Diego Costa finally ended his drought in front of goal with a double strike as Premier League leaders Chelsea beat Southampton 4-2 to restore their seven-point advantage over Tottenham. Eden Hazard who was phenomenal after coming off the bench in Saturday’s FA cup semi-final win against Spurs once again managed to put in a sublime performance for the Blues Along with the Belgian, Fabregas and Costa were at their very best as Antonio Conte’s side moved within 12 points of the title with five games remaining.
Hazard opened the scoring at the Bridge in just the 5th minute of the game and put the Saints on the back-foot, with a good early finish.
Costa met with a Fabregas through-ball who cut the ball back and provided the perfect lay off to the unmarked Belgian international to fire past Fraser Forster. With a Goal conceded the saints regrouped efficiently and established parity in the 24th min.
James Ward-Prowse’s corner tossed off Cesar Azpilicueta to fall in the path of Manolo Gabbiadini at the further side of the far post, citing panic in the Chelsea backline he nudged the ball in front of goal only for Oriol Romeu an ex- Blues to tap in the equalizer. Gary Cahill, back from illness, headed in Chelsea’s second just a min before halftime.
The visitors failed to fully clear the danger from a Fabregas corner which led to a penalty claim from Chelsea being rejected when Costa and Davies went down in front of goal.
Amidst all the frenzy the recently crowned PFA player of the year Kante raked up the lose ball and played it aerially in the Southampton box that was kept in the air by Alonso for the Blues skipper to head past the keeper to make it 2-1.
It took just 8 mins in the 2nd half for Chelsea’s top scorer this season to put the game to bed by ending a 1 and a half month goalless run and make it 3-1 for the home team.
Neat link up play preceding a short corner between Fabregas and Hazard plotted a goal with the former floating the ball at the far post, Costa shrugged off Ryan Bertrand to head home his 50th goal in Chelsea colors.
A 2 goal cushion gave the Blues the liberty to dictate the proceedings and create a bundle of chances. The efforts paid of just a min before regular time when the Blues striker doubled his tally and made it 4-1.
Hazard and Costa along with Pedro who came off the bench to replace Fabregas mesmerized the defence with deft touches amongst each other followed by some artistry by the ex Atletico forward before netting the most beautifully crafted goal of the evening and his 51st for the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Everything seemed perfect for the Leaders until late into the stoppage time another familiar player at the Bridge, Ryan Bertrand bagged home a consolation goal leaving Antonio Conte furious.
Despite that, it was a comfortable win and it seems that the Blues are on their way to yet another Premier League title, this term.