A high-octane start to the game led to chances at both ends, but Chelsea’s individual quality shined through in the first-half, both in chance creation and chance finishing.
Timo Werner’s two self-assisted goals, the first with a fantastic dummy-turn from a Chilwell pass forward, the second by winning a 50-50 tussle with a much bigger defender from a Jorginho ball over the top, then chipping the goalkeeper before finishing with his head, gave Chelsea plenty of control as the half wore on.
A mistake from Havertz, who was otherwise excellent in the opening 45 as part of a very fluid attack alongside Mount and Pulisic, led to an easy chance for Danny Ings, which he finished as one would expect, just before half-time.
But that mistake was nothing compared to the absolutely comical defending that gifted Southampton their equalizer just ten minutes into the second half. The less said about that, the better. Fortunately, Pulisic, Werner, and Havertz combined immediately after to restore Chelsea’s one-goal lead.
Both sides had plenty of chances to score after that flurry, but somehow the score remained 3-2 ... until the very end, when a cheap foul gave Southampton a set piece, which was only half-cleared. Walcott’s mis-hit shot was directed into the corner by Vestergaard for the silly equalizer.
- Two enforced changes in defense with Kepa and Christensen coming in for the injured Mendy and unfit Thiago Silva, respectively, plus a first start of the season for Christian Pulisic up front, with Mount replacing Hudson-Odoi on the other wing. Werner preferred to Abraham up top.
- Werner responds with first two Premier League goals, and also collects the assist on Havertz’s goal.
- Ziyech makes debut as substitute for Mason Mount. James on late for Pulisic to add a third man into midfield. Abraham for Werner for the final few minutes. We certainly could’ve used the fresh legs much earlier in the game.
- Chelsea had been unbeaten in 81 straight at Stamford Bridge when leading at half-time. Now 82, but this feels like a loss.
- Next up: Sevilla at the Bridge on Tuesday in the first game of the Champions League group stage