Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic both scored as Chelsea came from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
- Southampton 1 Chelsea 2
- Long puts the Saints ahead
- Fabregas with the equaliser
- Ivanovic heads in late winner
The Saints made the breakthrough late in the first half thanks to some sloppy defending from the Blues. A loose touch from Baba Rahman allowed striker Shane Long to nip and steal the ball before dinking it past the onrushing Thibaut Courtois.
Cesc Fabregas then levelled matters in the second half when his cross in towards Eden Hazard at the near post eluded everyone to find it’s way in at the back post, before Branislav Ivanovic won it late on when he met Willian’s corner with a powerful header.
A slow start to the match wasn’t helped by an early injury to Chelsea winger Pedro, who had to limp off the pitch in the seventh minute to be replaced by Oscar.
Charlie Austin worked a decent chance in the 23rd minute when he got to the byline and swung it back across goal. The former QPR hitman would have loved to be on the other end of it, but none of his teammates were in the box, allowing Gary Cahill to head clear.
The Saints took the lead in the 42nd minute, and had a defensive error to thank for it when Baba Rahman failed to control it properly, allowing Shane Long to dart in and pick up the loose ball and dink it past Thibaut Courtois with a cheeky little finish.
Chelsea had a decent chance to equalise from a corner in the 5rd minute, but it fell to defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel, who scored a rare goal against PSG in the Champions League but couldn’t get a close-range free header on target.
Costa then missed another opportunity in the 59th minute, with Eden Hazard doing well down the right flank to whip in a stinging cross towards the Spain international. It was a difficult volley to pull off, and he could only blast it well wide.
Southampton though they deserved a penalty in the 72nd minute when the ball was lofted in towards Austin and Cahill came sliding in somewhat recklessly, but the ref saw nothing wrong.
Fabregas started the move by playing Costa in down the left flank. Costa retrieved the ball and played it back to the former Arsenal captain, who then crossed it in towards the near post, where neither Hazard, nor the goalkeeper, not the defender got a touch on, allowing the ball to bounce in at the far post.
Branislav Ivanovic then popped up with a winner in the 88th minute, meeting Willian’s corner with a bullet header that was too hot for Fraser Forster to keep out.