Premier League: Chelsea Goes Top After Beating 10-Man Southampton
Chelsea climbed to the top of the Premier League table after a hard-fought 3-1 victory against 10-man Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
After back-to-back defeats by Manchester City in the Premier League and by Juventus in the Champions League, Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel brought Trevoh Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ben Chilwell and Timo Werner back into the side.
The hosts took a deserved lead when defender Chalobah scored a flying header after Loftus-Cheek flicked on a corner by Chilwell.
Chelsea thought they had extended its lead twice before halftime only for the officials to rule out the efforts by Romelu Lukaku and Werner.
However, Southampton hit back with a penalty converted by James Ward-Prowse in the 61st minute after Chilwell fouled former Chelsea defender Tino Livramento in the box.
The game only swung back Chelsea’s way when Ward-Prowse was shown a straight red card 16 minutes later for a foul on Jorginho which was picked up by the VAR officials and the hosts made their numerical advantage count.
In the 84th minute, Werner scored from point-blank range after a cross by captain Cesar Azpilicueta to extend the lead for the hosts.
Chelsea continued to press as they looked to kill any glimmer of hope Southampton had in the closing minutes of the game.
Just before the injury time, Chilwell atoned for giving away the earlier penalty by smashing the ball into the net in spectacular fashion after a goalmouth scramble.
The win lifted Chelsea to the top of the table ahead of Sunday’s clash between fellow title contenders Liverpool and Manchester City. Winless Southampton remain just outside the relegation zone.
Tuchel said he was relieved that his team had not succumbed to nerves after their two defeats in the past week.
“We had to be careful that we don’t start being too sad and too worried,” Tuchel said. “It was necessary that we have better performances than the last two, that we shape up our belief and we sharpen our mindset.”
Premier League results
Manchester United 1-1 Everton
Burnley 0-0 Norwich
Chelsea 3-1 Southampton
Leeds 1-0 Watford
Wolves 2-1 Newcastle
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Arsenal