Southampton started the far better of the two sides, pressing energetically and winning the ball in dangerous areas, but it was Chelsea who opened the scoring, thanks to a wonderful finish from Tammy Abraham. The proverbial Tammy goal klaxon was more like air raid siren on the tallest chip you might ever see, which crossed the line just before Maya Yoshida could hook it clear.
Chelsea doubled the lead as Mason Mount broke past the line and finished powerfully from Willian’s through ball, but frailties at the back meant that Southampton were able to nick one back through Valery and Ings from the right flank. Chelsea had repeatedly given the ball away under pressure in the first half, and were probably very lucky to only concede the one time.
A deflected long shot from N’Golo Kanté restored Chelsea’s two-goal lead in the 40th minutes, before a crucial intervention from Jorginho preserved the lead heading into the dressing room.
The second-half began at a much slower pace, and had Hudson-Odoi taken his clear chance better, the game would’ve been well over for most of it. But he didn’t, so both teams had something to play for. And while Chelsea controlled most of the half with possession, Southampton were never truly out of it.
But Chelsea kept the individual defensive errors to a minimum in the second half, unlike the first, and saw out the victory without too much trouble. Two substitutes, Pulisic and Batshuayi combining for a fourth goal at the end was the icing on the cake.
Job done. Three points. Carefree.
- Back to the 4-2-3-1 today, with Kante-Jorginho in midfield and Hudson-Odoi making his first Premier League start since his injury.
- Abraham with his 8th goal of the season and 9th in all competitions
- Third straight game with an assist for Hudson-Odoi. Willian, Alonsos, Pulisic also with assists on the Mount, Kanté, Batshuayi goals, respectively.
- Chelsea back up into the top six, in fifth place, only 2 points behind Manchester City in second after their shock home defeat to Wolves. (Liverpool are surely winning the league this season now...)
- Fourth straight victory in all competitions, back-to-back in the Premier League.
- Next up: international break