Chelsea 4-2 Southampton player ratings: 9s all round for Blues forward line as they extend their lead at the top to seven

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Chelsea defeated Southampton 4-2 at Stamford Bridge to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.

Chelsea took the lead early on through Eden Hazard. Cesc Fabregas played a perfectly weighted forward pass into the path of Diego Costa, Fabregas’ compatriot laid the ball back in Hazard’s path; and he did the rest. Hazard arrowed an emphatic effort into the bottom corner of Fraser Forster’s goal. It was his 15th Premier League goal of the season, his best single-season haul in England’s top tier to date. You can see Hazard’s opener here.

Southampton were not prepared to lay down and accept defeat at the hands of the champions-elect, however, and struck back through Oriol Romeu. Romeu fired into an empty net from close range to draw the Saints level with his former side. That goal means it has now been 11 consecutive Premier League games without a clean-sheet for Antonio Conte’s side. Click here to see Romeu’s equaliser.

On the stroke of half-time, captain Gary Cahill headed his side back ahead. Diego Costa attempted an acrobatic effort, but the ball was nicked off his toe by Cahill, who beat Forster with a thumping header to restore Chelsea’s advantage. What a time to do it too. You can see Cahill’s goal here.

Chelsea were not done there, however. Diego Costa went into today’s game having not scored in his previous five Premier League appearances. Prior to that barren run, he had not gone more than three goals in England’s top division without a goal. He ended that goal-less streak with a fantastic header to extend the Blues’ lead to two goals. Click here to see Costa’s goal.

The Blues saved the best til last. Costa linked up with Hazard and Pedro to bag one of the best team goals you’ll see all season. It was champagne football, and the sort of stuff you expect from the champions of England. It’s well worth a watch, and you can see it here.

Ryan Bertrand scored a consolation goal for the Saints to give the travelling fans something to cheer about late on. The Chelsea academy product leaped like a salmon and scored a stunning header, it’s just a shame that it meant virtually nothing. Click here to see that one.

Costa’s double proved to be enough to take Chelsea over the line, and Conte’s men extended their lead at the summit to seven. The pressure is well and truly on Tottenham, who visit Crystal Palace tomorrow evening. Here are our player ratings for both sides:

Chelsea player ratings: Courtois 6; Azpilicueta 8, David Luiz 7, Cahill 8; Moses 6, Kante 7, Matic 5, Alonso 6; Fabregas 9, Diego Costa 9, Hazard 9. (Subs: Pedro 7, Terry 6)

Southampton player ratings: Forster 6, Cédric 5, Stephens 4, Yoshida 4, Bertrand 5, Romeu 7, Davis 6, Ward-Prowse 6, Tadic 5, Boufal 7, Gabbiadini 3. (Subs: Redmond 4, Long 5, Rodriguez 5)

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