Chelsea 4-2 Southampton: Blues send message in win
- Costa nabs two goals, assist
- Hazard, Cahill score
- Chelsea ups table lead to seven
Gary Cahill’s first-half stoppage time marker was a momentum shifter as Chelsea topped Southampton to increase its Premier League table lead with a 4-2 win on Tuesday.
Diego Costa scored twice and Eden Hazard also scored for the Blues, and Cesc Fabregas moved into second place on the Premier League’s all-time assists list with a helper on Costa’s first goal.
Former Chelsea men Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand scored for Saints, as Southampton remains ninth with 40 points.
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There were early lively moments for both sides, as Saints’ Manolo Gabbiadini attempted to back up Antonio Conte’s pre-match praise as one of the best left foots in the world.
Chelsea found the opener through Hazard, as Costa held possession into the right of the box before cutting back to find Belgian. Fraser Forster couldn’t get low quick enough to stop Hazard’s low shot, and it was 1-0.
Romeu, clearly buoyed by JPW’s feature piece earlier this week, bagged an equalized off a corner kick. Gabbiadini sidled up to the ball at the back post, and pushed it off Thibaut Courtois into the path of the former Chelsea man.
Sofiane Boufal was also dangerous for Saints, and won a free for James Ward-Prowse that amounted to a corner kick from the edge of the 16. Courtois flew forward to put the ball free.
N’Golo Kante had his turn to start a threat, and Forster’s block of his cross only queued up a pair of opportunities between Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic.
Cahill made it 2-1 in stoppage time, darting in front of Costa’s scissor kick attempt to nod Marcos Alonso’s headed pass into the goal.
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Chelsea added to its lead in the first 10 minutes of the second half, with Saints allowing Cesc Fabregas a bit too much room inside the box. The Spaniard chipped a pass to countryman Costa to make it a two-goal lead.
Forster made a good save on a tricky Costa attempt in the 71st minute.
Corner kicks were not easily defended by Chelsea, and Steven Davis came close to pulling a goal back in the 79th minute. A moment later, Forster came out to stop Kante with a wild arm save after Hazard led a lightning counterattack off the ensuing corner.
Bertrand headed a goal home in stoppage time when he got in front of Cahill, but the damage was done.
103 - Cesc Fabregas is now outright 2nd for most Premier League assists, one ahead of Lampard (102), but behind Giggs (162). Catering.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 25, 2017