Home Play by Mail Southampton 0-6 Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel’s side bounce back from defeats in style

Southampton 0-6 Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel’s side bounce back from defeats in style

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No excessive consumption of chocolate until late at night. No tortured replays and high voices. My God, Thomas Tuchel looked like he had a fun day at work for the first time in a while.

And it was. Six goals. Could have been 12. Should have been new. But after the week that Chelsea have had, and actually longer with all this other business, it will be fine.

It was easy. It was soothing. It was a barrel of widely shared goals – Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz had one each. Mason Mount has two. Just like Timo Werner, this butt of a few jokes who also put three shots against two posts and one on the bar of the same frame. He was excellent.

Chelsea bounced back from losses to Brentford and Real Madrid with a comfortable 6-0 win over Southampton

Timo Werner and Mason Mount both netted braces while in-form Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz also netted goals

Timo Werner and Mason Mount both netted braces while in-form Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz also netted goals

For a moment it looked like Ralph Hasenhuttl's side could suffer another 9-0 loss, but Chelsea looked pleased when they hit six

For a moment it looked like Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side could suffer another 9-0 loss, but Chelsea looked pleased when they hit six

MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS

Southampton (4-3-1-2): Forster 7; Livramento 4, Bednarek 4, Salisu 3, Walker-Peters 3.5; Ward-Prowse 4.5, Romeu 4.5 (Valery 36.5), S Armstrong 4.5; Elyounoussi 4; A Armstrong 4 (Diallo 46, 5), Adams 4.

Unused subtitles: Caballero, Stephens, Redmond, Perraud, Smallbone, Tella, Diallo, Walcott.

Reserved: Bednarek

Ralph Hasenhüttl 3

Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy 6.5; Christensen 7, Silva 7 (James 63, 6.5), Rudiger 7; Loftus-Cheek 7.5, Kante 7, Kovacic 7, Alonso 7.5; Mont 9 (Ziyech 68, 7), Havertz 7.5 (Pulisic 46, 7), Werner 8.

Subs not used: Arrizabalaga, Jorginho, Chalobah, Niguez, Barkley, Sarr.

Thomas Tuchel 8

Ref: Kevin Ami 7

Then there was Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He had a start, an assist and a role in another. Edouard Mendy faced a shot and saved it. All three backs delivered a clean sheet. Smiles everywhere. Admittedly, it was just a calm before the storm at Real Madrid on Tuesday, but sometimes a good walk helps.

Was it more than that? Probably not, because how do you measure a beating when it’s against Southampton? Good manager and pretty solid team, generally. Not so much at the moment – it was their fourth league loss in five and there’s a certain comfort about their place in the table, not to mention a recurring vulnerability to the kind of blow that sticks in the game. ‘mind.

Do you remember Leicester at home in October 2019 and Manchester United away in February 2021? Two games and a total of 18-0. For a decent amount of time, this game turned into an echo of that pattern – it was 4-0 after 31 minutes and six at 54.

Even Ralph Hasenhuttl seemed to lose interest in shouting in the second half, although by then Tuchel was swapping a few players and letting go. If he hadn’t, this defeat could have entered the record books. Six will have to do.

With that, Tuchel allowed himself a broad smile just a day after admitting he fried this team for their defeats against Brentford and Real Madrid. He said he stayed up half the night gorging on chocolate and watching reruns to clear his mind, which resulted in four changes on his side for this one. Punitive? Perhaps.

Detailing these changes, Reece James, Jorginho and Christian Pulisic have all been benched and César Azpilicueta has tested positive for Covid. The absence of Romelu Lukaku, who had another of his difficult days in midweek, was attributed to his Achilles injury, so Alonso, Mateo Kovacic, Werner and Ruben Loftus-Cheek filled the gaps. Three of them were directly involved in the first blitz.

For his part, Ralph Hasenhuttl had warded off any urge he might have felt for a heavy rotation after their winless run. Hindsight, that wonderful thing, would have caused him to drop out of the whole group except for Fraser Forster. The set models might have done a better job.

Alonso gave Chelsea an early lead when he latched onto the end of a pass from Mount and overtook Fraser Forster

Alonso gave Chelsea an early lead when he latched onto the end of a pass from Mount and overtook Fraser Forster

Mount had a great score from second base with a daisy cutter before scoring the game's final goal

Mount had a great score from second base with a daisy cutter before scoring the game’s final goal

Havertz scored Chelsea's fourth goal of the game and was substituted at half-time to rest for his game with Real Madrid

Havertz scored Chelsea’s fourth goal of the game and was substituted at half-time to rest for his game with Real Madrid

To get an idea of ​​how this rout played out and what it could have been, consider that before the goals were scored, Werner had touched both the right post and the crossbar of each side of Havertz. Those chances all happened in the first six minutes.

From there it was a more tangible kick. Alonso got the first with a good shot over Forster, who followed up with a nice touch and a shot from Mount for the assist after a cross from Loftus-Cheek. Mount got the second with a nice shot from outside the box and after a good save Forster from Werner, the latter finally got his goal on the fourth attempt.

It was his first in the league since those teams met in October and it was pretty sweet. As always, it was rooted in Southampton mistakes, this time from James Ward-Prowse, who missed a header backpass behind Jan Bednarek. Werner, despite all the criticism he rightly faced at Chelsea, did exceptionally well from there, first holding off Bednarek on the run and then rounding Forster to finish for 3-0.

Werner hit the post three times against Southampton but was rewarded for his efforts with a goal each half

Werner hit the post three times against Southampton but was rewarded for his efforts with a goal each half

Although Forster scored six goals, he also made several important saves to avoid an eventual 9-0 loss.

Although Forster scored six goals, he also made several important saves to avoid an eventual 9-0 loss.

He then hit the woodwork again, this time the right post, after a delightful leap through three challenges after dismissing possession from Mohammed Salisu. The rebound fell for Havertz who drilled in the fourth. Hasenhuttl was livid.

Forster twice more saved Havertz and Loftus-Cheek before Southampton were granted 15 minutes of safety. It could easily have been 8-0. One manager’s recovery is another manager’s mess.

Werner tapped out for five four minutes after the restart, before Edouard Mendy blocked Che Adams – it was Southampton’s first shot on goal. A moment later Mount made it 6-0 and a pitch invader from the Chelsea side came for a selfie. He got much closer to Mount than anyone in red.

Alonso fired a wide shot as the game entered a relatively boring phase, but by then any goals would have been borderline cruel.

Thomas Tuchel didn't need to get up too much in the second half as Chelsea comfortably took all three points

Thomas Tuchel didn’t need to get up too much in the second half as Chelsea comfortably took all three points

It was the perfect afternoon for Chelsea who were able to rest some players and were in top form ahead of Tuesday's return leg.

It was the perfect afternoon for Chelsea who were able to rest some players and were in top form ahead of Tuesday’s return leg.

It was a disappointing result for Southampton who struggled for form and lacked confidence during the game

It was a disappointing result for Southampton who struggled for form and lacked confidence during the game

Sportsmail’s Kieran Lynch provided live updates for all of Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs in a live blog.