THE DATA DAY: SOUTHAMPTON V CHELSEA
A second win over Southampton in the space of a month owed much to our superior use of the ball and our clinical finishing in front of goal, according to the statistics…
Southampton had 12 shots to our 11, but only two of their efforts tested Petr Cech, who kept a record-equalling 208th clean sheet in a Chelsea shirt. Jose Mourinho praised his side's willingness to throw themselves in the line of fire, and the numbers back him up. We blocked five of Southampton's shots before they could reach our Czech stopper - our second highest total of the season so far - with four of those decisive interventions coming between the penalty box and Cech's goal.
We also completed an impressive 36 of 45 tackles, twice as many as the Saints, who could only win the ball off us on 18 occasions.
Southampton enjoyed 54.2% of the possession and completed 91 more passes than the Blues, but crucially in the final third they managed just two more passes than we did, suggesting we were able to manipulate our possession into more dangerous areas of the pitch.
Though none of our 15 crosses - including three inside the opening four minutes - picked out a man in blue, it was from a deflected Oscar delivery that we opened the scoring. Despite only coming on in the 52nd minute, the Brazilian had a very busy afternoon, having a hand in all three of our goals. After Torres's opener, Oscar then laid on Willian's sumptuous strike before scoring the third himself. He still found time to make five successful tackles which, along with Cesar Azpilicueta, was the highest number on the pitch, and he also completed three take-ons, third only to Torres and Eden Hazard.
Our Belgian star, on his 50th Premier League start, regularly interchanged between the three positions behind the striker, once again to devastating effect. He made as many passes as anyone else in blue - 33 - with 17 completed in the final third, a game-high figure. Hazard was the most fouled player on the pitch, with two Saints booked for attempting to hamper his progress. He went past a Southampton player five times, again more than anyone else, and was involved in our three most frequent pass combinations.
Torres's goal yesterday was our first in the second half of a Premier League game since Andre Schurrle struck at Stoke on December 7.
Our victory on the South Coast was our first by a two-goal margin or more since the reverse fixture against Southampton on December 1.
Our six away wins so far in the Premier League and Champions League have seen plenty of Chelsea goals. In the league we have won 3-1, 3-0, 4-3 and 3-0, while in Europe our triumphs against Steaua and Schalke were by scorelines of 4-0 and 3-0 respectively.