The Premier League table-toppers, Chelsea, returned to winning ways as they beat Claude Puel’s Southampton 4:2 at Stamford Bridge. The result means the league leaders are now seven points above Tottenham, who’ll face Crystal Palace away from home on Wednesday. It was a game that saw two Chelsea ex-players score to put their former employers under pressure.
Eden Hazard continued his recent scoring form as he provided the opener just 5minutes into the game. Southampton survived the early onslaught after going a goal down and responded with an equalizer through former Chelsea boy, Oriol Romeu in the 24th minute of the game. Both sides tried each other out as Southampton edged the possession stats at the end of the first half.
Hazard again had the chance to put Chelsea in the lead but chose to pass rather than shoot. A scenario which gives more credence to the school of thought urging the player to adopt a little selfishness in the opposition box, to enable him to reach the heights of the greats in the game.
Gary Cahill restored the lead for Chelsea in the 46th minute as Chelsea went into the break in an advantageous position. The second half resumed and Diego Costa ended his goalless run with a header in the 53rd minute through an assist by the impressive Cesc Fabregas. He scored the 4th in the 89th minute to give Chelsea a 3 goal cushion. Chelsea’s vulnerability in set pieces and crosses was obvious in the game with Courtois being called into action on some occasions throughout the 90 minutes.
Ryan Bertrand then popped up in added time and scored the 2nd for Southampton to alter Chelsea’s goal advantage. Nevertheless, it was a very vital win for the league leaders and could go a long way in defining their chances of a title win.
Chelsea will now look on and hope Crystal Palace maintain their fine run and halt Tottenham tomorrow. Pochettino’s men will be under pressure ahead of their game, as Chelsea have played before them and won, which has been the reverse over the past few weeks with Tottenham playing first and hoping for Chelsea to slip.