Finishing the afternoon on the losing side on his first return to Stamford Bridge, Tino Livramento was left to reflect on what could have been for Saints.
Trailing at half-time to Trevoh Chalobah’s early header, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side rallied after the break and levelled from the penalty spot through James Ward-Prowse, after Livramento himself had won the spotkick.
Looking like the side in the ascendancy, the visitors were rocked by their captain’s dismissal on 77 minutes after a VAR review, with Chelsea capitalising on the swing in momentum to secure victory through Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell.
Commenting on an action-packed affair, Livramento said:
“We were being aggressive and were on the front foot. Coming out in the second half we got the equaliser and then the red card happens.
“That’s just how we play, we’re an aggressive team and we like to press and maybe on another day it’s not a red.
“I haven’t seen it back, but if that doesn’t happen you never know what the result might have been and how it panned out, but it is what it is.
“You could tell when we came out [for the second half], the things we were doing – being on the front foot, committing them, winning the penalty and scoring – but you could feel we were growing in the game so it’s a shame, but that’s how things happen.”
Playing against his boyhood club for the first time since leaving in the summer, the England Under-21 international also reflected on a poignant moment.
“It’s a weird thing growing up a Chelsea fan and coming back,” he said. “You have dreams of playing for Chelsea here, but it was a pleasure to play in front of everyone, not only our fans but the Chelsea fans as well and my family.
“It’s a shame about the result, but I really think we can build on this and I’m looking forward to getting back after the international break.”