Chelsea scored two late goals as Thomas Tuchel’s side bounced back from consecutive defeats to beat winless Southampton 3-1 and move top of the Premier League.
Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell struck in the final six minutes after Saints had been reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of captain James Ward-Prowse for a poor challenge on Jorginho.
Chelsea have not lost back-to-back Premier League matches since Tuchel’s January appointment, a record which speaks volumes of the Blues’ consistency under the former Paris St-Germain boss.
But having struggled for creativity in the final third in their previous two outings, the energetic Werner was named among five changes on Saturday, as Chilwell and Reuben Loftus-Cheek made their first league starts of the season.
A dominant Chelsea had the ball in the net on two further occasions in the first half, however Romelu Lukaku was flagged offside and Werner’s header was ruled out following a foul by Cesar Azpilicueta on Kyle Walker-Peters in the build-up.
The hosts were punished for not extending their advantage when former Chelsea player Tino Livramento was tripped by Chilwell in the box and Ward-Prowse fired in the resulting penalty.
However, the visitors could not hold out for a point following the loss of their skipper, whose yellow card was upgraded to a straight red after referee Martin Atkinson viewed the pitchside monitor.
And having lost 1-0 to Juventus in the Champions League in midweek after their unbeaten league start was ended by Manchester City, Werner and Chilwell’s late strikes ensured Chelsea returned to winning ways at Stamford Bridge.
Elsewhere, Brighton were left to rue several missed opportunities as Arsenal claimed a point at Amex Stadium following a 0-0 draw.
Graham Potter’s side were more comfortable and confident in possession but failed to turn their first-half dominance into goals, with Dan Burn heading the Seagulls’ best opportunity over the crossbar from point-blank range.
The Gunners’ best first-half opportunity fell to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who nodded against the outside of the post from Bukayo Saka’s looping cross.
Emile Smith Rowe shot straight at Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez in a rare second-half attack, but an Arsenal winner would have been harsh on the hosts.
Meanwhile, Leeds United picked up their first victory in the Premier League this season as defender Diego Llorente returned from injury to score the winner for a 1-0 win over Watford.
Llorente, who picked up a hamstring injury in the defeat by Liverpool, instinctively poked it in from close range after a corner delivery bounced off Watford’s Juraj Kucka at the back post.
Watford, who were sloppy in possession and passive for large parts of the game, had a goal ruled out in the second half for a foul in the build-up after goalkeeper Illan Meslier’s fumble almost proved costly.
But despite the narrow scoreline, Leeds were comfortably the better side, leaving Elland Road with three points for the first time this season.