into the bottom-right corner.
Kante completed the rout, darting between Smalling and the sleepwalking Paul Pogba to tuck away his first Chelsea goal since his closeseason switch from Leicester City.
In an earlier game yesterday, Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw home to Southampton but the performance again raised questions over the title credentials of Pep Guardiola’s team.
The stalemate was a fifth consecutive game without a victory for City and Guardiola, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s eighth goal in his last 11 league games cancelled out Nathan Redmond’s first-half opener for Southampton, which owed much to an extraordinary mistake by City defender John Stones.
City, after winning their first 10 games under Spanish coach Guardiola, have suffered a major dip in form.
Guardiola had spoken passionately in the wake of the midweek 4-0 defeat at former club Barcelona about his desire to stick to his footballing philosophy.
Those beliefs, however, must have been sorely tested in a first half in which his side failed to test Fraser Forster in the Southampton goal and fell behind to the visitors.
The Saints went ahead in the 27th minute following a disastrous back pass from England centre-half Stones, who nonchalantly laid the ball back into the City penalty area despite the presence of Redmond.
“From watching them in preparation we knew they would give us chances, they only play three at the back,” Redmond told Sky Sports. “I was anticipating it and it was just about keeping a cool head and putting the chance away.”
In the 55th minutes, substitute Iheanacho equalised after a flowing move exposed gaps in Southampton’s defence with passes from Fernandinho and Leroy Sane allowing the young Nigerian to sweep in a confident finish from six yards. – AFP
Chelsea’s Pedro (left) takes the ball around Manchester United’s David de Gea (right) on his way to scoring the opening goal during their English Premier League match at Stamford Bridge yesterday. –