Timo Werner and Trevoh Chalobah stood out as Chelsea clinched a hard-fought 3-1 win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Chelsea were off to a flying start in the game and looked to be on the money from the get-go. And the Blues were ahead in the ninth minute as Trevoh Chalobah scored with a diving header from close range after receiving the ball from Ruben Loftus-Cheek in a corner routine.
The hosts were firmly in control thereafter but could not add to their advantage heading into half-time, owing to a couple of cancelled goals and some dogged defending by Southampton. The Saints would make their good fortune count early in the first half, as they were awarded a penalty when Ben Chilwell brought down Valentino Livramento inside the Chelsea box.
James Ward-Prowse stepped up to take the spot-kick, making no mistake in converting the penalty to make it 1-1. However, the Southampton captain would soon turn things in Chelsea’s favour as he was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Jorginho. And Chelsea made their numerical advantage count late in the game.
Werner finally had his goal as he converted a cross by Cesar Azpilicueta from the right flank. Then, late on Chilwell rounded off the win with a thumping finish, as Chelsea climbed to the top of the table with a crucial win. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 7/10
There was not a whole lot that Mendy had to do in the game, with Chelsea firmly in control of the proceedings. The Senegalese goalkeeper made a couple of errors, although those went unpunished in the end. Could not have done anything to deny James Ward-Prowse from the spot and made just one other save in the game.
Trevoh Chalobah: 9/10
Trevoh Chalobah (2) has scored more Premier League goals this season than:
◎ Raheem Sterling (1)
◎ Kai Havertz (1)
◎ Patrick Bamford (1)
◎ Richarlison (1)
◎ Harry Kane (0)
◎ Jadon Sancho (0)
Not bad for a defender. 😁 pic.twitter.com/hWVBY51nel
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 2, 2021
Reinstated in the three-man central defensive unit, Chalobah oozed confidence in his display. Right from the word go, the youngster was self confident in his performance, whether it was when he was playing out from the back or when looking to stifle the Southampton attackers. The cherry on top was his goal, for which he was positioned perfectly to head in the opener.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
Silva was not made to sweat much in the game, although that was also down to his top-notch organisational abilities. The veteran defender won four duels while being typically reliable when playing out from the back, retaining an 89 percent pass completion rate while also playing a key pass.
Antonio Rudiger: 8/10
Rudiger has gone from strength to strength under Tuchel and this was another performance that proved the same. The German international was not too busy but still managed to keep Theo Walcott quiet whenever the veteran forward looked to take the Chelsea defenders on. One pass towards Werner in the first half was simply gorgeous.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8/10
With Reece James still out injured, Azpilicueta was deployed as the right wing-back once again. This time around, the Chelsea captain was much improved and provided a better outlet going forward, as was illustrated when he set Werner up for what was effectively the winner.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 8/10
Making a rare appearance in the starting lineup, this was Loftus-Cheek’s chance to impress and seize the initiative. That is exactly what he did, providing Chelsea the control they needed in the middle of the park in the absence of Jorginho. Also got the assist for Chalobah’s goal, getting a deft touch on the ball to leave the defender in open space. Superb effort.
A perfect return for Ruben Loftus-Cheek! 💯 pic.twitter.com/ANlX1BMZ1h
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) October 2, 2021
Mateo Kovacic: 7/10
Kovacic was as Kovacic usually is when at his best. Typically tenacious, the Croat provided a solid base in the middle of the park and even played a couple of key passes. However, there were one or two sloppy touches, which really was the only real blemish in an otherwise decent showing.
Ben Chilwell: 7/10
Back in a Premier League starting lineup at long last, Chilwell was in fine touch in the first half and somehow did not score after seeing his effort being saved brilliantly by Alex McCarthy. Played a game-high four key passes as well while scoring a late goal to cap off a solid display. The rating would have been higher had he not conceded the penalty. Went from zero to hero, though.
Timo Werner: 9/10
The Player to Watch in our preview, this was Werner’s chance to grab and that is exactly what he did. Purposeful in his display right from the initial exchanges, the German forward even had the ball in the back of the net only to be denied by a bizarre call by VAR. Did finally get his goal late in the game, in an effort that sealed all three points for Chelsea. Much needed confidence booster.
Timo Werner has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other Chelsea player since Thomas Tuchel took charge (8):
🅰️ 5 assists
⚽ 3 goals
Turbo Timo. 🏃♂️ pic.twitter.com/dx68VVDFoX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 2, 2021
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 7/10
Another player making a rare appearances in the starting lineup. Hudson-Odoi, though, was not quite at his best, even though his pace did leave the Southampton defenders back-pedaling. Needs to be more decisive in the final third if he is to usurp others.
Romelu Lukaku: 7/10
Lukaku might not have a goal to play for his efforts but played a key role in bringing the others into the game with his fine hold-up play. Came close to scoring on one occasion, although he could only manage to hit the woodwork with one of the chances he came close with. Also denied a goal for being offside. Decent enough, though, all in all.
Mason Mount: 7/10
On for Hudson-Odoi, Mount’s introduction meant Chelsea asserted their control further, with the young playmaker playing a couple of key passes in his short stint on the pitch.
Like Mount, Jorginho helped in ensuring Chelsea did not slip up against a stubborn Southampton side late on and was at the receiving end of the crunching tackle by Ward-Prowse, which got the Southampton captain sent off.
Ross Barkley: N/A
A late introduction, Barkley did not play enough to warrant a rating, although it ought to be mentioned that it was his gorgeous pass that opened up play in the build-up to the goal scored by Werner.