Ivanovic heads home late winner for resurgent Chelsea

Ivanovic heads home late winner for resurgent Chelsea
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)
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Southampton: (3-5-2) Forster; Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand; Soares, Clasie, S.Davis, Romeu, Targett (Ward Prowse 89'); Long (Pelle 69'), Austin (Mane 79').
Chelsea: (4-2-3-1) Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Baba Rahman (Kenedy 46'); Mikel, Fabregas; Pedro (Oscar 7'), Willian, Hazard (Matic 90+3'); Diego Costa.
SCORE: 1-0, Long 42'. 1-1, Fabregas 75'. 1-2, Ivanovic 89'.
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson. Booked: Davis (19'), Diego Costa (63'), Bertrand (64'), Clasie (65').

That's all from me, Jonathan Walsh. Stay with VAVEL for all the reaction from this and the other Premier League games today, in what was a memorable day for the Blues fans on the south coast. Until then, goodbye and good evening! 

FT - That win will do Chelsea's confidence the world of good, as they jump up to 11th, just four points behind Southampton. It was a tale of two halves and a game that could have went either way, but Ivanovic's goal was the difference.

FT - Southampton 1-2 Chelsea. (Long 42' - Fabregas 75', Ivanovic 89')

90+3' Hazard goes off to a warm reception from the Chelsea fans, he's definitely played his part today. Matic on in his place.

90+1' FOUR minutes added on at St. Mary's.

What a turnaround and what a massive result for Chelsea this could be! A corner is flung in towards the penalty spot, where Ivanovic has made a powerful run and meets the ball with pace and purpose. He heads at goal, Forster can't keep it out and the visiting fans go absolutely bananas!


86' Chelsea continue to pile on the pressure but have nothing to show for it. There shouldn't be too much in the way of added time, so another six/sseven minutes left for someone to win it.

82' Almost the second for Chelsea! Willian threatens to shoot once, twice and on the third sends a skidding effort narrowly wide. The visitors have been excellent in the second half.

79' Mané is on for Austin, as Koeman looks to add more pace to his attack.

78' Another Chelsea chance! Hazard darts down the right before cutting back to Costa, who spins his man before being brilliantly denied by the Southampton defence.

Southampton's clean sheet run has come to an end. Diego Costa does brilliantly to keep the ball in play when tracked by Bertrand, before setting up Fabregas. He fired a cross in across the face of goal, but no-one could meet it and the ball trickled into the net.

75' Chelsea have leveled!

72' Charlie Austin feels like Cahill has brought him down in the area, Martin Atkinson can't be in a better position but opts to keep his cards in his pocket and the whistle remainds by his side.

70' Long is replaced by Pelle as Azpilicueta almost squeezes through Koeman's legs to get the ball back, as Sammy Lee comes screaming over. Handshakes for everyone and we're underway again.

68' Long has gone down with a similar looking problem to Pedro, and seems set to come off.

65' Poor from Clasie as he goes into the book for bringing down Willian in a needless area near the half way line.

62' Southampton starting to chase shadows, and a few lazy tackles are creeping into the game. It's all set up for a Chelsea onslaught late on.

60' Half an hour to go and Chelsea are showing why Southampton have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 games against the Blues. Hiddink's side are on top, but can they make it count?

58' Another huge miss! A lovely move sees Hazard get away on the right and find Costa free at the back post, only for the Spaniard to volley over. A difficult chance, but one he should be taking.

54' Massive chance for Chelsea! Ivanovic and Cahill contrive to set Mikel up for a free header, but the Nigerian can't find the target - that is what their play deserved.

51' Hazard's mini revival is showing signs of stuttering again, as a lovely touch and drive inside is ended with a shot that blazes over the bar. Chelsea are definitely more keen to come forward this half.

48' A well-timed intervention from Kenedy aside, this has been a rather even and open start to the second half. Southampton looking to thread Long through when possible.

Second half underway! Just one change at the break, as Kenedy replaces Baba - he seems to be playing left-back, too.

HT - The Chelsea team is coming out of the tunnel now ahead of the second half, as Southampton join in behind them. A superb second half in prospect.

HT - On the balance of play, that's a lead Southampton deserve. There hasn't been much in it, but the hosts have carved out the better chances. Long took his goal well after Baba's mistake, and Chelsea now have to breach a defence that hasn't conceded in six and a half games.

HT - Southampton 1-0 Chelsea (Long 42').

It's Shane Long who has given the hosts a crucial lead before the break! Chelsea make a mess of things defensively and Long takes full advantage, chipping over the oncoming Courtois with aplomb. Baba pulls his shirt over his head in disgust.


41' That sums up the half in a nutshell. Chelsea keep possession around the edge of the area and eventually work the ball to Hazard, who cuts inside and blazes over. So much promise, leads to nothing.

36' The game has broken down into a real midfield battle, which is taking its toll on the flow. Neither side able to create a meaningful chance for quite a while.

32' Costa is next to try his luck from distance, but his strike clears the bar by a considerable distance. At the other end, Davis drives forwards and feeds Austin, but a clever effort flies narrowly past the post.

28' First Chelsea shot on goal! Oscar hammers an effort at Forster from 20 yards, a deflection takes the pace off the ball and makes it a comfortable save.

26' Home fans calling foul every time Ivanovic commits one, with the latest rather cynical tackle perhaps lucky to go without punishment.

24' Southampton are unlucky not to be ahead in this game, but it isn't for a lack of trying. Three or four dangerous crosses are thrown into the Chelsea area, yet no-one can get on the end of one. A goal seems close.

21' The closest Chelsea have come! A ball towards the back post from Hazard evades everyone but Cedric heads it behind and just past the upright. Forster claims the resulting corner with ease, however.

19' Yellow card - Davis - The Northern Ireland captain goes into the book for a cynical pull on Fabregas' shirt.

18' Hosts apply more pressure on the Chelsea back-line as Costa blocks Clasie's drive, and then Courtois punches clear. A tough start for the visitors.

16' Ivanovic forced to head behind after a lovely cross-field pass picked out Targett, though he couldn't quite find Austin.

12' Chelsea's first move up the pitch leads to nothing, as the corner Willian wins is cleared away at the near post. Southampton break back up the pitch, though Long's low shot is blocked by Cahill.

10' Chance! Van Dijk collects the loose ball from another dead-ball situation with Courtois out of position, and chips towards the back post. Long rises highest, but can't keep his header down.

9' Southampton fire a ball into the far post towards Austin but Azpilicueta manages to send it behind for a corner. Davis takes it short, and Costa makes a vital interception at the near post.

7' The Spanish attacker is helped off by the Chelsea medical staff and applauds the visitng support. Oscar is the man to come on.

5' It didn't look good, and it isn't good news. Pedro signals to the bench to come off as he falls to the floor, Oscar will replace him.

4' Not great signs for the Chelsea faithful so far, as the hosts have pressed them out of possession quickly on every ocassion. To make matters worse, Pedro is holding his hamstring rather sheepishly.

3' Southampton have enjoyed all the early possession so far, but are yet to do anything with it - more than happy to make Chelsea chase the play.

1' Almost a chance from kick-off! Southampton send a ball forward in search of Shane Long, but the pass runs through to Thibaut Courtois.

Kick-off! We're underway at St. Mary's!

14:57. The two sides are on the pitch and we're just moments away from kick-off, as the pair exchange handshakes and the stadium announcer gives a run-down of today's teams.

14:48. It's not long until kick-off now and St. Mary's is filling up nicely. We'll rejoin you when the teams are in the tunnel!

14:43. Today's referee is Martin Atkinson, who will be hoping he has a rather peaceful and stress-free afternoon on the south Coast.

14:38. Chelsea will be out to exact revenge for an early season defeat to Southampton, though the Saints are in even better form from when the two sides last met. The same can also be said about Chelsea, who have scored 10 goals in their last two domestic games.

14:33. Chelsea will move up to ninth with a win today if results go their way, while Southampton will retake fifth place after West Ham United beat Sunderland earlier.

14:28. In relation to the benches, it would be hard to say that Southampton don't have the strongest of the two teams. Tadic, Mané and Pelle could be gamechangers.

14:23. In what is a surprise move by Guus Hiddink, there is no Matt Miazga or any other recognised defenders on the bench. Given Chelsea's luck with defensive fitness, this could be a move he regrets.

14:20. And the Chelsea bench: Begovic, Matic, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Oscar, Traore, Remy.

14:19. Here are the Saints' subs: Stekelenburg, Yoshida, Martina, Ward-Prowse, Mane, Tadic, Pelle.

14:18. Chelsea's line-up has a very familar look to it: (4-2-3-1) Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Baba Rahman; Mikel, Fabregas; Pedro, Willian, Hazard; Diego Costa.

14:15. We'll start with the hosts, Southampton: (3-5-2) Forster; Fonte (c), Van Dijk, Bertrand; Soares, Clasie, S.Davis, Romeu, Targett; Long, Austin.

14:10. Good afternoon, everyone! We're about to bring you the team news ahead of this intriguing Premier League clash.

Predicted Chelsea line-up: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Baba Rahman; Mikel, Fabregas; Willian, Hazard, Pedro

Predicted Southampton line-up: (3-5-2) Forster; van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand; Davis, Clasie, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Targett; Long, Pelle.

Chelsea have much more pressing injury concerns, with first choice centre-back pairing John Terry and Kurt Zouma still sidelined. Terry is battling to be back for game against Paris-Saint Germain, though Zouma will be targeting a return for the new season. Radamel Falcao and Alexandre Pato are also out, with the latter continuing on his fitness program. A similar starting eleven to that which hammered Manchester City in the FA Cup should take to the field in this one.

Southampton are still without long-term absentees Florin Gardos and Jay Rodriguez, while Victor Wanyama will miss the game through suspension. Those are the only players that the Saints are currently without, and Ronald Koeman should name an unchanged eleven from their previous win against Swansea City. It has been a stark turnaround with, perhaps, less technically able players. Cedric Soares, Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mané, all big name players, have been benched during their recent run.

Super Steve - Northern Ireland hero Davis celebrates his superb strike. | Image source: Getty Images
Super Steve - Northern Ireland hero Davis celebrates his superb strike. | Image source: Getty Images

The last time these two teams met, Southampton came out 3-1 winners at Stamford Bridge. It was a game in which the officials came under pressure from then manager Jose Moruinho, but things started well for the Blues when Willian opened the scoring early on. A stunning Steven Davis volley would level the game before the break, and the visitors pushed on to secure the win with Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle also getting on the scoresheet.

The game will pit Guus Hiddink against one of his prodigies, Ronald Koeman. Hiddink spoke to the media ahead of the game and said, "He was one of those guys. He was one of the leaders. You could talk with him about what had to be executed on the pitch." Hiddink continued, "He has been around, in Holland, in the south of Europe, and for some years he has showed he is a very good and stable manager."

Southampton captain and centre-back Jose Fonte is well aware that his side are just two games away from setting a club clean-sheet record. He spoke to the club website about the game and the record, “It's great that we've kept six in a row, but we know that we are up against it against Chelsea, but we are happy with our connection, with our understanding, with our communication," He added, "We look forward to this test, because these are the games we want to play.”

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live coverage of this Barclays Premier League clash between Southampton and Chelsea at St. Mary's. The Blues are on the up after a few promising wins and performances, though they will face an in-form Saints side that are coming into contention for a top four spot. It's all to play for on the South Coast and the action gets underway at 3PM. Until then, stay with us as we guide you through the afternoon's action with plenty of pre-match build-up.