capped off by the disastrous back-header that allowed Werner to storm through and score Chelsea’s third.

He’ll be out there against Arsenal where this performance will hopefully become a blip of the radar.


One of few players who put in a performance at least reminiscent of their usual standard, Armstrong reteurned tot he starting XI after beginning on the bench at Leeds and battled hard in the catastrophic defeat.

His 60 touches led his team and his heat map below just displays the ground he covered across a number of positions.

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The 32 passes he received was the most of any Saints player as he constantly tried to make himself an outlet when his sie had the ball. He did very little with that ball as Saints created virtually nothing but this was a day in which effort has to be celebrated and Armstrong at least offered that.

The 30-year old contested 24 duels, second-most after Che Adams, while he was the only Saints starter to win at least half of his battles for the ball.

There’s still quite a lot missing from Armstrong’s game - as was clear on Saturday - but he fights for everything and at least makes his presence felt, a baseline that some of his teammates failed to hit against Chelsea.


Virtually anonymous on initial viewing, Elyounoissi was no easier to spot on the detailed rewatch. He totalled just 27 total touches, none in Chelsea’s box. Meanwhile, the rest of his statline looks like this:

Shots: 0

Successful crosses: 0

Successful dribbles: 2

Forward passes: 2

Elyounoussi pressed well in patches and certainly did a lot of running, but didn’t offer Saints much defensively - acceptable - and also didn’t offer Saints anything going forward - less acceptable.

He does have a terrific engine and is happy to continue charging around for however long the game lasts, which is likely what kept him on the pitch for the full 95 minutes. It was either that or there were three worse Saints players who got hooked ahead of him. Likely a mix of both.


Potentially a controversial rating, Armstrong was far from the worst Saint. He certainly wasn’t great but he did some good things. He pressed well for the most part and actually got involved with the play, dropping deep to try and pick up the ball and make something happen.

Here’s a great example of that in the 40th minute as Armstrong drops all the way to the edge of his own defensive box where he’s able to take the ball down, turn and play into the feet of Elyounoussi…

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As with virtually all of Saints’ attacks on the day, it fizzled out but that doesn’t take anything away from Armstrong who was central to some of his side’s best attacking moments in the first-half.

Hasenhuttl had to make changes and really he had to move away from two strikers with Chelsea eating Saints alive through midfield. When Ibrahima Diallo came on at half-time, someone was going to make way and it really had to be Armstrong or Che Adams.

With Adams clearly trusted by Hasenhuttl and much more of a physical battering ram than Armstrong, it was the former Blackburn striker who was sacrificed.

Hasenhuttl said after the defeat that his changes had nothing to do with the players coming off, more just about getting those on the pitch extra help, but that is not likely to aid Armstrong’s dented confidence.


There’s a lot to admire about how Che Adams plays even in a drubbing as bad as this one. From the first until the last minute, he fought and fought - often totally on his own up front against an army of Chelsea defenders.

He led the press and buzzed about with real energy and the effort he showed does deserve highlighting. His 26 duels led his team as he went toe-to-toe, often without success, against Chelsea’s three central defenders.

But the other side of the coin is that he’s a striker and he’s just not getting the job done at the moment: the job of putting the ball in the back of the net.

With Saints trailing 2-0 against Manchester City, Adams missed what amounted to a one-on-one with only Zach Steffen to beat. On Saturday - admittedly in a much less crucial moment - he again failed to find the back of the net with only the keeper to beat.

Adams should continue to keep his place - and he deserves to - but he needs to start taking his chances. Otherwise, Saints will pay the price for his profligacy.



All the substitutes are quite hard to judge as the game was long lost by the time they entered the fray. Diallo added something, but it’s hard to say Saints looked any more solid in the middle of the pitch when looking at the images above of Alonso and Kante strolling right through the centre - with Diallo on the pitch.

His 17 touches and 70% passing accuracy is hard to get excited about but there may well be an opportunity for him to showcase his abilities from the start should Hasenhuttl ring the changes after Saturday’s catastrophe. Many fans will be hoping he does.


Chelsea had decided to stop playing by the time Smallbone came off the bench with 20 minutes left to play but he was one of Saints better performers on the day - not a huge compliment in itself.

He buzzed around the pitch and certainly looked up for it. Staked a claim for a possible starting role but it wasn’t hard to look good amongst the disaster before and around him.

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