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January 16, 2013
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 38484
D. Ba 25'
E. Hazard 45'+
R. Lambert 58'
J. Puncheon 75'
Well, my friends, that's it from me this evening. I'm Tom McKeown and thank you for joining me for what turned out to be a thoroughly entertaining game. Disappointing for Chelsea, but superb for Southampton. Be sure to stick with Goal.com for all the reaction to tonight's games. Goodnight!
That result gives Southampton a three-point gap between them and the bottom three, while Chelsea are now six points adrift of Manchester City and a huge THIRTEEN behind leaders Manchester United.
FULL-TIME! And that is indeed that. Southampton have engineered a magnificent comeback when it looked at the break like Chelsea would cruise to a comfortable win.
90' + 4'
Azpilicueta launches it high towards the edge of the Southampton box, but the flag is up as Cole is caught offside. Surely that's that?
90' + 3'
Mata and Hazard work it wide to Torres on the edge of the area, and the Spain international tries a side-footed cross towards the far post, but it goes straight out for a goal kick.
90' + 2'
Into the second of four added minutes at Stamford Bridge. Cole and Ramires try to get the ball under control in the box but it runs away and the defence clears. Chelsea in complete control of the ball but Saints are holding firm.
Half-hearted shouts from the home faithful as Cahill goes down in the box, but the referee doesn't look interested and Southampton get the ball away.
Lambert nearly breaks free but can't keep up with the ball and Chelsea have it again. Torres is caught by Shaw and the hosts have the ball in Saints' half once again, but they still can't find a way through.
Chelsea have all the possession at the moment but can't find the equaliser. Schneiderlin nicks it off Mata on the edge of the box and the visitors are able to take some of the pressure off.
Mata finds Torres in space and the striker cuts across Hooiveld on to his right foot, but doesn't get a clean shot away and the ball skips wide.
Yellow Card David Luiz
Gaston Ramirez breaks forward for the visitors and is wiped out by Luiz, who rightly picks up a booking. Saints waste the free kick, though, and Cech easily collects the ball.
Southampton clear the corner but Chelsea push forward again. Ramires' ball in is met by Ba who tries a volley but sees it blocked before Torres' effort has the same outcome. Southampton hanging on.
Torres has settled out on the right wing for Chelsea, meaning no change of system from Benitez. Will it pay off? The Spain striker wins a corner off Shaw.
Schneiderlin shows good feet to skip away from Torres and spread wide to Shaw. The youngster's ball in is eventually gathered by the Chelsea defence and the hosts look to push forward once more before Torres fouls Cork in midfield.
Saints float a long-range free kick into the box but Chelsea manage to clear the danger. Rafael Benitez is readying Fernando Torres as Chelsea hunt for a winner.
Chelsea have another chance from a free kick, this time slightly further out, but Luiz drills it straight into the wall. What a finale we've got in store here!
Assist G. Ramírez
Goal Jason Puncheon
PUNCHEON LEVELS IT!! It's all square, and what fantastic equaliser. Luke Shaw flies down the left wing before squaring it to Puncheon, who takes one touch before unleashing a rasping volley into the top corner. Superb goal!
Hazard is brought down by substitute Richard Chaplow in midfield, and Gaston Ramirez is introduced in place of Do Prado as the visitors look for an equaliser.
Just wide!! After a quick break while Mata receives treatment, Lampard steps up and whips a shot over the wall which fizzes just wide of the post with Boruc completely stationary.
Cork plays it wide to Puncheon, and Cole completely misjudges the interception, but the Saints winger can't take advantage and plays in a poor cross. Chelsea burst up the other end and Mata is felled by Yoshida 20 yards out. Chance for Lampard to strike this...
Chance for the hosts! Mata chips a beautiful ball over the Southampton defence looking for Ba, who lets it drop over his shoulder before firing a volley over the bar. Fantastic piece of play from Chelsea.
Former Chelsea man Jack Cork fouls Oscar on the halfway line and the hosts are in possession once again. Luiz plays through Hazard with another threaded pass, and the Belgian lays it back for Cole whose shot is blocked.
Hazard flies forward after another Southampton attack breaks down. He looks for Oscar in the area but Yoshida gets there first.
Saints in possession now, and are again keeping it well. Clyne looks for Lambert in the area but Gary Cahill clears. The visitors keep possession and Davis looks for Do Prado with a through-ball but Cahill cuts it out again before Clyne fires a cross out for a throw. Dangerous spell from Adkins' men.
It's very quiet at Stamford Bridge. That is until Rickie Lambert hits the ball straight out of play to a chorus of ironic cheers from the home fans.
Here's Mr Twomey's take on that goal: "We have a game on our hands again. Nathaniel Clyne looks to have run into a blind alley under pressure from Eden Hazard on the right, but shows good persistence to ride the Belgian's tame challenge and clip in a dangerous cross which is met with a towering header from substitute Rickie Lambert. Impact well and truly made."
Assist Nathaniel Clyne
Goal Rickie Lambert
LAMBERT GETS ONE BACK!! It's the big man yet again for Saints. Clyne breaks down the right and swings a cross towards Lambert, who powers a superb header into the top corner. Game on.
More from Liam Twomey now, that fine upstanding gent: "Momentary excitement at Stamford Bridge as Ashley Cole nods the ball in after Juan Mata's dinked effort was parried back into danger by Artur Boruc, but Michael Oliver's whistle had long since gone for offside. That would have been a fitting way to mark the England man's 200th Premier League appearance for the Blues, who remain well on top in this match."
Mata looks like he's through one-on-one from Luiz's long ball but is caught offside. Nigel Adkins takes advantage of the break in play to throw on top scorer Rickie Lambert.
Southampton have a corner, and Puncheon swings it in left-footed but it comes out the other side of the area. Oscar fouls Schneiderlin on the left and Southampton have a chance to swing it in, but Do Prado overhits the delivery and it goes past everyone for a goal kick. Disappointing.
Puncheon gives the ball away in midfield with Southampton looking to push numbers forward, but Chelsea don't take advantage and keep moving it around slowly. They clearly feel the two-goal lead is enough and they're in no rush to add to it.
Slightly scrappy start to the half; Luiz's long ball flies straight through to Boruc and both sides are exchanging short periods of possession with nothing much to speak of happening so far.
Oscar plays inside to Ashley Cole on the edge of the area, and the full-back tries a cheeky effort with the outside of his left foot but Boruc saves easily.
Chelsea get the game going once more. Can they add to their lead, or can Saints get back in it?
The teams are back out, and it looks like there are no changes ahead of the second half.
If the result stays the same at full-time, Chelsea will be seven points clear of fifth-placed Everton, and four behind Manchester City in second. Is consolidating a Champions League place enough for the Blues, or should they be expecting a title push?
I have a funny feeling it could be Lambert O'Clock for the visitors. They've had no options with the ball and need to get back in the game quickly before it slips away.
Here are some half-time thoughts from a chilly Liam Twomey: "Nigel Adkins will surely be seething at his players for going to pieces with the interval in sight. Frank Lampard, Oscar and Ramires all wasted good chances to double Chelsea's lead as the Southampton defence mysteriously disappeared, but Eden Hazard finally made sure when he lashed past Artur Boruc after another penalty area scramble. Will the floodgates open in the second 45?"
HALF-TIME at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea have a 2-0 lead to take into the break. It was looking like another frustrating evening for the hosts before Ba broke the deadlock and Hazard doubled their lead after a flurry of chances before the whistle.
45' + 1'
Goal Eden Hazard
HAZARD MAKES IT TWO!! It was looking inevitable. Oscar's cross is blocked but it works back to Ramires, whose shot is blocked. Hazard is first to the ball on the edge of the box and the Belgium star hammers it into the corner of the net with an emphatic finish.
Save by Boruc! Ba knocks down a cross to Lampard, who lifts in a ball towards Hazard and Oscar, and it comes off the former, looking bound for the corner of the goal before the Saints goalkeeper manages to turn it behind. Chelsea starting to open things up as we approach the break.
Azpilicueta slides a superb pass through for Mata, who cuts back to the edge of the box for Lampard to shoot, but the midfielder shanks his effort wide of Boruc's far post. Disappointing finish to a good move, there.
Chance for Chelsea as Mata sets Ba loose with a lovely ball over the stop, but Boruc sprints off his line Usain Bolt-like and gets there first to hack the ball away.
Southampton have the ball once more; they're enjoying a lot of possession this evening. Chelsea are holding firm though and Saints are once again forced to go back into their own half.
Hazard tries to find Ba with a cheeky pass using the outside of his boot. It nearly reaches the striker, but he loses his balance and Yoshida is there to cut out the danger.
CHANCE!! Rodriguez is found by Yoshida's long ball, and the striker lays it back to Davis, who tries a first-time shot from just inside the box, but doesn't connect with it perfectly and it rolls harmlessly wide.
Maya Yoshida cuts out a Luiz pass intent for Mata and Southampton take possession again, with Chelsea once again letting them pass it along the back line.
Petr Cech launches a huge goal kick into the Southampton half, and Ba manages to head the ball on looking for Mata, but it rolls through to Boruc.
Nice move from Southampton sees Jay Rodriguez look for Puncheon, who makes a darting run into the area, but he can't reach the ball and Chelsea have a goal kick.
The free kick is diverted behind for a corner, but Do Prado's cross is poor and Chelsea clear.
Puncheon challenges Oscar and Southampton push forward. Neither Clyne or Puncheon can get a cross in but Ba fouls Jack Cork while tracking back and Southampton have a free kick 35 yards out.
Cole can't beat Clyne for pace down the wing and the Southampton full-back forces a throw for the visitors. Saints in possession and Chelsea are allowing them to pass it across the back for now.
That pretty much came out of nowhere, but Chelsea will be delighted to have made a reasonably early breakthrough. The visitors may need a tactical re-think now.
Goal Demba Ba
DEMBA BA SCORES!! Azpilicueta swings a cross in and Oscar challenges for the ball with Hooiveld. It comes off the defender and loops in the air, and Ba is there to volley it into the bottom corner with an acrobatic finish.
More from our man Liam Twomey now: "For a team who supposedly can't defend, Southampton are doing a very good job of frustrating Chelsea so far. Pressing high up the pitch before dropping back in numbers to the edge of the the penalty area, theirs is not the most original or complicated plan, but it has been very effective. A couple of Eden Hazard and Juan Mata flourishes aside, the hosts have conjured little."
Quite a flat atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge, and the play is reflecting it to be honest. Uninspiring, to say the least.
Artur Boruc copes well with a less-than-helpful backpass from Clyne with Ba bearing down on him, and Southampton survive a little scare. Chelsea back in possession again, but still not looking threatening.
Lampard gives the ball away in midfield; his passing hasn't been up to scratch so far this evening. Southampton can't keep hold of it and the hosts move forward but Ba is penalised for a foul on Jos Hooiveld.
Southampton are keeping a high line and look very disciplined. Chelsea are finding it difficult to break through them; it's been an impressive start to this match from Nigel Adkins' men.
The visitors enjoying a spell of possession now, and are keeping it very well. Guly Do Prado crosses right-footed from the left and Jason Puncheon rises above Ashley Cole to meet the ball, but can't direct his header anywhere near the target.
Another quick Chelsea break sees Hazard square to Lampard, who rolls it into the path of Cesar Azpilicueta, and the full-back blasts a 20-yard effort well over the bar.
Luiz floats a superb pass over the Saints defence looking for Mata, but the Spain international's usually perfect control lets him down and it rolls out for a goal kick.
Liam Twomey has checked in with his thoughts on the opening stages: "Southampton appear under clear orders to press Chelsea high up the pitch and it paid dividends early on, with Frank Lampard uncharacteristically wasteful in possession. But the home side are settling into their work now, and a deflected cross from Demba Ba has just caused havoc in the Saints box before trickling wide. No real chances to speak of yet."
The pace is definitely picking up now. Hazard is stopped in his tracks by Nathaniel Clyne before it's switched to the other side where Mata swings one in towards Frank Lampard, but his cross is slightly too long and the ball goes behind.
Ramires feeds it through for Ba, and the striker cuts the ball back across the six-yard box. Mata dummies and it comes off two Southampton defenders before going out for a corner.
This game hasn't really got going yet. Chelsea in possession now, but not in any rush. David Luiz nearly finds Eden Hazard with a superb through ball but the Belgium international can't quite control it.
First bit of action for Demba Ba, who holds up the ball and passes across to Juan Mata on the edge of the area. The midfielder lays off for Oscar, who rolls a tame shot well wide of the post.
Ramires loses the ball again; Chelsea looking sloppy in possession early on. Luke Shaw tries to get a cross in from the left but Oscar gets a block in.
Morgan Schneiderlin catches Ramires in possession and breaks forwards, but has no options on the ball and Saints have to work it all the way back to the goalkeeper.
Jay Rodriguez drills a shot closer to the corner flag than the goal and Chelsea settle into some early possession.
We're underway at Stamford Bridge, as the visitors get the game going.
The teams are out and kick-off is imminent...
Five minutes to go until kick-off at Stamford Bridge. Can Chelsea bounce back from two defeats at home in a row? Or will Southampton's defensive line-up frustrate the Blues and help Saints come away with a positive result?
Liam Twomey is braving the elements to keep us updated through the evening. He's shared some thoughts with us prior to kick-off: "Watching Fernando Torres and John Terry indulge in a game of 'piggy in the middle' with team-mates on the Stamford Bridge pitch, you wouldn't think either were on the bench tonight. All the Chelsea players seem in jovial mood, but you get the sense that if Southampton manage to frustrate the Blues in the manner that QPR and Swansea have done recently, the atmosphere of the home crowd might change that."
SOUTHAMPTON: Boruc; Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw; S Davis, Schneiderlin, Cork; Guly, Rodriguez, Puncheon. SUBS: K. Davis, Lambert, Ramírez, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Seaborne, Chaplow.
CHELSEA: Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, D Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Ba. SUBS: Turnbull, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand, Marin, Torres.
The teams are in, so let's take a look...
Good evening one and all, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of tonight's Premier League encounter between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge. The Blues can move within four points of second-placed Manchester City with a win, but Nigel Adkins' side will be desperate to avoid a repeat of the 5-1 hammering they received from Rafael Benitez's men in the third round of the FA Cup earlier this month.
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