Three talking points from Southampton 0-3 Chelsea

After Chelsea won 3-0 away at Southampton, we examine the main talking points.

1) Chelsea’s approach to breaking down defensive teams has changed

For so many years under pragmatic, defensive minded managers such as Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho, Chelsea struggled to find a way past teams who parked the proverbial bus. They often looked to Eden Hazard or Diego Costa to create something.

Now, Chelsea are passing down the flanks a lot more. Defensive teams are compact in the middle and do not want to move out of their shape. By focusing play in the wide areas, Southampton players were forced to rush to close players down which affected their general shape and gave space for the Blues to exploit.

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2) Sarri’s obsession with set pieces is beginning to pay off

Sarri arrived with a reputation for extraordinary attention to detail. He is particularly devoted to creative attacking set piece routines. In fact, he had 33 different routines for his Napoli team.

His Chelsea team were always going to take some time to learn these routines during the early stage of his tenure. Now though, set pieces are beginning to result in chances. Alvaro Morata almost scored from one creative routine against Vidi and Ross Barkley’s goal against Southampton came directly from an interesting free kick.

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3) Redemption for Morata

Morata is a familiar face in our talking points but Chelsea need him to come good for the good of their title challenge. Olivier Giroud is a very stationary target man who offers little threat in behind.

Morata does offer this which means the team have another option with their attack. His finish was very neat and hopefully he can continue his recovery.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)