Match Report: Demba Ba makes his mark for Chelsea as Southampton are crushed

Southampton 1 Chelsea 5: New striker settles in at the double as
Torres keeps a watching brief from the stands

st mary's stadium

The contrast is startling: while Fernando
Torres took 14 games to score his first goal in Chelsea colours, Demba Ba
managed it within 35 minutes of his debut. The Spaniard was forced to watch and
admire from the bench as the former Newcastle man, who's arrival inevitably
brings Torres' accustomed starting place into question, scored twice in an
assured first display.

It could so easily have been a hat-trick as the FA Cup holders began their defence of the trophy with another goalfest as Southampton's initial stiff resistance ebbed away. The home side took a surprise lead but it only energised Chelsea into a vigorous response that was rewarded with an emphatic victory, their eighth in the last ten games.

In the end they settled for a five-goal haul with Frank Lampard coming off the bench to drive home a late penalty which put him level with Kerry Dixon on 193 goals and in second place in Chelsea's all-time goalscoring list. Bobby Tambling is now just nine goals ahead while another Lampard landmark saw him join the legendary striker's record mark of 25 FA Cup goals for the club.

Chelsea made five changes from the team that had surrended tamely in midweek against QPR with Ba's arrival granting Torres a respite after his recent heavy workload. This was Rafa Benitez declaring his intention to use his big guns in a competition his club have won four times in the last six seasons as Juan Mata and Eden Hazard both returned.

Even before his goals, Ba's runs and ability to get away from his marker suggested the alliance could prove a fruitful one for the London side. Victor Moses guided a pass a fraction ahead of the new man as Chelsea began to exert pressure, confident they could deal with all that the home team could conjure in attack.

That confidence was shredded in the 22nd minute when Southampton struck with a surprisingly straightforward counter. Jason Puncheon's exquisite pass found Gary Cahill lax in his marking duties and Jay Rodriguez exploited the room afforded him as he clipped the ball beyond the advancing Ross Turnbull.

If the breakthrough was unexpected it was enthusiastically received by the home support though they would have predicted the angry response from their opponents. Hazard bent a shot a fraction the wrong side of the far post and he was influential in the construction of the equaliser as he picked out Mata who coolly sidestepped the covering defender. The ball was heading for the net and as Ba and Steven Davis converged on the line it was the £7.5million man who applied the final touch.

Two alarming moments for Boruc when he failed to gather worthy but hardly difficult efforts did nothing to lessen the sense that Chelsea were now well in charge. The first half was all but up when Ashley Cole set up Moses with a neat cut-back and the winger nailed it with a sweet half-volley.

The second period proved a much more routine affair with Chelsea opening up Southampton at will and Turnbull distinguishing himself with a brilliant double save. The game was over as a contest in the 51st minute when Mata's cross provided Branislav Ivanovic with a simple header and with the home team's resistance now waning alarmingly Ba helped himself to a second, his dash to the near post nicely complemented by Hazard's low pass. The finish was emphatic.

"It is always important for a striker to score goals but Ba's movement and understanding of the team was really impressive as well," said Benitez. "It is important for the team to have different options in attack and Ba gives us that."

With seven minutes left Lampard tried to scoop the ball forward and Davis was penalised for hands. Inevitably Lampard converted to embellish his place in the Chelsea record books. But he was more than happy for Ba to hog the headlines.

Southampton (4-2-3-1): Boruc; Cork, Yoshida, Fonte (Hooiveld, 64), Shaw; S Davis, Schneiderlin De Ridder, 55); Puncheon (Lee, 76), Ward-Prowse, Guly; Rodriguez.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Turnbull; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic (Lampard, 65), Cole; Ramires, Luiz; Mata (Oscar, 79), Hazard, Moses (Marin, 73); Ba.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Man of the match: Mata (Chelsea)

Match rating: 6/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballI have never seen the point of lambasting the fourth official, writes Paul Scholes
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee