Chelsea came back from behind beat a spirited Southampton side after Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic scored in last 15 minutes of the game. The result came as a big blow to Ronald Koeman’s hopes of qualifying for European Football next season.
Prior to the kick-off, Koeman shocked everyone with his team selection. Saints manager decided to bench Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle, James Ward-Prowse and gave Charlie Austin a rare start. As for Chelsea, Oscar and Matic were benched in favor of Pedro and Matic.
Southampton 1 Chelsea 2 Match Stats
Despite the strange team selection, Southampton had a better start to the game with Long and Austin combining well to cause trouble Chelsea’a back-line. Saints made the most of the positive start and took a well deserved lead right before half time when Shane Long made Baba Rahman pay for his sloppy back pass.
Second half was all about Chelsea and their attempt to break down the resilient Southampton defense. Coming in to the game, Frasor Forster had kept 6 clean sheets in a row, but his record was undone after a moment of hesitation from the English keeper.
Southampton 1 Chelsea 2 Post Match Analysis
Chelsea’s opening goal after Austin lost the ball, it led to a brisk counter attack with Fabregas picking up the loose ball and delivering it to the penalty area. Forster was hesitant in coming out and could not judge the ball’s flight with Hazard lurking behind.
The goal opened flood gates and Chelsea kept on creating one chance after the other. It all soon paid off when Ivanovic’s ploy to play the emergency striker paid off. Ivanovic scored with an unstoppable header on 89th minute beating Forster all hands up.
The result sends Chelsea to 11th in the league while Southampton remain at 7th and still have a chance of finishing in the Europa League place for next season. While the result was painful for Southampton, the win could kick-start a strong finish to Chelsea’s season.
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