Chelsea embarrassed Southampton at St Mary's as doubles from Mason Mount and Timo Werner blitzed them to a 6-0 win on Saturday afternoon.
Having suffered dispiriting losses to Brentford and Real Madrid recently, the Blues got off to a quick start as Marcos Alonso rifled in the opener before Mount struck soon after, with Werner then racing through to make it 3-0 before the 25th minute.
Kai Havertz helped himself to a tap-in to make it 4-0 before half time, with Werner and Mount getting their braces before the hour-mark.
An energetic start saw Werner hit the woodwork twice in the first six minutes. The first was a decent effort, dragging his shot across goal onto the post, but his second should have been buried, instead heading his effort onto the crossbar.
The German's tough luck in front of goal meant little as Chelsea went ahead through Alonso. The wing back arrived on the scene to send a half-volley through Fraser Forster's legs following a thoughtful lay-off from Mount.
Mount added to his excellent start with a sublime strike from the edge of the box to make it 2-0, while Werner put his early misses behind him to capitalise on an errant headed pass from James Ward-Prowse to increase the scoreline even further.
From a Southampton corner, Ward-Prowse headed the ball backwards under little pressure which allowed Werner to nip in and run the length of the Southampton half, round Forster and slot in to secure the points for Chelsea.
The catastrophic display from the Saints got worse when Mohammed Salisu went walkabout in the wrong area, allowing Werner to nick the ball. The forward could only strike the post again, but the rebound fell perfectly for Havertz to tap in on the rebound to complete a brilliant first half for the visitors.
Chelsea walked in another shortly after the resumption, with Forster saving N'Golo Kante's attempted chip into Werner's path for a shot into an empty net.
Thomas Tuchel's side got their sixth when Mount bundled in after Forster had saved from Pulisic. With the hour-mark not even reached at that point, minds were immediately drawn towards the two 9-0 defeats Southampton have infamously suffered over the years.
However, as changes were made the rhythm of the game slowed and Chelsea sat on their healthy lead, with their hosts visibly sapped and distraught towards the end of an awful afternoon for Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The hosts were outplayed and outgunned all afternoon, with forwards Che Adams and Adam Armstrong providing little threat to Chelsea's defenders. Their on-loan star Armando Broja was also absent, being ineligible to face his parent club.
The win takes third-placed Chelsea eight points clear of Tottenham, also increasing their advantage over both Manchester United and Arsenal after the latter duo both lost on Saturday. Southampton, meanwhile, drop down to 13th, with their goal difference taking a battering.
Southampton player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Fraser Forster (GK) - 5/10 - Point-blank save from Werner kept the score at 2-0, with Forster powerless to prevent the opening goals. Made a couple of outstanding saves just before half time. Southampton's best performer, somehow, despite the scoreline.
Tino Livramento (RB) - 3/10 - Came too far inside before Alonso's goal, giving the Spaniard plenty of time to strike. Couldn't offer any attacking threat against his former side.
Jan Bednarek (CB) - 2/10 - Couldn't keep up with Werner as the German raced through to make it 3-0. Not authoritative in the air and Chelsea's nippy attackers ran rings around him.
Mohammed Salisu (CB) - 1/10 - Absolutely awful decision to attempt to dribble out from the back for Chelsea's fourth, having the ball nicked off him. Absolutely hapless the whole game.
Kyle Walker-Peters (LB) - 4/10 - Penned in and couldn't get forward as Chelsea battered his team. Lovely cross to Adams set up Southampton's best opportunity.
Stuart Armstrong (RM) - 4/10 - Started brightly on the flank but waned as Chelsea took a firm grip of the game.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 3/10 - Poor header allowed Werner to get in and make it 3-0 to Chelsea. Not too many trademark set-piece deliveries.
Oriol Romeu (CM) - 2/10 - Couldn't close Mount down quick enough before the goal which made it 2-0. Given the runaround as Chelsea swarmed and taken off before half time.
Mohamed Elyounoussi (LM) - 3/10 - Made very few passes, seeing little of the ball. No impression made.
Adam Armstrong (ST) - 4/10 - Had a shot blocked in the early stages but couldn't influence any attacking play. Subbed at half time.
Che Adams (ST) - 4/10 - Just 12 touches in the first half, the fewest of any player. Great chance to pull one back but shot straight at Mendy - his side's only shot on target all afternoon.
Yan Valery (CB) - 4/10 - An early introduction with the score at 4-0, coming on as Southampton switched to a three-man defence.
Ibrahima Diallo (CM) - 4/10 - At least helped slow down the scoring rate in the second half.
Will Smallbone (CM) - 4/10 - "What's the score, gaffer? 6-0, yeah? No worries, I'll put myself about and let 'em know I'm there."
Chelsea player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Edouard Mendy (GK) - 7/10 - Not required for any work during the first half. Made himself big to deny Adams a consolation. Quiet afternoon.
Andreas Christensen (CB) - 7/10 - Has had a few nightmarish performances of late so would have been happy to have a quieter outing as his side's forwards ran riot. Won a lot of duels in the air.
Thiago Silva (CB) - 7/10 - Forced a save from Forster with a deflected header. Southampton's attackers provided little threat to a defender who's seen it all. Subbed off with little at stake.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) - 7/10 - Nice pass down the line for Chelsea's sixth. Pace and strength gave his opponents little hope.
6. Wing backs & midfielders
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (RWB) - 8/10 - Played on the right with neither Cesar Azpilicueta nor Reece James in the starting XI. Looked comfortable driving up the wing and created some good opportunities.
N'Golo Kante (CM) - 8/10 - Captained the side. Alert early on to stop an Adams run down the wing. Gave Southampton's opposing midfield little chance with a bustling performance. Had a shot saved in the build-up to Werner's second after getting forward.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) - 7/10 - Used the ball quickly and well, looking levels above Southampton's midfielders.
Marcos Alonso (LWB) - 8/10 - Showed his quality in the final third with a rifled finish. Big threat down the left as Chelsea dominated possession, allowing him to get as high up the pitch as he wanted.
Mason Mount (RF) - 10/10 - Spotted Alonso's run and intelligently teed him up for the opener. Sent a low shot into the far corner with awesome precision from outside the box to make it 2-0. Grabbed his second by bundling in. Ran the show.
Kai Havertz (ST) - 7/10 - In the right place at the right time to make it 4-0. Two roulettes in a row showed Chelsea were enjoying their trip to St Mary's. Taken off at half time with bigger tests on the horizon.
Timo Werner (LF) - 8/10 - Struck the woodwork twice early on and should have buried one of the opportunities. Kept his composure to run in from Ward-Prowse's header and round Forster for 3-0. Rolled in his second after Kante's forward burst.
Christian Pulisic (ST) - 7/10 - Nearly scored with one of his first contributions, but it still led to Mount getting his second after his shot was saved.
Reece James (CB) - 6/10 - Slotted into the back three as Chelsea closed out the game.
Hakim Ziyech (AM) - 6/10 - A few little opportunities here and there but Chelsea's attacking thrust had largely died down by the time of his arrival.