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.