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Sarri's Chelsea revolution continues as Morata polishes off 31-pass move

16:52 IST 07/10/2018
Alvaro Morata Chelsea 2018-19
Southampton were passed off the pitch in Sunday's home defeat to the Blues, with the Spaniard sealing victory after a superb team move

Maurizio Sarri has wasted no time in leaving his mark on Chelsea, with Alvaro Morata's goal against Southampton coming straight out of the eccentric Italian manager's playing manual.

The former Napoli boss is known to favour short, sharp passing in his teams, in contrast to the more pragmatic styles favoured by predecessors Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. 

That philosophy is paying off at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea temporarily occupying the Premier League summit after dispatching the Saints 3-0

Eden Hazard opened the scoring with his seventh league goal of the season 30 minutes in, before Ross Barkley swooped after the break. 

It was left to substitute Alvaro Morata, one of the few Blues stars who has struggled to adapt to 'Sarriball', to polish off the win in injury time as he converted from close range. 

"We moved the ball very quick. I think one touch, sometimes two. We arrived at the goal so easy. I think it’s my football," Morata said after the game.

While the goal will come as a relief to the Spain international after a difficult start to the season, it was in the build-up that Sarri's strategy really came to the fore. 

A total of 31 passes were made in a move that started in the Chelsea area and finished with Morata wheeling away in celebration, a Premier League-high for the current season. 

Chelsea moved the ball across the pitch in order to stretch the resistence of a weary Saints side, with Eden Hazard at the heart of the move. 

It was indeed the Belgian who played the final killer pass to Morata, who finished with aplomb for his second league goal of the season. 

Jorginho has also been a figurehead of Sarri's passing game, having previously set a Premier League record for distribution against West Ham.

The Blues' time at the top will prove to be short-lived. 

A draw between Liverpool and Manchester City on Sunday will see the Blues share the lead, albeit below the latter by virtue of goal difference; while any outright winner of the fixture will enjoy a two-point advantage over Chelsea, who sit on 20 after eight games.