SOUTHAMPTON -- Chelsea beat Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s on Sunday, as Frank Lampard’s side moved up the fifth in the Premier League table.
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Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante all scored in the first half to set the Blues on their way and even though Danny Ings pulled a goal back, Michy Batshuayi’s late goal did the damage.
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With the win Chelsea now have 14 points, while Saints remain on seven points.
3 things we learned
1. Jorginho, Kante run the show: The attacking duo of Mount and Abraham will get plenty of the plaudits, but Kante and Jorginho were sublime in midfield. Kante scored, via a deflection, and Jorginho was at the heart of everything good Chelsea did going forward, as well as clearing an effort off the line and doing the dirty work. The two defensive midfielders set the tone for this Chelsea win and their intelligence on the ball and in terms of positioning gave them a platform to win this game.
2. Chelsea’s defensive fragilities on show: Even though it was a fairly routine win in the end, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have only kept one clean sheet in their opening eight games of the season. Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori looked a a little shaky in possession, as a better team would have scored three of four times. Addressing the top-heavy nature of this Chelsea side is a must if they’re going to finish in the top four.
3. Saints’ tough season gets tougher: Once again Southampton were their own worst enemies as three big defensive errors led to goals in the first half. James Ward-Prowse, Jan Bednarek and Jan Valery were all at fault, as only two PL teams have conceded more goals than Saints so far this season. With games against Wolves, Man City, Everton, Leicester and Arsenal coming up, Saints will likely be in the bottom three when December rolls around.
Man of the Match: Callum Hudson-Odoi - The winger played a perfect ball over the top for the opening goal and was lively throughout. The 18-year-old oozed quality on the ball and made superb runs inside all game long.
Saints started brightly as Nathan Redmond fired over and their high-pressing caused Chelsea’s defense some issues.
At the other end Abraham fired a shot on target which Angus Gunn saved and some hefty challenges started to fly in as Shane Long put himself about.
Chelsea then took the lead with their first big chance of the game as after a poor giveaway in midfield, Callum Hudson-Odoi dinked the ball over the top and Abraham lobbed home a wonderful finish.
The Blues doubled their lead after another Saints mistake, as Jan Bednarek’s header was short and Jorginho picked out Mount to fire home.
Mount then missed the target twice and just when it looked like Chelsea would run away with it, Saints pulled one back. Yan Valery went on a mazy run past four Chelsea players and into the box, and his cut-back found Ings as the ball went in off him and Kurt Zouma to make it 2-1.
Before half time Chelsea restored their half time lead as Marcos Alonso was allowed plenty of time and space on the left and his pass found Kante, who’s shot deflected off Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and in.
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Gunn denied Hudson-Odoi at the start of the second half as the Blues dominate possession and Saints barely threatened.
Alonso’s cross was almost knocked into his own net by Maya Yoshida as Chelsea click through the gears in the final stages.
Ings headed wide as Southampton tried to push for a way back into the game, but Chelsea sealed the win in style.
USMNT star Christian Pulisic jumped off the bench and cracked Saints’ defense open with a lovely pass as fellow sub Batshuayi slammed home to make it 4-1.