Barkley, Hazard lead Chelsea past Southampton

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  • Hazard puts Saints ahead
  • Southampton misses pair of big chances
  • Morata strikes late for 3-0

Ross Barkley posted a goal and an assist as Chelsea beat Southampton 3-0 at St. Mary’s on Sunday.

Eden Hazard‘s fine campaign continued with another Chelsea goal to open the scoring and Alvaro Morata also scored for the Blues, who take hold of the top spot in the Premier League ahead of Man City’s visit to Liverpool.

Southampton is 16th, three points clear of the drop zone.

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Chelsea was living in the Southampton final third from Moment No. 1, but unable to produce the finishing touch.

How dominant was Chelsea? Blues backstop Kepa Arrizabalaga did not touch the ball until the 21st minute.

Once Saints sprung to life, though, the attack was very real. In-form forward Danny Ings missed a seemingly surefire opener when he planted his foot to meet a cross and popped the ball over the frame.

Wesley Hoedt‘s slide tackle of Olivier Giroud in Saints’ box had a bang-bang feel to it, but replays showed that Hoedt did not get a piece of the ball and Chelsea should’ve been at the spot for a penalty kick.

And of course it was Hazard.

As the clock hit 30:00, the Belgian capitalized on a turnover to side-foot Ross Barkley’s perfect pass past Alex McCarthy

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Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg found Bertrand at the back post in a mirror image of Ings’ chance in the first half, with the same result.

And again Chelsea was ready to punish at the other end, with Olivier Giroud scissor kicking Willian‘s free kick into the path of Barkley for 2-0.

Arrizabalaga tipped a long distance Nathan Redmond rip off the bar and over in the 79th minute, and McCarthy stopped substitute Alvaro Morata at the other end within a minute.

Ings tested Arrizabalaga with a distance effort of his own, but the Chelsea keeper pushed it over the bar in the 84th minute.

Morata scored in stoppage time to round off the scoring.

Barkley ineligible to make Chelsea debut in FA Cup replay

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Ross Barkley was expected — and himself expected — to make his Chelsea debut on Wednesday, when the Blues host Championship side Norwich City in a third-round FA Cup replay at Stamford Bridge.

Alas, the 24-year-old English midfielder has been ruled ineligible due to a lesser-known and -applied rules surrounding transfers and player registration.

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Barkley completed his move from Everton to Chelsea, for $20 million, on Jan. 5, the day before Chelsea and Norwich drew 0-0 at Carrow Road. In order to be eligible for Wednesday’s replay, Barkley is required to have completed his transfer prior to the noon cut-off the day prior to the original tie. While the time of official approval is unknown, Barkley’s move wasn’t announced by the club until after 5 p.m. in the UK.

As such, Chelsea will attempt to set up a behind-closed-doors friendly this week, in order to provide Barkley a bit of game action as he builds fitness and sharpness ahead of a potential debut against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com). Barkley hasn’t seen a single minute of first-team action this season after suffering a serious hamstring injury in the summer.

Ross Barkley seals $20 million move to Chelsea

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Ross Barkley has sealed his move to Chelsea on a five-and-a-half-year deal.

The Everton and England midfielder, 24, was at Stamford Bridge with his representatives on Friday discussing the finer points of his move from Merseyside, with the two clubs reportedly agreeing a fee in the region of $22 million and Barkley already completing a medical.

Barkley’s move was announced later on Friday, while his new manager Antonio Conte had the following to say about Barkley when speaking to the media ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup trip to Norwich City on Saturday.

“He is very young, he has a lot of space for improvement. He is very strong physically with great technique. He is a good prospect,” Conte said.

The Liverpudlian, who was handed the No. 8 jersey, had the following to say after completing his move to Chelsea.

“I’m overwhelmed, I’m looking forward to it and I’m really excited to get started,” Barkley said. “To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.”

We have been here before with Barkley, who has just six months remaining on his Everton contract.

On Transfer Deadline Day back in the summer he seemed set to move to Chelsea but with the clock ticking away he changed his mind when at Chelsea’s training ground and decided to stay with the Toffees until the January window.

Just five days into this window the deal is all but completed for a man linked with a big money move to Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal in the past.

Barkley hasn’t played this season at all after he injured a hamstring in training in August. He also fell out of favor with former Everton boss Ronald Koeman who insisted he either signed a new deal with the club or left in the summer.

The academy product was available on a free transfer in the summer, so at least Everton recouped something for an attacking midfielder who was the brightest talent in English soccer in 2014.

Barkley has lost his way in recent seasons but if he can regain his form and fitness then Chelsea have a hugely talented player who is hungry to prove doubters wrong and force his way back into the England squad in a World Cup year.

After a nightclub altercation in his hometown of Liverpool, many called for Barkley to get out of his bubble and his comfort zone. He has done just that and it will be intriguing to see how he slots in at Chelsea and how often he plays.

With Tiemoue Bakayoko struggling to adapt to life in the PL, plus Danny Drinkwater more of a defensive option alongside N'Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas not getting any younger, Barkley could play a big role for Chelsea in the future.

Barkley speaks out, denies reports that he underwent Chelsea medical

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Ross Barkley has finally set the record straight.

On his Twitter account Saturday, Barkley wrote in three separate tweets that he didn’t pull out at the last second of a Chelsea medical and that he’s decided while he recovers from his hamstring injury suffered in August, he’ll wait until January to decide his future.

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After it had been reported that Everton and Chelsea had agreed a fee for Barkley to join the London club, it was then confirmed by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri that Barkley had a change of heart at the last moment. That led to rumors and twists and turns in the tabloids that Barkley had undergone a medical and changed his mind in the middle of it to stay with Everton.

“The two clubs agreed a deal of £35 million ($45.3 million) and I think personal terms were agreed,” Moshiri told Sky Sports News on transfer deadline day. “After the medical we heard from Paul Martin, Ross Barkley’s agent, that he had changed his mind and wanted to reconsider his position during the January window — that is the latest.”

Barkley has one year remaining on his Everton contract but manager Ronald Koeman said earlier this summer that the Englishman isn’t in his plans moving forward.

Considering that agents receive a fee on transfers and not on free transfers, it appears that it was Barkley’s decision to stay until at least January, though his transfer value will drop significantly with the possibility that any club can sign him as a free agent six months later.

Barkley leaves Chelsea medical, but may move in January

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One of the wildest stories of transfer deadline day doesn’t have to do with a player rushing to get to a ground in time for a medical, or a team offering a crazy figure to land a surprise player.

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Nope, the top eyebrow raiser today comes from the cold feet of Ross Barkley, cold because he hasn’t played in some time due to injury and colder on account of this:

Sky Sports reports that Chelsea and Everton agreed on a $39 million deal for the 23-year-old Barkley, and the player headed to Cobham for a medical.

However:

“The midfielder travelled to London and began his medical, but Sky Sports News understands he changed his mind and is expected to return to Everton. Wow!”

Wow, indeed. Did the boyhood Toffee change his mind about leaving home, or just not like the feel of Cobham? Could Barkley be realizing that the grass isn’t always greener?

Well, perhaps it’s nothing like that. Barkley is out for 2-3 months, and could be had on a free in several months’ time. That wouldn’t make any friends at Everton.

Here’s The Telegraph’s Matt Law: