Chelsea's Demba Ba (L) challenges Southampton's Maya
Yoshida during their English Premier League match at
Stamford Bridge in London. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Chelsea's fading Premier League title hopes suffered
another unexpected blow when Southampton fought back from 2-0
down to draw 2-2 with the European champions.
Goals by Demba Ba and Eden Hazard put Chelsea in complete
control of the game at Stamford Bridge but substitute Rickie
Lambert and Jason Puncheon struck in the second half to stun
Chelsea stayed third in the standings, six points behind
second-placed Manchester City and 13 adrift of leaders
Manchester United but used up their game in hand. Southampton
remained 15th, three points above the relegation zone.
"We have to be more clinical when we have chances," interim
manager Rafael Benitez told the BBC. "We have to manage the
game, score the third goal and finish the game but we did not
do it. We had a lot of chances again, even at 2-0 up, but we
did not take them.
"We are in the top three so we will try to be as high as
possible, then try to think about the next game."
Chelsea's revival under Benitez looked certain to continue
when striker Demba Ba continued his prolific start at the
London club with an acrobatic volley in the 25th minute.
Eden Hazard doubled Chelsea's lead just before halftime,
side-footing the ball neatly home after Ramires's thumping
shot had hit the crossbar to put his side firmly on course
for their sixth win in the last seven league matches under
But Southampton substitute Rickie Lambert pulled one back
with a bullet header after 58 minutes and Puncheon lashed in
a fine volley 15 minutes from time to earn the away team a
"We came with a gameplan," Southampton manager Nigel Adkins
"Chelsea are a good side, we came to block them, deny them
space and counter-attack. To go two goals down, when we could
have cleared both, was a blow but we showed great character
in the second half - great credit to my players."