Terry scores as Chelsea beats Southampton 3-1

John Terry marked his 400th Premier League appearance with a

goal as Chelsea fought back from an early deficit to beat

Southampton 3-1 Sunday and move to second in the standings.

After a sloppy start that saw Jose Mourinho’s team concede a

goal just after kickoff, Chelsea recovered in the second half to

close the gap to league leader Arsenal to four points.

Michael Essien’s poor back pass allowed Jay Rodriguez to open

the scoring at Stamford Bridge after 13 seconds. Southampton held

on until Garry Cahill leveled with a header from close range in the

56th. Terry then put Chelsea in front with a glancing header in the

62nd minute for his 34th Premier League goal before substitute

Demba Ba put the game beyond reach.

”It was important not to panic and keep the emotional

balance,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. ”We waited for

halftime to change the game. The players were fantastic and it was

difficult for Southampton. We spoke before the game that with

others losing points this was a must-win game.”

Chelsea built its sixth home win from seven games on an an

excellent second-half performance capped with goals from its

center-backs Cahill and Terry, and Ba’s first Premier League goal

of the season. Ba, who hit the post from the corner which led to

Cahill’s equalizer, had replaced Essien at halftime.

Chelsea found themselves behind almost immediately after Essien

sent the ball over Cahill for Rodriguez to calmly slot home.

Southampton keeper Artur Boruc then saved Oscar’s shot before

James Ward-Prowse curled a free kick wide for the Saints as Essien

was clearly outpaced and Southampton dominated in midfield.

Things changed after halftime as Chelsea gradually took the

upper hand and was rewarded when Juan Mata’s set-piece found

Branislav Ivanovic, whose header was redirected by Ba onto the post

before Cahill headed the ball in from the rebound.

Terry then rose above defenders following a half-cleared corner

to send Stamford Bridge into rapture and Ba finally added the third

after converting a Ramires cross.

”After we got the first goal it was fairly even sided,” said

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino. ”We are unhappy but there

were a number of decisions that did not go our way. The ones you

don’t see are perhaps more important. There was no doubt that the

players will react positively. But lest we forget we were playing

Chelsea.”