Chelsea left it late to secure victory against a spirited Southampton side after James Ward-Prowse’s red card opened the door to a 3-1 triumph.
The result will come as a bitter pill to swallow for the ‘Saints’ who were well in the encounter, but the ‘Blues’ left jubilant after tasting victory for the first time in three games.
Thomas Tuchel brought back some forgotten faces after what he described as a ‘slow and tired’ performance against Juventus in midweek.
That move paid dividends within the first ten minutes as Trevoh Chalobah, a player starved of action since netting on the opening weekend against Crystal Palace, drifted in at the far post to make it 1-0 after throwing himself at Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s flick-on.
A textbook Ward-Prowse half-volley came within inches of bringing the ‘Saints’ level, but Theo Walcott came even closer when his point-blank header somehow strayed off target just after the half hour.
Chelsea were beginning to find their rhythm, however, and Timo Werner wheeled away in celebration after a rare headed goal, before referee Martin Atkinson belatedly chalked it off for a foul in the build-up.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side made them pay after the break when former Blues youngster Tino Livramento, a player Tuchel supposedly regrets letting go this summer, was hacked down by Ben Chilwell in the penalty area.
The ever-reliable Ward-Prowse stepped up and emphatically found the bottom corner, although his afternoon would not last much longer when Atkinson brandished a red for his dangerous tackle on Jorginho.
Chelsea took that as their cue to open the floodgates, firstly through Werner who finished off a devastating move to claim just his second goal of the season, before Chilwell made amends for his penalty mishap by firing in a volley, despite Alex McCarthy’s best efforts.
The dramatic result sends the Blues top of the table, for now at least, while Southampton’s search for their first league win of the season goes on.