Timo Werner stars as Blues bounce back in 3-1 victory against winless Southampton.
After failing to win in their previous three games, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea looked to briefly regain their momentum before heading into next week’s international break.
Their opponents however entered the game in poor form themselves. The Saints are yet to win a Premier League game this season after drawing four of their opening six.
Following their midweek defeat in Turin, Tuchel made five changes ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Southampton which saw the likes of Trevoh Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek listed in the starting eleven.
Southampton were without loanee Armando Broja, who was ineligible to play against his parent club. Recent departure Tino Livramento however kept his place in the line-up, looking to impress against his former side.
Despite having just one shot on target in their previous two games, Chelsea started the game positively and looked a shadow of the team they was last weekend.
Timo Werner came close to repaying Thomas Tuchel for his faith in starting him with an early goal, but the German’s sweeping effort was denied by Alex McCarthy.
Although Werner wasn’t able to break the deadlock, the Blues had the lead inside 10 minutes with Trevoh Chalobah scoring his second of the season. The defender was free at the back post to convert Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s flick on, with the two academy graduates combining for the opener.
There were later attempts from both Theo Walcott and Antonio Rüdiger – with Southampton’s first shot on target arriving on the 20th minute from Adam Armstrong.
Although the striker’s effort was comfortably saved by Édoaurd Mendy, James Ward-Prowse came close just a minute later with a superb strike that fell just fractionally wide of the post.
Despite the visitors efforts, Chelsea still looked the bigger threat to score the next goal. On the 25th minute the Blues came close to a second, but Ben Chilwell’s near post effort was crucially saved by McCarthy.
The defender looked to impress having received a limited amount of game time so far this season, and tested McCarthy again just minutes later.
Chelsea closed the half with two goals from Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner – with both being disallowed for offside and foul offences.
The second half saw more of the same from Timo Werner’s high intensity, as he began proceedings by testing McCarthy once again.
The hosts looked in control but struggled to build on their early established lead. Chelsea was eventually made to pay as the game reached the hour mark, as Ben Chilwell brought down Tino Livramento to win the Saints a penalty.
As expected, James Ward-Prowse superbly dispatched the penalty to make the game level.
Chelsea were now in desperate need of a response with the points in the game now hanging in the balance. There was a chance for Timo Werner on the 72nd minute, but once again the German struggled to beat McCarthy.
Two minutes later, Ward-Prowse went from hero to villain as he was dismissed with a red card following a bad foul on Jorginho. The job for Ralph Hasenhüttl to now get anything from the game was now an even tougher task.
The red card only invited further pressure from Chelsea, who came close with substitute Mason Mount. On the 84th minute, the Blues had their breakthrough.
A goal from Timo Werner fired the Blues ahead, as he converted a close-range effort to finally get the better of McCarthy with his fourth shot on target.
Tuchel’s side later wrapped up the game, with Ben Chilwell on target in the 89th minute,
After the whistle:
In what was an important game for Chelsea’s momentum and confidence, Tuchel and his side did what was needed to secure the Blues three important points.
The victory saw Chelsea return to the top of the Premier League, where they could potentially remain hoping that Sunday’s results head their way.
Southampton will be disappointed to continue their winless streak – especially given the fact that they went down to the 10 men. After the international break, the Saints will continue their quest for their first Premier League win of the season against Leeds.
Chelsea’s next game will be a London derby as they prepare to take on Brentford on October 16th.
Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace.
- Chalobah (9’).
- Ward-Prowse (61’).
- Werner (84’).
- Chilwell (89’).
BBC Sports Player of the match:
Timo Werner (Chelsea).
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta ©, Loftus-Cheek (83'), Kovačić (73'), Chilwell; Werner, Hudson-Odoi (65'); Lukaku.
- Subs: Mount (65’), Jorginho (75’), Barkley (83’).
Southampton (4-4-2): McCarthy; Livramento, Bednarek, Salisu, Walker-Peters; Walcott (45'), Ward-Prowse ©, Romeu, Tella (73'); Armstrong, Redmond (87').
- Subs: Diallo (45’), Djenepo (73’), Elyounoussi (87’).
Chelsea (62%) vs Southampton (38%).
Chelsea (20) vs Southampton (6).
Shots on target:
Chelsea (9) vs Southampton (2).
Chelsea (7) vs Southampton (2).
Chelsea (11) vs Southampton (13).
- (credit | BBC Sport).
- (credit | Sky Sports Football).
Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).