Mikel Obi gave a solid display as late goals from Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic helped Chelsea complete an impressive turnaround victory away at Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Blues trailed to Shane Long’s first-half opener on the South Coast, but they battled back valiantly to secure a 2-1 triumph at St Mary’s Stadium – the first time they have overturned a deficit to win a league game all season.
Southampton’s push for a top-five finish takes a big blow as a result of the defeat, while Chelsea – now with just the one defeat in 15 since Guus Hiddink took charge – are within one point of the top half.
The visitors were forced into making the top flight’s earliest substitution of the season when Pedro limped off to be replaced by Oscar seven minutes in, but there was a bigger setback to come later in the half.
A tame opening 45 minutes only sparked into life midway through thanks to a string of openings for both sides – full debutant Charlie Austin firing narrowly wide with arguably the best of the chances.
Diego Costa could only pick out the stands when afforded some rare space to get away a shot of his own, but the Blues’ only on-target shot of the half came courtesy of substitute Oscar on the half-hour mark.
It was the simplest of stops for Fraser Forster down the middle, ensuring that he reached a club record 667 minutes without conceding a goal.