Southampton seal Chelsea win

Southampton moved towards Premier League safety with a 2-1 win

over Chelsea at St Mary’s.

First-half goals from Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert either

side of John Terry’s header ensured Saints moved up to 13th with a

deserved victory despite late Blues pressure.

The result sees Chelsea drop to fourth in the Premier League

table and they remain in danger of dropping out of the Champions

League places with Arsenal now just two points behind in fifth.

Southampton started the brighter and had two early chances with

Rodriguez seeing a sidefooted effort saved comfortably by Petr Cech

before Branislav Ivanovic blocked well from Lambert.

But Ivanovic was caught out by quality movement from Rodriguez

for the opener when he played a crisp one-two with Steven Davis

before slotting the ball calmly past Cech to give Saints the

lead.

Fernando Torres, again preferred to Demba Ba in attack, was

struggling to get in the game at the other end but did have a goal

correctly ruled out for handball shortly afterwards.

The European champions were level just after the half-hour mark

when Terry headed home a corner from Marko Marin after Jos Hooiveld

had slipped to allow the Blues skipper space.

This was only Terry’s second Premier League start under Rafael

Benitez but any hopes the goal would kick-start Chelsea’s afternoon

were soon dashed as they were behind again within minutes.

Saints were awarded a free-kick in a good position and Lambert

whipped the ball over Torres in the Chelsea wall, and Cech was

unable to scramble to keep it out of the net.

Kelvin Davis replaced the injured Artur Boruc in the Southampton

goal at the break and the veteran was forced into a good save from

Victor Moses on the hour mark.

Saints remained a threat at the other end and Rodriguez could

have doubled the lead after outwitting Ivanovic down the left

channel but saw his left-footed effort parried by Cech.

It was Chelsea pushing for an equaliser in the closing stages

after Benitez introduced Eden Hazard to provide some impetus but

Southampton held on for the points that ease them towards

safety.