After the midweek debacle which saw them crash out of the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea aimed to bounce back with a win over a Southampton side in search of a European place. The Blues were hoping to stretch their lead at the top to eight points whilst The Saints were in the hunt for a European place, the fixture had all the makings of an intriguing one.
It was the perfect start for the hosts as they seemed to fly out of the gates, moving the ball well and having the majority of the ball in the opening ten minutes. Their possession would pay off in the 10th minute when Eden Hazard skipped past a few defenders before laying the ball off to Branislav Ivanovic, the Serbian's ensuing cross found the head of Diego Costa to make it 1-0. It was Costa's first goal in seven games and a much needed start for Jose Mourinho's side. After the opener, Chelsea seemed to drop and invited pressure from Southampton which led to Sadio Mané's effort from inside the box to be saved expertly from Thibaut Courtois. Southampton would eventually get back into the match as Mané burst into the box and was brought down by Nemanja Matic, causing referee Mike Dean to point to the spot. A debatable decision for all fans but there was no doubting the finish as Dusan Tadic slotted home from the spot, making it 1-1. From then on, Southampton became the more dangerous of the two sides and continued to test Courtois in the Chelsea goal but going in to the break, it would remain 1-1.
Half Time: Chelsea 1-1 Southampton: A good start for the Blues but So'ton grew into the game and became the better of the two sides.
The second-half started differently as The Saints kept their pressure up and tested Courtois with a great free-kick strike from Alderweireld, but Chelsea undoubtedly had the best opportunity of the half when a corner fell to the feet of Willian. The Brazilian forward fired into a sea of bodies and Costa managed to flick it onto the post, inches away from sealing his second goal of the game. With twenty minutes left, Chelsea became the more likely to find the winner but were denied by Fraser Forster's heroics. First, Oscar and Hazard had point-blank efforts denied by the Englishman before he denied Oscar yet again 15 minutes from time. Four minutes were added on and Chelsea probably should have stolen all 3 points as substitute striker Loic Remy fired straight at Forster from a corner before the rebound fell to John Terry, but the skipper fired wide, much to his disbelief.
Full Time: Chelsea 1-1 Southampton: A fair result in a fantastic match and both managers will be content with a point a piece.
|Chelsea (1)||Southampton (1)|
|Terry (c)||6||Fonte (c)||6|