Chelsea extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight games, as they defeated Southampton 3-0 at the St. Mary’s on Sunday.
After Danny Ings missed a sitter from three yards out for the Saints, Chelsea took the lead in the 30th minute, courtesy of a sharp finish from star man Eden Hazard, who was played in by Ross Barkley. Twelve minutes after half-time, the former Evertonian found himself tapping the ball home from point-blank range to score his first goal for Chelsea and make it 2-0.
Southampton did threaten on a couple of occasions, but could not find a way through as Chelsea held on to their two-goal advantage, before substitute Alvaro Morata made it three, rounding off a fine team move in stoppage time to add further gloss to the scoreline.
Chelsea went to the top of the table briefly following the victory, but slipped down to the second spot, after the goalless draw played out between Manchester City and Liverpool later in the day. Maurizio Sarri’s men are now unbeaten in eight Premier League games and here’s how we at the Hard Tackle rated the performances of the Blues’ stars on Sunday;
Three goals and three points! 🙌
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 7, 2018
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 7/10
The Spaniard wasn’t tested a great deal in the first-half, but was alert whenever called upon. Forced into a couple of fine stops in the second period. Composed presence between the sticks, with his usage of ball impressing once again. Fourth clean sheet for the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6.5/10
Chelsea’s Mr.Consistent started off strongly, but was caught off guard by former Blues’ full-back Ryan Bertrand on one occasion, leading to the chance for Ings that should’ve been buried into the back of the net. Kept things much tighter after that one lapse, while he also offered good support on the overlap. However, the end product wasn’t always on point.
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
Another commanding performance from the German international, who seems to be growing with every passing game. Apart from a sloppy moment in the first-half that put his team under pressure, Rudiger was solid against everything Southampton threw at him, making crucial blocks and winning a lot of aerial duels to protect the clean sheet.
David Luiz: 7.5/10
The Brazilian centre-half once again looked impressive in the heart of the defence for the Blues. Hardly put a foot wrong defensively, while his distribution from the back was delightful on occasions, as he sprayed some brilliant long-range passes to split open the Saints’ backline.
Marcos Alonso: 7/10
An all-round, steady display from the Spanish left-back. Alonso dealt comfortably with whatever threat Southampton conjured up down his side, while offering constant support going forward with neat passes and sharp, intelligent runs.
N’Golo Kante: 7/10
Found himself in and around the Southampton box on a number of occasions in the first period as Chelsea bossed possession. Neat link-up play to create a couple of opportunities for his teammates. Did not see as much of the ball after the half-time break, but was diligent in his defensive duties. As usual, another busy, energetic display from the World Cup winner.
It was a typical performance from the Italian midfielder, as he sat back and controlled the proceedings for the visitors. Jorginho’s passing was crisp as always, with one particular pass to Hazard off the outside of his boot catching the eye. Composed and kept things moving swiftly in the middle.
Ross Barkley: 8/10
Easily his best performance in a Chelsea shirt since arriving at the club in January earlier this year. Showed great intent to take the ball of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s legs and teed up Hazard beautifully for the opening goal, before stabbing home from close to score his first goal for the club.
Celebrated his international call-up with a fine display packed with energy, tenacity and creativity.
A rather ineffective display from the Brazilian wide-man, despite getting into dangerous positions on a number of occasions throughout. Worked hard off the ball, was sharp in his movement, but things failed to click for him in the final third. His corner-kicks left a lot to be desired as well.
Olivier Giroud: 7/10
The Frenchman might not be the most free-scoring striker in the Premier League, but proved his worth to this Chelsea team once again, with some mighty fine link-up play in the final third. Should’ve been awarded a penalty after being fouled by Wesley Hoedt in the first-half.
His movement created spaces for his fellow attackers, while his acrobatic assist for Barkley’s goal was a thing of beauty, intentional or otherwise.
Eden Hazard: 9/10
The Belgian wing wizard is simply in the form of his life and is looking unstoppable at the moment. Looked a huge threat each time he was on the ball and left the Southampton defence tied up in knots. Clinical finish to open the scoring – his seventh league goal of the campaign and a fine assist for Morata’s late goal. Class apart.
Alvaro Morata: 7/10
Replaced Giroud in the 68th minute. Missed a great chance but made amends late in the game, scoring his second goal in three days’ time with a wonderful finish.
Came on for Willian with fifteen minutes left to be played. Had little impact on the proceedings.
Mateo Kovacic: N/A
Thrown in for Barkley with less than ten minutes left. Solid.