Southampton 0-6 Chelsea: Saints given hell by glorious Blues
Timo Werner and Mason Mount registered doubles as Chelsea dismantled Southampton and claimed an outstanding 6-0 victory at St Mary's in the Premier League on Saturday.
Following the disappointment of home losses to Brentford in the Premier League and Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals in their previous two outings, Chelsea were back on song on the South Coast.
Marcos Alonso, Mount, Werner and Kai Havertz all hit the back of the net as Thomas Tuchel's side blew Saints away and surged into a four-goal lead inside just 31 minutes.
Werner and Mount were on target early in the second half to complete the rout and open up an eight-point gap to fifth-placed Arsenal, who lost at home to Brighton.
The pressure from Chelsea was incessant early on and they took the lead when Alonso drilled home a cushioned pass from Mount, who rifled in a brilliant second from 20 yards.
After hitting the woodwork twice, Werner finally had a goal when he pounced on a loose header from James Ward-Prowse at the halfway line and held off Jan Bednarek before rounding Fraser Forster.
Havertz tucked home a simple finish in the 31st minute when Werner's shot came back off the upright and only a trio of strong saves from Forster stopped the gap increasing before half-time.
The onslaught continued after the break with Werner rolling the ball into an empty net after Forster parried N'Golo Kante's dink straight to him.
Edouard Mendy kept Che Adams at bay on a rare Saints attack and Chelsea punished his miss when Mount converted on the follow-up after Forster kept Christian Pulisic and Werner out.
Alonso and Reece James went close but Southampton were able to get to the final whistle without conceding another goal, though Chelsea's confidence will have been sufficiently boosted before their second leg against Madrid.
What does it mean? Chelsea's rip-roaring start makes the difference
With Alonso, Mount and Werner finding the net in the opening 21 minutes, Chelsea had their earliest three-goal lead ever in a Premier League away game.
It was four 10 minutes later, meaning they were the quickest to reach that tally away from home in a top-flight game since October 2011, when Chelsea needed just 27 minutes at Bolton.
The incredible start meant the game was all but done by half-time and Chelsea were able to cruise to the final whistle.
Mount on top
In a little over a quarter of an hour, Mount had a goal and an assist for Chelsea.
It was the fifth time he has scored and set up another in the same game this season, with Mohamed Salah (also five) the only player to match him.
Another Hasenhuttl horror show
Southampton conceded at least four goals in a single half for the 21st time in their Premier League history. Seven of those instances have now come under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Key Opta facts
– Chelsea have won each of their past seven away games in all competitions, their joint-longest winning run on the road in their history, alongside seven-match streaks in April 1989 and November 2019.
– This was Chelsea's joint-biggest top-flight away win, alongside 6-0 victories at Barnsley (August 1997) and Wigan (August 2010). For Southampton, their only heavier home defeat in their Football League history was their record 9-0 loss to Leicester in October 2019.
– This was the 19th time that Chelsea have scored six-plus goals in a single Premier League game, the joint-most of any club (level with Manchester City). Conversely, Southampton shipped six-plus goals in a Premier League match for a 10th time, the outright most of any side.
– Mount has been directly involved in 18 Premier League goals this season (10 goals, 8 assists); the only English player to have a hand in more in a single season in the competition for Chelsea is Frank Lampard (five times).
– Werner scored his second and third Premier League goals of the season, all of which have come against Southampton. Indeed, 56 per cent of his goals in the competition overall have come against Saints (five of nine), the only opponent he has netted against more than once.
Chelsea travel to the Bernabeu on Tuesday for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Madrid, while Southampton have a week to recover before the visit of Arsenal in the Premier League.