Chelsea cruises to 3-0 win at Southampton

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm •  Published: January 1, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Fernando Torres helped Chelsea to a 3-0 victory over Southampton on Wednesday as the Blues kept pace with their title rivals in the Premier League.

The Spain striker broke the deadlock on the hour mark at St Mary's, heading home a deflected cross from close range. Chelsea's substitutes then combined to deliver the second, with Oscar cutting in from the left to set up Willian for a powerful shot from the edge of the area in the 71st minute.

Oscar put the result beyond doubt with a clinical finish in the 82nd minute after Eden Hazard and Ramires linked up to put the Brazilian through.

Chelsea remains third in the standings, a point behind Manchester City and two adrift of league leader Arsenal after the top three sides all won on Wednesday.

Chelsea has not been firing on all cylinders since Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge, yet the ruthless edge that epitomized his first spell continues to shine through. There were few chances of note in the opening 45 minutes, with last-ditch blocks and wayward finishing keeping the score goalless. Southampton wasted decent chances during a penalty-box melee in the early minutes of the second half — missed opportunities which the team was left to rue as Chelsea took control of the game.

Having just been booked, Southampton's Gaston Ramirez swung in a corner that triggered the melee in which Dejan Lovren and Jose Fonte had attempts blocked, with the latter unsuccessfully claiming handball.

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