A strong Chelsea performance made sure of all three points against Southampton in tonight's Premier League 2 game. The result means it's two wins from the first two games of the season.
Chelsea were good value for our win over Southampton and didn't waste any time in proving our worth. Jon Russell opened the scoring before the game had time to settle. However Southampton were not going to make it easy and hit back soon after, making Chelsea rethink the approach.
Thierno Ballo got our second after the first quarter shutting the door on Southampton's gaining confidence. We were not made to wait long for our third and it came through Myles Peart-Harris giving us a healthy lead at the break.
Peart-Harris was not finished though and scored his brace midway through the second half which put the game beyond the reach of our hosts and sealed maximum points at the night.
The young Blues
The only change in Chelsea colours came in goal, Lucas Bergstrom was between the sticks in place of Karlo Ziger who started among the substitutes along with Jack Wakely and Monday’s goal scorer Dion Rankine.
Quick fire start
Andy Myers couldn’t have wished for a better start from his men who were positive from the first kick. Marcel Lewis had the ball at his feet and spotted the run of Russell who easily tapped home at the back post. It was Russell’s second goal of the season.
Southampton hit back almost immediately though, Josh Sims unmarked from the centre of the box. A frustrating blow after such a positive start.
Thankfully Chelsea regained the lead shortly after the opening quarter, in what was an end-to-end affair. The Blues won possession back in our own half and broke with speed - Lewis leading the charge. His low centre had the choice of three in blue and Ballo was first to react, finding the net from close range.
There was barely any time for Chelsea to catch their breath in this all-action game and Ballo turned provider for our third five minutes later. He found himself in yards of space on the right and had plenty of time to pick out Peart-Harris who slammed home from close range. He really couldn’t miss, 3-1 to the Blues.
Peart-Harris very nearly had his second of the evening and it would’ve been from even closer than his first. Lewis’ wide free-kick found the tall midfielder in the centre and his header was on target but a good reaction save from Harry Lewis kept it out.
It was a much more settled end to the first half, Chelsea did well to defend Southampton attacks and kept the offensive threat alive when the opportunity opened. One very nearly did from Peart-Harris's early cross. George McEachran connected well but aimed straight at the keeper who palmed the ball away, bringing an end to an eventful but positive first 45 minutes.
We returned to the field unchanged while our hosts made one change in an attempt to get back into a game which now required a solid defensive display from the young Blues, and our back five didn’t put a foot out of place while protecting our lead.
Birthday boy Peart-Harris had been a threat all evening for Chelsea and he was rewarded with a second goal as we approached the final quarter. We won the ball back in midfield and found him on the charge. He had options to pass but opted to go alone and tucked the ball under the keeper for our fourth. The perfect present for the 18-year-old.
Southampton’s frustration began to show as left-back Will Ferry was shown a second yellow card for deliberately stopping a Chelsea attack and after the indicated five minutes of added time were played out the whistle blew, ending a blistering young Blues performance.
We’re back on the South Coast in a week’s time. Brighton play hosts to our development squad who have had a perfect start so far in Premier League 2.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1) Lucas Bergstrom; Henry Lawrence, Dynel Simeu (c), Levi Colwill, Ian Maatsen; George McEachran (Lewis Bate 76), Jon Russell; Tino Livramento (Dion Rankine 79), Myles Peart-Harris (George Nunn 85), Marcel Lewis; Thierno Ballo
Unused subs Karlo Ziger, Jack Wakely
Booked Peart-Harris 24, Maatsen 56
Scorers Russell 2, Ballo 16, Peart-Harris 21 72
Southampton Harry Lewis, Pascal Kpohomouh, Christoph Klarer, Will Ferry, Callum Slattery (c), Tom O’Connor, Josh Sims, Caleb Watts (Jake Hesketh 70), Dan N’Lundulu, Ramello Mitchell (Enzo Robise 62), Allan Tchaptchet (Alex Jankewitz ht)
Unused subs Tommy Scott, Kegs Chauke
Booked Ferry 28, Simms 56
Scorer Sims 7
Sent off Ferry 88