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Played
March 30, 2013 8:30 PM IST
St. Mary's Stadium — Southampton, Hampshire
Referee:‬ J. Moss‎
Attendance:‬ 31779‎
 
John Terry 33′
 
Top of the Match
Jay Rodriguez
Jay Rodriguez
Southampton
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Chelsea FC
Flop of the Match
Ryan Bertrand
Ryan Bertrand
Chelsea FC
Victor Moses
Victor Moses
Chelsea FC

Southampton 2-1 Chelsea: Lambert steers Saints towards safety

First-half action saw Saints head into the break with the narrow lead and they defended resolutely to hold on to all three points, denting the Blues' hopes of a top-four finish

By John Stammers at St Mary's Stadium

EPL - Southampton v Chelsea, Rickie Lambert
Getty Images
Chelsea's top-four credentials are in doubt after they fell to a shock defeat to Southampton on Saturday, with Mauricio Pochettino's men dragging themselves towards safety.

Saints deservedly went ahead through Jay Rodriguez after a good start to the match, but were pulled back level when John Terry headed home. However a Rickie Lambert free-kick restored the hosts' lead before half-time and they held on for another top-half scalp after the break.

With a gruelling week ahead Rafa Benitez rested a number of key men for the clash, Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Ashley Cole all made way, while Juan Mata (illness) and Gary Cahill (knee) were unavailable. Therefore the likes of Ryan Bertrand, Terry, Marko Marin and Victor Moses started. Saints, meanwhile, were without injured Adam Lallana but young left back and reported Blues target Luke Shaw recovered in time.

The hosts started the brightest and had two decent chances to open the scoring through Rodriguez. The striker firstly drilled a half-volley over the bar after Lambert's header down, before breaking free of Terry with some inventive trickery only to roll the ball into Petr Cech's arms.

And Saints were rewarded for their continued pressure just after the 20-minute mark. Rodriguez received the ball from Lambert in a central position before moving it on to Steven Davis and making a darting run in behind the Chelsea defence. The Scot released it quickly and found the striker, leaving him to slot home past Cech.

Fernando Torres thought he had equalised just moments later when he had the ball in the net after breaking free of Jos Hooiveld, however he was penalised for handling in the build up and it was ruled out.

The Blues did get themselves back in the game, however, with just over half-an-hour played. Marin delivered a corner from the right flank which Terry headed home after losing his marker far too easily.

But the clash swayed back in the home side's favour just two minutes later when Bertrand was adjudged to have fouled Davis outside the Blues box. Saints captain Lambert stepped up and smashed the set-piece into the top-left corner of the goal, just out of Cech's reach.

Rodriguez called Cech into action once more with a powerful strike from distance but the score remained 2-1 as the half-time whistle was blown.

Clyne forced the Blues keeper into a low save at his near post just after the restart, before denying Marin with a fine challenge, but it was Chelsea who went closest to the next goal as half-time substitute keeper Kelvin Davis did magnificently well to tip over Moses' deflected effort.

Rodriguez then had two decent chances to give Saints some daylight, but was denied by a fine Cech save as he shot from a tight angle, before wasting the second opening with a heavy touch.

Benitez brought Hazard on as he searched for a vital goal and the Blues did indeed pile some pressure on the hosts, as well as having a penalty appeal turned down, but they just failed to find the cutting edge they needed in the final third.

Elsewhere James Ward-Prowse almost found Davis as Saints threatened on the counter-attack, before, down the other end, Hazard flashed a shot-cross just wide of the far post as the Blues' goal-mouth pressure continued.

Lampard failed to emulate Lambert as he flashed a late free-kick over the bar, with Saints able to hold on to a vital victory in their push for survival - also denting Chelsea's hopes of Champions League football next season.


Southampton

31
Artur Boruc
Goalkeeper
46′
3.00
2
Nathaniel Clyne
Defender
3.50
3
Maya Yoshida
Defender
3.00
26
Jos Hooiveld
Defender
2.50
23
Luke Shaw
Defender
3.00
4
3.00
8
Steven Davis
Midfielder
23′ 85′
3.50
18
Jack Cork
Midfielder
3.50
13
Jason Puncheon
Midfielder
62′
2.50
7
3.50
9
Jay Rodriguez
Striker
23′
4.00

Chelsea FC

2.50
1
Petr Cech
Goalkeeper
2.50
26
John Terry
Defender
33′
2.50
28
2.00
23
2.00
2
2.50
8
Frank Lampard
Midfielder
2.50
11
Oscar
Midfielder
76′
2.00
12
John Obi Mikel
Midfielder
72′
3.00
12
Victor Moses
Midfielder
2.50
21
Marko Marin
Midfielder
33′ 33′ 61′
2.50
9

Substitutes

1
Kelvin Davis
Goalkeeper
46′
3.00
6
 - 
13
Daniel Fox
Defender
85′
 - 
5
 - 
16
2.50
21
 - 
10
G. Ramírez
Midfielder
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
21
Ross Turnbull
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
Ashley Cole
Defender
 - 
4
David Luiz
Defender
2.50
7
Ramires
Midfielder
72′
3.00
17
Eden Hazard
Midfielder
61′
 - 
30
Yossi Benayoun
Midfielder
76′
 - 
19
Demba Ba
Striker

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0