Southampton 0-3 Chelsea: Ross Barkley finds form as Blues march on
Chelsea move joint-top of the Premier League as they remain unbeaten
Last Updated: 08/10/18 12:05am
Ross Barkley played a starring role as Chelsea kept up their exciting start to the Premier League season with a 3-0 win over Southampton on Super Sunday.
Barkley, who was recalled to the England squad in midweek, was handed his third start of the season and set up Eden Hazard for the opener (30) before scoring himself from close range (57) - his first goal for the club.
Alvaro Morata made it 3-0 (90+2) as Southampton struggled to make the most of some clear openings, including a jaw-dropping miss from Danny Ings from three yards out.
The victory keeps Chelsea unbeaten and moves them to the joint-top of the Premier League, level on points with Liverpool and Manchester City.
Southampton have now taken just 15 points from their last 20 league games, which is the lowest amount of any team in the Premier League.
Southampton: McCarthy (6), Cedric (6), Yoshida (6), Bednarek (6), Hoedt (6), Bertrand (6), Redmond (6), Hojbjerg (7), Lemina (5), Gabbiadini (6), Ings (5).
Subs: Romeu (6), Long (5)
Chelsea: Kepa (7), Alonso (7), Azpilicueta (7), Luiz (8), Rudiger (7), Kante (6), Jorginho (7), Barkley (8), Willian (7), Hazard (8), Giroud (7)
Subs: Pedro (6), Morata (7)
Man of the match: Ross Barkley
Southampton started like a team with only one win in their last 14 home games as Chelsea's possession stats read 85 per cent after 20 minutes.
But it was the hosts that should have struck first when Ings somehow fired over from inside the six-yard box after some great play down the left by Ryan Bertrand.
Olivier Giroud had a strong penalty shout turned down after being caught late by Wesley Hoedt but they surged ahead minutes later.
Mark Hughes makes three changes from the 2-0 defeat at Wolves. Maya Yoshida, Jan Bednarek and Manolo Gabbiadini came in as Southampton switched to three at the back. Ross Barkley started in place of Mateo Kovacic for Chelsea.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was robbed in possession by Barkley and he played through a perfect ball for Hazard, who smashed a shot past Alex McCarthy.
Southampton switched to a 4-4-2 after the break and grabbed the initiative but Bertrand volleyed over at the back post when well positioned.
Chelsea, always a threat with Hazard, doubled the advantage on 57 minutes.
Notes for Southgate
The recalled Ross Barkley has surely played his way into threatening the England starting line-up for games against Croatia and Spain with a confident and classy display. Ryan Bertrand and Nathan Redmond didn't make the squad but looked lively when combining down the left while goalkeeper Alex McCarthy did little wrong.
Willian sent in a free-kick that was acrobatically hooked across goal by Giroud and Barkley was quicker to the loose ball than the Southampton defenders.
Nathan Redmond crashed a long-range effort off the bar, but it was Chelsea to get the third goal when Morata, who had missed a glorious chance minutes earlier, skilfully finished off a flowing move instigated by Hazard in injury time.
- Chelsea have won their last six Premier League games against Southampton, since losing 3-1 under Jose Mourinho in October 2015.
- This was the ninth home Premier League game since the start of last season that Southampton have failed to score in - only Huddersfield (12) have failed to score in more home Premier League games in that time.
- Hazard has been involved in 11 goals in 15 appearances against Southampton for Chelsea in all competitions (6 goals, 5 assists).
- Hazard scored and assisted in a Premier League game for the first time since October 2016 - which was also at St. Mary's against Southampton.
- In the last three seasons, Southampton have taken just seven points from their 26 Premier League games against 'big six' opposition (P26 W0 D7 L19).
Man of the match: Ross Barkley
Hard pushed by Hazard for the outstanding player award, Barkley became the first Englishman to score and assist in a Premier League game for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in December 2013. Producing those game-changing moments has always been an area of criticism aimed at Barkley but he was cool when it mattered on the south coast. Plus, his contribution in midfield with the ball was impressive, boasting a successful pass rate of 94 per cent. Gareth Southgate will have been beaming.
Manager reaction: Maurizio Sarri
"We played a very good match. I am very happy for our fans because I think our support today was excellent. I'm very happy for the players - but we can do more.
"In the defensive phase we can do more. In the second half we have given them two or three opportunities."
Manager reaction: Mark Hughes
"I was disappointed with the way we played.
"We didn't really affect them as readily as we talked about, in terms of being on the front foot, having intensity to our play and making sure we made it difficult for them."
After the international break, Chelsea host Manchester United, live on Sky Sports Premier League, while Southampton travel to Bournemouth.