Chelsea's early-season woes continued as Southampton stunned Stamford Bridge by comprehensively beating the champions 3-1 on Saturday evening.
- Chelsea 1 Southampton 3
- Saints in command throughout
- Mourinho’s problems mount
- Mane in brilliant form
- Willian on target again
Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle were in virtuoso form, scoring a goal a piece after Steven Davis had earlier cancelled out Willian’s opener.
The result leaves Chelsea in 16th position in the table, just four points ahead of the relegation zone.
Chelsea started brightly and took the lead in the tenth minute thanks to Willian, although only he will know if it was by luck of design. The Brazilian, who had scored three free kicks in his last three games, swung over another from the left-hand side of the box. The flight of the ball beat everyone, including Maarten Stekelenburg in the Southampton goal, and crept in the top corner.
But that was as good as it ever looked like getting for Chelsea. They were fortunate to survive two very strong Southampton penalty shouts, and Davis rifled an attempt just past the post, before former Blue Ryan Bertrand missed a glorious chance to equalise.
It was Davis who levelled the scores with half time looming, though. The former Fulham man latched onto a fine Pelle knockdown to fire a smart half-volley past Asmir Begovic.
Jose Mourinho would have been expecting a reaction after the break, but it only got worse for his side, though not without controversy.
After wriggling free of Jose Fonte in the Southampton box, Radamel Falcao appeared to be hauled down by Stekelenburg. However, the referee deemed the contact to have been engineered by the Colombian and booked him for simulation.
It would prove pivotal, too. Just two minutes later Southampton were ahead, and it was Mane who got it. Released by Pelle, he brushed aside John Terry forced the ball under Begovic.
Despite the earlier controversy, it was no less than the Saints deserved. Chelsea tried to respond but it was the visitors who looked to carry the threat.
When the inevitable third goal did arrive, it was Pelle and Mane who were the champions’ chief tormentors again. This time Mane turned provider, allowing the Italian to score with a smart finish across goal.