Premier League 2018-19: 4 things we learned from Chelsea's win over Southampton
Chelsea took full advantage of the draw between Manchester City and Liverpool by beating Southampton 3-0 away. All three teams head into the international break with 20 points each with City edging out Chelsea to the top spot due to a superior goal difference.
However, Chelsea looked very much like contenders with their dominant display at the St.Mary's stadium. They were very much a cut above the Southampton side who did try their best to keep Chelsea at bay with a deep defensive line.
Chelsea mounted attack after attack and it paid off in the 30th minute when Barkley won the ball in the Southampton's half and found Hazard's run into the box.
The Belgian, who is in the best goalscoring form of his career finished with ease to take his tally to seven Premier League goals. Southampton threatened Chelsea on a few counters but Kepa kept them at bay with some quality saves.
Barkley doubled the lead after a free kick was acrobatically volleyed into the 6-yard box by Giroud for Barkley to tap in.
Morata finished off the scoring in injury time after a fleeting team move by Chelsea which involved Hazard make a trademark dribble into the box to release Morata.
Morata had missed a glorious opportunity earlier in the match but this time he finished calmly and the Chelsea supporters must have heaved a great sigh of relief.
#1 Sarriball is rolling
There was a sense of curiosity when Sarri took over the Chelsea managerial post, primarily because of the clash between the defensive DNA Chelsea developed over a decade and Sarri's possession-based football.
Sarri inherited a team that played under two defence-minded coaches in Mourinho and Conte for around five years. In under three months of Sarri's tutelage, Chelsea are dominating possession and territory in a way the Stamford Bridge faithful had never seen before.
Against Southampton away Chelsea had over 65% possession and 15 attempts. Sarri has done a commendable work in altering the skeletal philosophy of Chelsea in such a short span and leading their title challenge.
If one considers the time taken by Guardiola and Klopp to shape their respective sides into title contenders, it's not far fetched to say that the Italian has worked instant magic.