Date:Thursday January 17 2013
Yet another stumbling performance, at Stamford Bridge, saw Chelsea drop two more points against a gallant Southampton side who refused to throw in the towel at 2-0 down.
Having beaten Southampton, on their patch, 5-1 only a week or so again, the home support thought that the misery associated with dropping points had been put to bed when Chelsea raced into a 2-0 first half lead, but it was not to be an a crescendo of boos showed Rafa Benitez exactly what they thought of some of his decisions.
Chelsea had all the early possession and could have taken an early lead when Demba Ba delivered a cross that almost saw the Southampton defender, Maya Yoshida, turn the ball into his own net.
Another move saw some enterprising work by Frank Lampard fizzle out when Ceasar Azpilicueta fired into the crowd. A rare excursion forward, by Southampton, saw Jason Puncheon fail to get a header on target and it came as no surprise when Demba Ba put Chelsea ahead.
The goal came after Azpilicueta had delivered a dangerous cross, Oscar got the slightest of touches but it was left to Ba to finish off with an acrobatic volley. On einteresting statistic the goal threw up was that Ba had taken four games to get four Chelsea games, whilst a certain Fernando Torres had taken twenty-five.
Southampton engineered another half chance but a shot from Steven Davis went wide form just outside the area. Chelsea had a decent chance, before the break, to make it 2-0 but after some bright work from Juan Mata, Lampard sliced his shot wide. But Chelsea were not to be denied a second goal before the break and it came in the 45th minute through Hazard.
Southampton thought they`d probably survived at 1-0 when a shot from Ramires thumped against the bar but Hazard was on hand to neatly finish.
The second half started quietly and the home support started to ponder as to whether 2-0 was the dangerous score many suspect it to be. Matters, for Chelsea, started to disintegrate when Nigel Adkins made a substitution and introduce Rickie Lambert. Th strike made an almost instant impact reducing the arrear when he rose superbly to beat Cech with a header, from a cross by the highly rated Nathaniel Clyne.
Instantly, another statistic that was thrown into the hat related to Chelsea losing a 2-0 lead they`d held at half time. Apparently we`d led 2-0 at half time and gone on to win 87 times, drawing once and losing once. You kind of knew that Southampton were to sully that statistic.
And so it proved when with fifteen minutes left, Jason Puncheon leveled matter sup, much to the delight of the travelling support. Rafa Benitez shuffle dhis pack taking off, much to the annoyance of the crowd, Frank Lampard and introducing Fernando Torres but it was all huff and puff and no substance and yet another home fixture had ended disappointingly.
Next up, Arsenal this Sunday, yes you`ve guessed it - at home.
Date:Thursday January 17 2013
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