Eden Hazard 10/10, Ross Barkley 9/10 as Chelsea rout Southampton


Liverpool FC and Manchester City have been talked up as potential title challengers ahead of their meeting at Anfield on Sunday evening but Chelsea FC are something of a surprise package.

While Alvaro Morata's return to form has been a welcome boost ahead of the second global break, Eden Hazard has been the man to watch as the Belgian has been in terrific nick ever since the season began.

"From a technical point of view, he has made me a better player", said Barkley ahead of the 3-0 win over Southampton where a goal and assist helped Chelsea to maintain their unbeaten record going into the worldwide break.

SAINTS' poor home form continued as Chelsea strolled to a comfortable win at St Mary's this afternoon.

Southampton improved at the start of the second half and should have got themselves on level terms when Bertrand was found at the back post, but the left-back sent the ball over the bar from six yards out.

Ross Barkley set up Eden Hazard for the opener before scoring himself from close range (57) and Alvaro Morata made it 3-0 in injury-time.

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Hazard's brilliance comes as no surprise, but Barkley's might, given his tough start to life at Chelsea. 18 against Vidi in the Europa League on Thursday and a further 12 today, all without profit suggests there is work to be done on the training ground. While ultimately he was unable to prevent Hazard from getting on the score sheet, Hoedt made a number of key tackles, and spared his side a crushing defeat with his tireless performance.

The Belgian marvel has taken his game to another level under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri this season, playing with less restriction and devastating precision as he sits atop the goalscoring chart - with seven in the league.

Robbie Savage believes Chelsea FC can run Liverpool FC and Manchester City close in the title race.

I interviewed him with Laura Woods afterwards and you could see the glint in his eye.

- There were 31 passes in the build-up to Morata's 90th-minute goal for Chelsea - the most before a goal in the Premier League this season. The decision not to use VAR in the Premier League continues to baffle.