MX23RW : Wednesday, December 12 22:01:47
Oct 7, 2018 at 2.15pm UK at ​St. Mary's Stadium (Southampton, Hampshire)
Attendance: 27,077
Southampton
0-3
Chelsea
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hazard (30'), Barkley (57'), Morata (90')

Live Commentary: Southampton 0-3 Chelsea - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Chelsea register a 3-0 victory over Southampton in Sunday's Premier League fixture at St Mary's.
Live Commentary: Southampton 0-3 Chelsea - as it happened
© Reuters

Chelsea have recorded a deserved 3-0 victory over Southampton in Sunday's Premier League fixture at St Mary's.

Eden Hazard gave the Blues the lead on the half-hour mark, and Ross Barkley added a second after the break for his first goal in a Chelsea shirt.

Alvaro Morata wrapped things up in added-on time as Maurizio Sarri's side extended their unbeaten record in all competitions to 11 matches.

Find out how all of the action unfolded on the South coast courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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1.15pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the Premier League encounter between Southampton and Chelsea. The Blues can move to the top of the table with a win at St Mary's, but the Saints are desperate to improve on a desperately poor run of form at their home ground. Let's see who features in each starting lineup...

1.18pmSOUTHAMPTON XI: McCarthy; Yoshida, Bednarek, Hoedt; Soares, Hojbjerg, Lemina, Bertrand; Redmond, Gabbiadini, Ings

SOUTHAMPTON SUBSTITUTES: Gunn, Vestergaard, Davis, Romeu, Targett, Long, Austin


1.19pmCHELSEA XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Giroud, Hazard

CHELSEA SUBSTITUTES: Caballero, Fabregas, Pedro, Kovacic, Zappacosta, Cahill, Morata


1.21pmLATEST! Before we go through both teams, a quick update from Craven Cottage as Arsenal hold a 2-1 advantage over Fulham. It's been a lively encounter and Fulham will still feel that they can claim a result. Click here to follow the remainder of that game.

1.24pmLet's start with Southampton as Mark Hughes opts to make three changes from their 2-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend. The most surprising inclusion is that of Manolo Gabbiadini, who has barely featured in the Premier League this season. The Italian has taken the place of Charlie Austin.

1.27pmThe other two changes suggest a change in formation, with both of Maya Yoshida and Jan Bednarek seemingly included to play their part in a back three alongside Wesley Hoedt. Jannik Vestergaard and Mohamed Elyounoussi are the duo to miss out.

1.28pmCedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand will be used as wing-backs with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Mario Lemina retaining their places in the middle of the park. Oriol Romeu had been tipped to return, but he is only named among the replacements.

1.30pmAs far as Chelsea are concerned, Maurizio Sarri has decided to make just the one alteration to the team which registered a 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend. Mateo Kovacic has been dropped to the bench - potentially because he started in the Europa League in midweek - with Ross Barkley being named in his place.

1.32pmThat means that Olivier Giroud has retained his spot in attack with Alvaro Morata only kept in reserve after netting against Videoton in the Europa League. It isn't a huge surprise, but the Frenchman is under a bit of pressure to match his teammate.

1.34pmWith Barkley being reintroduced to the fold, it is likely to see N'Golo Kante take on a more defensive role this afternoon. Kante has been used as the most attacking part of a midfield three in recent weeks, but Barkley should operate closer to the front three today.

1.36pmThe substitutes' bench is pretty much as you would expect. Cesc Fabregas and Pedro may have been hopeful of a starting role, but they would have expected to be named among the replacements having started in Europe.

1.38pmMarcos Alonso should have got sent off in this fixture last season, and eventually faced retrospective action. The Spaniard may be thinking that he needs to avoid a repeat of that today!



1.40pmWe have already touched upon Southampton's abysmal home form. Going into detail, they have only won once in 14 attempts in the Premier League, although only six of those games ended in defeat.

1.42pmThat record would have improved marginally had Southampton defeated Chelsea last season. They held a 2-0 advantage over the Blues until three goals in 10 second-half minutes changed everything. Southampton will be wary of that this afternoon.

1.44pmHughes used to represent Chelsea during his playing days, but the Welshman does not enjoy reunions with his former club. He has lost 18 Premier League games to the West Londoners!

1.46pmHughes needs to find a solution to Southampton's scoring woes. Just 45 goals have come in 51 matches, and just three different players have netted in the Premier League this season.

1.48pmLet's turn our attention to Chelsea now. Much was made of Chelsea failing to finish in the top four last season, but this is a club who have won nine of their last 14 matches in the top flight.

1.50pmThis is also a team who are making a habit of scoring late goals, with almost half of their last 15 strikes coming in the closing quarter-of-an-hour. Southampton have shipped a lot of goals during that period, which may not bode well for them this afternoon.

1.52pmAs far as Sarri is concerned, the Italian is looking to become just the sixth manager to remain unbeaten in his first eight games in the Premier League. The former Napoli man will probably be more concerned with trying to make it 11 matches unbeaten in all competitions.

1.54pmGiroud is still looking for his first goal this season but the World Cup winner enjoys playing against Southampton. He scored in all three games against them - for Arsenal and Chelsea - last season.

1.56pmRESULT! The full-time whistle has gone at Craven Cottage and Arsenal have netted four second-half goals to thrash Fulham by a 5-1 scoreline. The Gunners are beginning to look the real deal under Unai Emery. Click here to read our on-the-whistle report.

1.58pmThat result means that Arsenal have moved into third place in the Premier League. They have now won six games in a row and only sit a point adrift of Manchester City and Liverpool, who play later.

Fulham had been tipped to finish in the top 10, but Slavisa Jokanovic's side are only 17th and with a -12 goal difference. They desperately need a win after the international break.


2.00pmPREDICTION! Chelsea may be unbeaten since losing to Manchester City in the Community Shield, but they continue to struggle to take their chances in the final third. That could keep Southampton in the game at St Mary's, but the visitors should still have enough to secure three points on the South coast. Chelsea to prevail by a 2-1 scoreline.

2.02pmHEAD TO HEAD! Sunday's meeting will represent the 103rd competitive encounter between the two clubs, with Chelsea registering 44 wins in comparison to 30 victories for Southampton.

2.04pmThe Saints went through a period where they were regularly upsetting the Blues, with two wins and three draws coming from seven matches between 2013 and 2015. However, Chelsea have prevailed in each of the last six fixtures!

2.06pmBefore we get going, a quick reminder that you can follow live coverage of the showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City after this game. Whoever emerges victorious in that match will establishe a minimum of a two-point lead at the top of the standings heading into the international break.

2.08pmThere is also Barcelona's trip to Valencia to look forward to later this evening. You can read in-depth previews of both fixtures by clicking here.

2.11pmThe two teams have started to make their way out at St Mary's. Chelsea will be confident of registering another win on the South Coast, but this Southampton side have recently suggested that they are ready to start improving under Hughes.

2.13pmA reminder of the two starting lineups...

SOUTHAMPTON XI: McCarthy; Yoshida, Bednarek, Hoedt; Soares, Hojbjerg, Lemina, Bertrand; Redmond, Gabbiadini, Ings

CHELSEA XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Giroud, Hazard


1 minKICKOFF:  Chelsea get us underway!

2 minIt has been a fast start from Chelsea who develop a period of play by getting Kante free in midfield. The Frenchman gives Azpilicueta the chance to cross but his delivery goes straight to McCarthy.

4 minSouthampton hit back well with Luiz having to twice clear the ball, but Chelsea are soon back on the offensive looking to find an early goal. It's been a promising start from both clubs.

6 minChelsea win the first corner of the match but it comes to nothing. Chelsea are spending a lot of time on the ball in these early stages.

8 minOFF THE BAR!  Hazard sees a shot blocked inside the penalty area but Willian retrieves the ball and gets a shot away, which takes a huge deflection and hits the top of the crossbar before going behind.

10 minIt is all Chelsea now with Southampton sitting deeper and deeper. They cannot afford to do that. Chelsea win another corner and even though Barkley flicks on, Southampton see off the threat.

12 minThis has progressed into the kind of game where Giroud's holding up of the ball and flick-ons could prove key. There's not a lot of space for the Blues once they enter the final third.

14 minChelsea are having two-on-one on each flank. It makes you wonder why Hughes has gone with three at the back because Soares and Bertrand are struggling to cope.

16 minI don't think that Southampton have had a touch of the ball in the final third since the third minute of this match. Rudiger and Luiz have barely moved from the halfway line. Still no more shots for Chelsea, however.

17 minSHOT!  Better from Chelsea. A fine team move leads to Barkley being teed up on the edge of the penalty area, but the Englishman curls harmlessly over the crossbar from over 20 yards.

19 minThe visitors are beginning to up the tempo and win another corner but again, a set piece comes to nothing. Southampton have conceded a few goals from set pieces this season, but Chelsea aren't making the most of their free kicks and corners.

21 minThe Southampton supporters are attempting to rally their players but they are not even second best right now. Chelsea must have had at least 80% of possession.

22 minAs I say that, Southampton do well to get the ball forward for Ings to cross from the byline, but Alonso just about does enough to prevent a Saints player from converting at the back post.

23 minSHOT!  Much better from the home side as Gabbiadini forces Arrizabalaga into a save to his right with a well-struck strike from distance.

25 minSouthampton remain in the ascendancy and are at least making a game of this now. That said, some of Chelsea's players may be happy to have a breather after seeing most of the ball.

26 minCHANCE!  Ings misses a sitter! Bertrand gets down the left and crosses for Ings who have got himself behind Luiz. However, the Englishman somehow volleys over the crossbar from no more than six yards out!

28 minChelsea think that they have a shout for a penalty when Giroud goes down under a challenge from Hoedt, but it is never a spot kick. Good decision from the referee.

30 minGOAL!  Southampton 0-1 Chelsea (Eden Hazard)

30 minChelsea take the lead and Sarri will be delighted with it. Barkley dispossessed a Southampton player and picked out Hazard with a through-ball. The Belgian only has McCarthy to beat and he slots home with aplomb from 14 yards out.

32 minThe goal came at a time when Southampton were beginning to match the visitors. That Ings miss could really cost the Saints. Chelsea are back in the ascendancy now.

34 minSouthampton are showing a lot less ambition than they were five minutes ago. Attacking Chelsea is the right way to go, but the Saints are looking to ensure that they don't go further behind before the break.

36 minThe tempo of the game has certainly dropped with Chelsea passing the ball about effortlessly in the middle third of the pitch.

37 minSHOT!  Southampton manage to win the ball back and it leads to Gabbiadini getting a shot away from distance. It's ambitious, but Arrizabalaga has to remain alert in order to claim the ball at the second time of asking.

39 minThe home side are having to hang on a little now. Several blocks have been made in the space of 60 seconds, including one from Luiz who had directed a half-volley towards the bottom corner.

41 minYou could hear a pin drop at St Mary's. Chelsea have completely sucked the enthusiasm out of the crowd. The Blues have already had 10 corners in this first half.

43 minAn 11th corner is flicked on towards Alonso at the back post, but the Spaniard cannot direct his scissor kick towards goal.

45 minThere will be one minute of added-on time.

45+1 minBertrand wins a free kick on the left-hand side of the penalty area. Late chance for the Saints to go in on level terms.

45+2 minYELLOW CARD!  This is really poor from the referee. He decides the free kick is about three yards away from the penalty area than where the foul was actually committed. Bertrand complains and is booked! Nothing comes from the set piece.

45+2 minHALF TIME:  Southampton 0-1 Chelsea

3.05pmThe half-time whistle goes at St Mary's and Chelsea lead thanks to Hazard's goal on the half-hour mark. Southampton should have gone ahead before that opener, but Chelsea are full value for their advantage.

3.09pmHazard's goal - a calm finish from the centre of the penalty area - came as a result of some brilliant play from Barkley. The midfielder regained possession before threading a pass through to his teammate, who couldn't really miss. The Englishman has again looked good as part of Sarri's midfield three.

3.13pmSouthampton's big moment came a few minutes before Chelsea's opener. Bertrand found Ings with the perfect cross, but the in-form forward sent the ball over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.

3.17pmSUBSTITUTION! Southampton make a change with Romeu replacing Bednarek.

46 minKICKOFF:  We are back underway.

48 minChelsea have picked up where they left off, keeping hold of the ball and looking to create opportunities. Willian gets a shot way from long range, but McCarthy makes a comfortable save.

50 minCHANCE!  For the second time in this match, Southampton create a chance for a player waiting at the back post, but it is wasted yet again. Bertrand is lurking behind Azpilicueta but side-foots a volley well over the bar from six yards.

52 minIt's a reminder that for all of Chelsea's dominance, this game is still in the balance. Southampton are causing problems when they play on the front foot.

53 minCHANCE!  Another opportunity for Southampton, this time for Ings. He receives the ball on the edge of the area before getting a snap-shot away from 18 yards, with Arrizabalaga making a comfortable save.

54 minYELLOW CARD!  Lemina goes into the book for a foul on Barkley.

56 minSouthampton have played so much better since switching to a back four. Redmond has benefitted more than most and is causing Azpilicueta all kinds of problems.

57 minGOAL!  Southampton 0-2 Chelsea (Ross Barkley)

57 minWhat a brilliant goal. Willian's floated free kick is met by Giroud, whose scissor kick finds Barkley inside the six-yard box and the midfielder can't miss. It's his first-ever goal for Chelsea.

59 minChelsea should make this a comfortable last-hour if they keep their focus. Again, their goal comes after Southampton had began to threaten.

61 minYELLOW CARD!  Romeu becomes the third Southampton player to be booked for a cynical foul on Hazard.

63 minA reminder that Chelsea will be moving to the top of the standings if they see this out. They may not have hit top form yet but they are keeping themselves in contention with Manchester City and Liverpool, who play later.

66 minYELLOW CARD!  Hojbjerg now goes into the book for a simply awful challenge on Giroud. Even if he is frustrated, you don't to see scissor-like tackles like that.

67 minCHANCE!  Less than a minute later, the same player should halve the deficit after running onto a knockdown inside the area, but Rudiger makes an excellent block.

68 minSUBSTITUTION! Chelsea make their first change with Morata replacing Giroud.

70 minChelsea are still looking for the third goal which would put the result beyond doubt. Hazard just tried to find a way through on the edge of the area but was eventually crowded out.

72 minIt would not come as a huge surprise if Sarri introduced Kovacic sooner rather than later. The Croatian has formed a solid partnership with Jorginho and could be effective at this stage of the game as Southampton look to throw more men forward.

74 minSUBSTITUTION! Instead, it is going to be Pedro who is brought on in place of Willian.

76 minThis is a bit of a waste. Hazard is released down the left and has time to pick out Kante in space at the back post, but the cross is over-hit and the chance is squandered.

78 minSUBSTITUTION! Hughes decides to send on Long, who takes the place of Gabbiadini.

79 minOFF THE BAR!  What a save from Arrizabalaga! Redmond fires a swerving shot from all of 25 yards and it appears destined for the net, but the summer signing somehow tips the ball onto the top of the crossbar.

80 minCHANCE!  Chelsea break after defending the resulting corner and Hazard moves forward being passing the ball through to Morata. The substitute has time to pick his spot, but McCarthy is equal to his effort down to his right. He should be scoring that.

81 minSUBSTITUTION! Chelsea make their third change with Kovacic being introduced for the excellent Barkley.

83 minSAVE!  I'm not sure how Southampton haven't scored this afternoon. Ings sends the ball towards the top corner from 20 yards, but Arrizabalaga tips the shot over the bar.

85 minSouthampton look like they are going to lose this match, but Hughes will surely take the positives. The Welshman got his tactics wrong at the start of the game but since changing to four at the back, they have matched their more illustrious visitors.

87 minJust the three minutes to go now. Hazard remains lively in attack and is striking fear into the Southampton backline. The playmaker has again put in a man-of-the-match performance for his team.

89 minCHANCE!  A corner from the left goes all the way through to Rudiger who somehow fails to convert from six yards out. It shouldn't matter too much.

90 minYELLOW CARD!  Ings is extremely fortunate to avoid a red card. The striker mistimes a challenge on Kovacic and his studs make contact with the Croatian's ankle. He is apologetic, but it's a sending off.

90+1 minThere will be four minutes of added-on time.

90+3 minGOAL!  Southampton 0-3 Chelsea (Alvaro Morata)

90+3 minMorata scores for the second time in three days! Hazard sends a pass through to the Spaniard who dinks the ball over the advancing McCarthy and into the bottom corner.

90+5 minFULL TIME:  Southampton 0-3 Chelsea

4.11pmThe full-time whistle goes at St Mary's and Chelsea have registered a deserved 3-0 win over Southampton. Barkley and Hazard both provided a goal and assist apiece, with Morata adding just his second top-flight goal of the season. It's been a perfect day for the West Londoners!

4.12pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this afternoon and we hope that you can stick around for Liverpool's meeting with Manchester City.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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Antonio Rudiger celebrates scoring during the pre-season friendly between Chelsea and Arsenal on August 1, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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