Friday, 16 November, 2018

Ross Barkley backed by Maurizio Sarri to star for Chelsea and England

Eden Hazard has enjoyed a fine start to the season for Chelsea Eden Hazard has enjoyed a fine start to the season for Chelsea
Rita Gibson | 08 October, 2018, 11:30

Morata was not to be denied, as he rounded off the scoring for the Blues second-half stoppage time, with Hazard picking up the assist.

Barkley was on the very fringes of Antonio Conte's Chelsea team, in which the system shackled star performer Hazard, but the pair are thriving now and combined to devastating effect at St Mary's.

Substitute Alvaro Morata, on for Giroud in the 68th minute, could have extended the lead in the 79th if not for a weak effort easily handled by Alex McCarthy, but he finally struck in the 93rd from a through ball by Hazard.

Given the superior form of Chelsea, the Blues entered the Premier League match as favourites and they duly delivered on the tag from the kickoff.

Starting XI: McCarthy (6); Cédric (5), Yoshida (6), Bednarek (6), Hoedt (7), Bertrand (6); Lemina (6), Hojbjerg (5), Redmond (5); Gabbiadini (6), Ings (4).

- Barkley became the first Englishman to score and assist in a Premier League game for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in December 2013.

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There are misses, and there are misses. In between, Ross Barkley, recently recalled to the England squad, made it a week to remember by scoring his first goal for the London club.

"In the league we have a lot of top players, Aguero is one of the best, like De Bruyne who is injured at the moment", continued Hazard.

He added: "It's too early to be thinking about the title, we know it is tough to win". Only Manchester United with 10 victories have beaten Saints more times away from home than the Blues.

"Today he has played very well and I am really happy with him", boss Sarri said.

The 32-year-old has shown he is a brilliant target man that can bring his teammates into play, with a special bond forming between him and in-form Belgian Eden Hazard. "So I think this case, for that kind of player, it's better to play for 35, 40 minutes than to have training". "But you have to improve from the tactical point of view, but now he has improved [tactically]". However, Willian appeared to be showing signs of tiredness after his midweek endeavours with his side in the Europa League, and wasn't quite at his usual exuberant best.

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