Report: Southampton 0-2 Chelsea

By SFC Media Sun 30 Oct Saints vs Chelsea
Sun 30 Oct 4.00PM
Premier League
Southampton
0
Chelsea
2
Hazard [6'] Costa [55']
Referee: Mike Jones | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 31,827

Goals in either half from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa saw Chelsea inflict a first home defeat of the season on Southampton.

Two moments of high quality from the visitors proved the difference on the day, with Chelsea taking a sixth minute lead when Hazard struck his third league goal in nine games against Southampton.

That that lead was built on ten minutes in to the second half when Diego Costa fired in a brilliant long range shot.

Those strikes were decisive as the in-form Blues registered a fourth straight win without conceding a goal.

The Blues had also been the last team to beat Southampton at St Mary’s in the Premier League, and they book-ended that run to end Saints’ nine game run without a loss to take all three points in this game.

Former Chelsea man Ryan Bertrand returned to the Southampton side for the first time in nearly a month, and was named in the starting line-up at the expense of Sam McQueen in the only change made by Puel from the draw at Manchester City a week earlier.

Jay Rodriguez and Alex McCarthy missed out altogether having taken knocks against Sunderland in last Wednesday’s EFL Cup tie.

Ahead of kick-off there was a minute’s silence for All Saints Day and Remembrance weekend before the crowd stirred up a rousing atmosphere inside St Mary’s.

The visitors got the game under way and after a pulsating start, they took a sixth minute lead through Puel’s former pupil at Lille, Eden Hazard.

The Belgian winger played a one-two with Victor Moses down the right side of the Saints area, before cutting inside to fire in a sweet shot past Forster to give Chelsea an early foothold.

Chelsea celebrate their early opening strike.

Saints gave a good response to that setback with much of the game played in their half as the Blues appeared content to sit on their one goal lead.

The hosts enjoyed plenty of possession without creating too many chances, with Fonte heading wide from a corner at the far post just past 20 minutes.

Tadić won a free-kick to the right of centre from around 30 yards out which he stepped up to take, and the Serbian’s effort was pushed away at his near post by Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea offered a reminder of their threat on the counter-attack with Moses seeing a shot deflected over the crossbar, before Hazard opened up for a shot from range which Forster did well to smother.

Five minutes before the break Forster was called into action again to deny Diego Costa in a one-on-one, flicking away the shot on target with his left boot and keeping Saints in the game by the time the teams went in at the break soon after.

There were no changes made by either side at the break, and the second half began in as equally competitive fashion as the first.

Saints had some early defending to do when Fonte slid in to get a touch on Marcos Alonso’s cross. His touch took the ball away from Hazard, as well as doing enough to knock it out of play to concede a corner.

For all Saints had done to contain the Blues, there was no stopping the strike which put the visitors 2-0 up on 55 minutes. A free-kick played short found its way to Diego Costa, who turned inside to crash home a terrific long range strike into the right side of Forster’s net which the ‘keeper had little chance of getting across to.



Diego Costa smashes in Chelsea's second goal.

Just past the hour mark Puel introduced Sofiane Boufal for Clasie as Saints sought a response to the second goal, though they nearly fell three behind when Costa rounded Forster, but some last ditch defending from Romeu in particular, ensured the hosts stayed in the game.

Saints tried to force a way back into the contest, with Austin heading over from Bertrand’s cross, before Luiz saw a defensive header come back off his own crossbar as the hosts continued to press forward.

Forster produced another good stop deny Victor Moses’ rising shot at the other end as Chelsea ended the game strongly.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Sam McQueen entered the action late on, with the latter picking out Austin for a shot which he put away past Courtois, but the assistant’s flag was raised to deny Saints a way back into the game in the closing stages.


Southampton

Head to Head Stats

Chelsea
  • Possession (%)
    55
    45
  • Shots
    10
    13
  • Shots on target
    1
    7
  • Corners
    7
    3
  • Passes Complete
    408
    325

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
21
Ryan Bertrand
Sam McQueen (78′)
15
Cuco Martina
17
Virgil van Dijk
6
José Fonte (C)
11
Dusan Tadic
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (78′)
14
Oriol Romeu
4
Jordy Clasie
Sofiane Boufal (61′)
8
Steven Davis
10
Charlie Austin
22
Nathan Redmond
3
Maya Yoshida
16
James Ward-Prowse
19
Sofiane Boufal
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
38
Sam McQueen
28
Stuart Taylor
32
Olufela Olomola

Chelsea

13
Thibaut Courtois (GK)
30
David Luiz
28
César Azpilicueta
24
Gary Cahill (C)
15
Victor Moses
Branislav Ivanovic (87′)
21
Nemanja Matic
3
Marcos Alonso
7
N'Golo Kanté
10
Eden Hazard
11
Pedro
Willian (78′)
19
Diego Costa
Michy Batshuayi (89′)
1
Asmir Begovic
2
Branislav Ivanovic
22
Willian
8
Oscar
29
Nathaniel Chalobah
23
Michy Batshuayi
26
John Terry
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