Three things we learnt from Chelsea's 2-0 win at Southampton
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea notched up their fourth consecutive league victory with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s. The Blues look revitalised in their new 3-4-3 system, with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa getting on the scoresheet and playing starring roles. Southampton had only lost one home league game in 2016 (funnily enough, against Chelsea) so this was an impressive result for the visitors. They occupy fourth spot in the table, just a point behind Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City after 10 games. The result halts some of Southampton’s recent momentum, but they were simply beaten by the more incisive team on the day. We suggested three things we learnt from an impressive away day by Chelsea.
Costa and Hazard Are The Type Of Partnership Champions Possess
Particularly after the game was safe late on, Costa and Hazard looked as though they were having their own private kickaround at St Mary’s. Though their goals came from moments of individual brilliance, they combined well all afternoon and we’re constantly looking for one and other. This system has got them in closer contact; Hazard is flourishing with less defensive responsibility in a central position and looks to have his enthusiasm back.
In a 38 game season, you cannot rely on one player to shoulder the creative and goalscoring burden. Title-winning attacks are typically comprised of a partnership that brings the team’s star men together. Even the very, very best players these shores have seen needed assistance. Cristiano Ronaldo had Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry had Robert Pires, Sergio Aguero had (and still has) David Silva). Leicester needed brilliant seasons from both Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to win the league. Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard shared the burden for Chelsea, as did Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn and Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole for United. Striker partnerships are less common nowadays, but Hazard and Costa are a double act in this vein. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez across London at the Emirates are comparable, also.