MX23RW : Wednesday, July 18 06:42:18
Apr 14, 2018 at 12.30pm UK at ​St Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 31,764
Southampton
2-3
Chelsea
Tadic (21'), Bednarek (60')
Hojbjerg (42'), Ward-Prowse (44'), Bertrand (65'), Romeu (78'), Long (81')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Giroud (70', 78'), Hazard (75')
Hazard (64'), Willian (82'), Cahill (94')

Live Commentary: Southampton 2-3 Chelsea - as it happened

Live Commentary: Southampton 2-3 Chelsea - as it happened
© Offside
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Premier League clash between Southampton and Chelsea from St Mary's, which finished 3-2 to the visitors.

Relegation-threatened Southampton threw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Chelsea in Saturday's Premier League clash at St Mary's.

The Saints entered the match in 18th position in the table, and having not won a league game on home soil in 2018.

Dusan Tadic sent Mark Hughes's side on their way, before debutant Jan Bednarek doubled their advantage in the second period.

Chelsea scored three times in the space of eight minutes to turn the match on its head, however, with Olivier Giroud netting either side of a goal from Eden Hazard.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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11.31amMorning all! Sports Mole's live Premier League coverage continues from St Mary's as struggling Southampton welcome an out-of-form Chelsea side. It is a huge game for the Saints, but Chelsea's season is petering out as they fall further and further off the Champions League positions. Stay tuned!

11.34amChelsea recorded a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, and the Blues have actually won each of the last four Premier League matches between the two teams. Southampton have not triumphed at St Mary's against Chelsea since March 2013, which does not make great reading for the home supporters ahead of kickoff in the sunshine this afternoon.

11.37amRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from St Mary's. Southampton lost 3-2 at Arsenal last weekend while Chelsea were held at home by West Ham United. Any changes from those two fixtures? Let's run through the two XIs for this clash...

11.40amTEAMS!

SOUTHAMPTON: McCarthy; Cedric, Yoshida, Hoedt, Bednarek, Bertrand; Romeu, Hojbjerg; Ward-Prowse, Tadic; Long

CHELSEA: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard


11.43amThe headline team news for Southampton is there is a Premier League debut for centre-back Jan Bednarek as Jack Stephens starts his three-match suspension after being sent off against Arsenal. Shane Long again starts at the tip of the attack with support from Dusan Tadic, meaning that Charlie Austin is named on the bench once again. It will be a 3-4-2-1 formation for the Saints this afternoon.

Dusan Tadic in action during the Premier League game between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur on January 21, 2018© SilverHub


11.46amThe two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff. I shall speak about the home side a bit later, but let's start with Chelsea. It would be fair to say that all is not well with the Blues, and they will enter this match having won just one of their last five Premier League fixtures.

11.49amChelsea lost back-to-back matches against Manchester United and Manchester City before picking up a 2-1 home win over Crystal Palace on March 10. The Blues then lost at home to Tottenham Hotspur, however, before being held by West Ham at Stamford Bridge last weekend. As a result, their hopes of finishing in the top four have all but evaporated, and that has led to discontent among the supporters.

11.52am

11.55amThe London club were so strong last season under Antonio Conte as they swept all before them to land the Premier League title in impressive fashion, but they have only won 17 of their 32 league fixtures this season – suffering nine defeats in the process. Indeed, a total of 57 points has left them in fifth position – 10 points off fourth-placed Tottenham with just six matches left to play.

11.58amChelsea have dropped points in eight of their 15 away Premier League matches this season, and there will be no Champions League football at Stamford Bridge next term unless something incredible happens in the final weeks. They are also under pressure from sixth-placed Arsenal, who are now just three points off the Blues despite their own troubles this term. Tomorrow, the Gunners will face Newcastle.

12.02pmIt would be fair to say that this is a much bigger match for Southampton than it is for Chelsea. The Saints played well at Arsenal last weekend, but conceded late to lose 3-2. The defeat has left them in 18th position in the Premier League table, but they are just three points from 17th-placed Crystal Palace, and have a game in hand over the majority of those around them.

12.05pm

12.05pm

12.08pmSouthampton have only won three of their 16 home Premier League matches this season, however, and have incredibly not been victorious on home soil in the league since beating Everton at the end of November. They have only won once since then, and that was a 3-2 success away to basement side West Brom at the start of February. Things are not exactly looking fantastic at the moment.

12.12pmWorryingly, Southampton, who are now under the management of Mark Hughes, have conceded three times in each of their last three Premier League matches. Indeed, they lost 3-0 against Newcastle United and West Ham United before the 3-2 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

12.15pmIn terms of what is ahead for the Saints, they will travel to Leicester City on Thursday night before hosting Bournemouth next weekend. They will then visit Everton and Swansea City in their first two games of May, before finishing at home to the soon-to-be champions Manchester City on May 13.

12.18pm

12.22pmIt is a beautiful early afternoon in Southampton - let's hope that the football matches the weather! It really is a huge game for Southampton as they look to move level on points with 17th-placed Crystal Palace. A win for Chelsea, meanwhile, would see the Blues go six clear of sixth-placed Arsenal.

12.25pmHere we go then - both sets of players are in the tunnel ahead of kickoff at St Mary's. There is a really good atmosphere inside the stadium, and Southampton will need their supporters to play their part in this match. Just about five minutes until referee Mike Dean will get things underway!

0 minKICKOFF! Chelsea kick things off at St Mary's...

2 min... you do get the feeling that Southampton will need to start well this afternoon if they are to pick up a positive result. The last thing that the home side need is to concede in the early minutes here.

4 minNot too much to report in terms of attacking football in the early moments, but Chelsea have had more of the ball, and Morata has been nice and bright with his movement in the final third of the field.

6 minBoth teams are just feeling their way into the match with some short passing coupled with some long balls. Chelsea are the ones looking for the sharp passes in the final third, but the overall quality has not been great in the first six minutes. An early goal could really, really damage Southampton here.

8 minBertrand breaks down the left for Southampton before delivering towards the far post, but there are no takers. The Saints manage to keep the pressure on as Tadic delivers another really good cross, but once again, Long does not gamble. I suspect Austin would have been on the end of one of those!

10 minNo half-chances to speak about in the first 10 minutes as both defences remain on top. Chelsea have just attempted to pick their way through with Hazard and Willian, but the space was not there.

12 minNot an awful lot to report at the moment as both teams continue to lose control of the ball.

15 minSouthampton are having plenty of the ball in Chelsea's half of the field, but the home side are struggling to create with the long pass to Long not really on. Austin has only just returned from injury, but it is a big surprise that the big centre-forward was not named in the Southampton XI here.

17 minHazard breaks clear for Chelsea before feeding Willian, but the Brazilian's cross is gathered by the Southampton goalkeeper. It must be said that both teams have been short of quality in the final third.

19 minWillian's dangerous free kick is close to being met by Morata, but McCarthy is on hand to gather. Just a few signs that Chelsea are starting to warm to their task in the final third of the field here.

21 minGOAL! Southampton 1-0 Chelsea (Tadic)

22 minSouthampton breakthrough! The home side take the lead in the 21st minute as Bertrand shows brilliant pace and strength to drive down the left - holding off Azpilicueta in the process - before delivering a low cross into Tadic, and the attacker finds the back of the net from close range!

24 minSouthampton are full of life at the moment as they continue to put the pressure on Chelsea.

26 minLong's pace is starting to cause Chelsea some problems as panic sets in for the away side. The home supporters are in fine voice as they drive their team forward in search of the game's second goal.

28 minCHANCE! Big chance for Chelsea to level as Zappacosta's header finds Morata, but the striker can only nod over the crossbar. Southampton wanted a foul for a push on Bertrand!

30 minLittle over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and Southampton boss Mark Hughes will be delighted with what he has seen thus far. Chelsea have not really been a threat aside from a couple of half-chances, and another has just arrived with McCarthy finding a Fabregas corner tough to deal with.

32 minBit of possession for Southampton, which is what they need to just take the sting out of the match.

34 minMorata has to be calmed down by his teammates following an altercation with Hojbjerg. No yellow cards, but Morata does need to 'chill out' as referee Mike Dean told him in the early moments.

36 minHalf-chance for Southampton as Long races away from the Chelsea midfield before having a strike, but his effort was always moving away from the post. Still 1-0 Southampton with 36 minutes played.

38 minVery ambitions from Cahill as the Chelsea captain thumps over the crossbar from distance.

39 minSAVE! Courtois has to get down to keep out a strike from Ward-Prowse as Southampton threaten once again. Chelsea just cannot seem to get to grips with the midfield here.

41 minChelsea have been really, really poor in the first half of this match. The Blues very much have the look of a team that are fifth in the Premier League, and are not battling for a top-four position.

43 minHalf-chance for Southampton to score a second as Ward-Prowse delivers a wonderful free kick into the Chelsea box, but Yoshida heads over the crossbar. It was a tough chance to be honest.

43 minBOOKING! Hojbjerg (Southampton) is booked for dissent.

44 minBOOKING! Ward-Prowse (Southampton) is booked for a foul on Fabregas.

45+1 minWe are into the first of three additional minutes at the end of the first period.

45+2 minChristensen throws himself at a Fabregas cross as Chelsea keep the pressure on following a corner, but the centre-back's effort is wide of the post. Still 1-0 Southampton as we approach the break.

45+3 minHALF-TIME: Southampton 1-0 Chelsea

1.18pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Southampton leading 1-0 courtesy of a close-range finish from Tadic, who converted following excellent work from Bertrand in a wide position. Chelsea have had their moments, but the champions have been really disappointing overall.

1.23pmSTATISTICS! Chelsea dominated the first-half possession with 59%, but despite managing seven attempts, did not have a single shot on target. Southampton, meanwhile, hit the target with three of their five attempts. Two yellow cards to report here - Hojbjerg and Ward-Prowse for the Saints.

1.28pmBENCH WATCH! Chelsea boss Conte has a number of attacking options on his bench this afternoon, with the likes of Barkley, Giroud, Moses and Pedro all capable of making a difference in the second 45 minutes. Southampton, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Austin, Boufal, Lemina and Gabbiadini.

46 minRESTART! Southampton resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period gathers pace in the sunshine.

47 minMorata has just sent one high and wide of the Southampton crossbar from a good position.

49 minHalf-chance for Southampton as Yoshida reacts first to a corner inside the Chelsea box, but Courtois does well to make the block. Time almost stood still there when Yoshida made the movement!

51 minYou do get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - could be huge. Chelsea would fancy their chances of winning it if they levelled, but a second would be huge for Southampton.

53 minCHANCE! Huge chance for Southampton to score a second as Long races away from the Chelsea defence before turning Christensen, but the striker's effort is saved by Courtois!

55 minEnd-to-end football in the last few minutes as both teams have their moments in the final third. Chelsea have a half-chance as Hazard strikes from a narrow angle, but McCarthy makes the save.

56 minSAVE! McCarthy manages to get down to keep out a curling Willian effort. Hazard reacted to the loose ball, but the Chelsea attacker was flagged offside. Plenty happening at the moment.

58 minLittle over 30 minutes of football remaining, and Southampton's 1-0 lead still stands here.

60 minGOAL! Southampton 2-0 Chelsea (Bednarek)

61 minOh my word! Southampton double their lead in the 60th minute as Bednarek - on his Premier League debut - side-foots a wonderful Ward-Prowse cross into the bottom corner of the net!

61 minCHELSEA SUBS! Giroud and Pedro replace Morata and Zappacosta.

64 minBOOKING! Hazard (Chelsea) is booked for dissent.

65 minBOOKING! Bertrand (Southampton) is booked for stopping a quick throw.

67 minSouthampton have not beaten any of the 'top six' in the Premier League since May 2016, but they are in a wonderful position to collect all three points as we head for the final 20 minutes here.

69 minPossession football for Southampton, and it must be said that Ward-Prowse has been wonderful for the Saints this afternoon. As for Chelsea, they have been poor to a man. No commitment or desire.

70 minGOAL! Southampton 2-1 Chelsea (Giroud)

71 minChelsea have one back as Giroud, who has not long been on the field, heads a brilliant Alonso cross into the bottom corner of the net. Massive final 20 minutes for Southampton now!

73 minThis is going to be a very long final 15 minutes or so as Chelsea start to dominate the ball.

75 minGOAL! Southampton 2-2 Chelsea (Hazard)

76 minChelsea level the scores in the 75th minute as Willian delivers a brilliant low cross into Hazard, and the attacker smashes the ball into the roof of the net. It is an absolute disaster for Southampton here.

78 minSouthampton just cannot get out of their own half at the moment as Chelsea continue to press. You do get the feeling that the reigning champions are going to complete the turnaround here.

78 minBOOKING! Romeu (Southampton) is booked for a pull on Alonso.

78 minGOAL! Southampton 2-3 Chelsea (Giroud)

79 minSimply ridiculous. Chelsea have completed the turnaround here with Giroud smashing the ball into the bottom corner after reacting first to a loose ball inside the penalty box. Some finish from the striker!

80 minSOUTHAMPTON SUB! Austin replaces Ward-Prowse for the home side.

81 minBOOKING! Long (Southampton) is booked for a foul on Pedro.

82 minBOOKING! Willian (Chelsea) is booked for a foul on Hojbjerg.

83 minSOUTHAMPTON SUB! Tadic is replaced by Sims for the home side.

85 minLittle over five minutes of normal time remaining, and Southampton still lock shocked here.

86 minCHELSEA SUB! Moses replaces Hazard for the away side.

88 minComfortable save for Courtois to keep out a header from Hojbjerg.

90 minWe are into the last minute of normal time, and Courtois has the ball in his arms.

90+1 minSAVE! We are into the first of five additional minutes, and Courtois has just saved from Sims!

90+3 minStill time for Southampton to nick something late on, but they need the ball.

90+3 minSOUTHAMPTON SUB! Gabbiadini replaces Bednarek for the home side.

90+4 minAustin races into the Chelsea box, but the offside flag is raised, and Chelsea are closing on all three points. This is going to be very, very tough for Southampton to take - no doubt about that.

90+4 minBOOKING! Cahill (Chelsea) is booked for a foul on Long.

90+6 minFULL-TIME: Southampton 2-3 Chelsea

2.24pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Chelsea winning 3-2 courtesy of an incredible late show at St Mary's. What a finish to the match! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. See you soon!

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Mark Hughes watches on during the Premier League game between Stoke City and Manchester United on September 9, 2017
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