Sport

Alonso helps dominant Chelsea to victory

A free kick from Marcos Alonso was the difference between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Chelsea went into the game looking to build on their comfortable win over Huddersfield in midweek and whilst the scoreline was not as flattering as it could have been they were by far the better side throughout at Stamford Bridge.

Alonso was the first to threaten as he saw a low effort kept out by Fraser Forster, before testing the England goalkeeper again with a well-struck volley 10 minutes later.

Gary Cahill and N’Golo Kante tried their luck from range but both saw their efforts parried away by Forster.

The visitors were indebted to a great piece of defending from Ryan Bertrand after 32 minutes after he did exceptionally to chase back and put off Willian when it looked for all the world like he would find the net.

Chelsea were all over Southampton in the first half, with Forster being forced into another save to deny Alonso shortly afterwards.

It was starting to look like it might be one of those days for Chelsea when Pedro cut in from the left and saw his low effort deflected back into play off the post just before half-time but they needn’t have worried.

In the second minute of added on time Eden Hazard was hacked down 25 yards from goal. From the resulting free kick Marcos Alonso stepped up to curl an inch-perfect effort into the bottom corner to open the scoring. It was a fine strike from the Spaniard, though there were question marks over Forster’s goalkeeper.

That goal meant Chelsea went in at half-time ahead and they continued to dominate after the break.

Willian lashed wide after skipping away from two challenges, before Southampton mustered their first shot on target of the game.

Substitute Charlie Austin was sent clear by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but Tibaut Courtois in the home goal was equal to his strike.

Fellow subsititute Alvaro Morata forced a save from Forster shortly after being intoduced befor Austin saw a prodded effort kept out by Courtois.

Austin looked much more of a threat Manolo Gabbiadini had and he went close again late on as he flicked James Ward-Prowse’s low cross wide at the near post.

Chelsea could have added some gloss to the scoreline late on as Bakayoko, Fabregas and Azpilicueta went close but they were made to settle for a 1-0 win.

It was a deserved victory for Chelsea, though manager Antonio Conte will likely be wondering how his side only scored once.

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