Jannick Vestergaard’s injury time equaliser spoiled Timo Werner’s Chelsea coming-out party as an entertaining match at Stamford Bridge finished 3-3.
Werner looked to have secured the points for Chelsea with a fantastic first-half showing. The German responded to having a goal ruled out by VAR with two excellently taken strikes to open his own account and put Chelsea two up.
A fantastic dummy to himself for the first and a superb Jorginho assist for the second were hallmarks of an early display from Chelsea that suggested the new arrivals, combined with the return from injury of Christian Pulisic, were beginning to click.
Chelsea perhaps should have been out of sight after their strong start, as Southampton centre-back pairing of Vestergaard and Jan Bednarek struggled with the speed of Chelsea’s front four.
Danny Ings pulled one back just before half-time however, continuing his good goal-scoring form this year.
Kai Havertz was caught in possession in midfield allowing Ings, characteristically available on the shoulder of the last man, to be played in and round the keeper to slot home.
Despite dominating the first half Chelsea only held a one goal lead heading into the break, and Ralf Hasenhuttl will have been pleased with his side’s response at the start of the second-half.
Southampton grew into the game, with full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Kyle Walker-Peters becoming more prominent.
At the same time Chelsea lost all fluency and Ben Chilwell, who looked like the true successor to Ashley Cole in the first-half, started to make errors.
All of Chelsea’s defensive frailties re-emerged at once for Che Adams’ equaliser when Kurt Zouma’s weak back-pass, after a good ball from Oriol Romeu, sparked off a slapstick sequence that saw Adams eventually slam the ball into the roof of the net.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, restored to the side after Edouard Mendy was injured on international duty with Senegal, will have done his quest to regain the starting role permanently no favours by pulling out of the 50-50 from Zouma’s back-pass and eventually being unable to prevent the goal.
But Chelsea were ahead again within minutes as Pulisic fed Werner who added an assist to his two goals by squaring for Havertz to score his first in the Premier League.
It would be the only glimpse of Chelsea’s attacking capabilities in the second-half as the roles from the first period were almost entirely reversed, with Southampton in control and Chelsea reduced to hoping to play on the break.
Hakim Ziyech made his Chelsea debut without around 20 minutes remaining but was unable to match the pace of the game, one nutmeg on Vestergaard aside.
Southampton were looking increasingly dangerous, with Romeu growing in influence, and both Adams and Ings having chances to equalise.
The equaliser did finally arrive in injury time as Theo Walcott, making his second debut for Southampton, fired a speculative shot into the box which was diverted inside the far post off the head of Vestergaard.
Southampton’s second half display warranted a point, but Frank Lampard will be unhappy his team’s defensive issues caused the lead to slip twice.
Final Score – 3-3