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Published: 17:10 | 27/2/16

Chelsea hit back to beat Southampton

Late goals seal victory

Chelsea came from a goal down to beat Southampton 2-1 in a lively encounter at St Mary's.

After Shane Long had notched his tenth goal of the season with a neat finish three minutes before the break, Chelsea hit back with two goals in the final 15 minutes to claim all three points.

Cesc Fabregas equalised on 75 minutes with a cross-cum-shot which eluded everyone before nestling in the bottom corner of the net, before Branislav Ivanovic rose unmarked a minute from time to head the winner when the game seemed destined for a draw.

Ronald Koeman's side hadn't conceded in more than six games, but that all ended in a testy affair on the south coast, while Chelsea's unbeaten run in the league under interim manager Guus Hiddink now stretches to eleven matches and counting.

After a lively opening from both sides, Long spurned a good chance to put the Saints in front on ten minutes, but headed over from a good position after Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had attempted to come and collect Cedric Soares's cross before then back-tracking.

But the Republic of Ireland striker made no mistake three minutes before the break, capitalising on a Baba Rahman error before racing clear and lifting the ball superbly over the advancing Courtois.

Diego Costa fired over from 30 yards in a rare Chelsea foray forward as the home side went in deservedly a goal to the good at half-time.

But Chelsea upped the tempo after the restart and, after going close on several occasions, equalised when Costa chased down what looked like a lost cause but somehow managed to prevent the ball crossing the byline.

The Spaniard found Fabregas whose angled cross-cum-shot completely fooled Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster as it drifted beyond everyone into the bottom corner of the net with Eden Hazard lurking.

The visitors sensed that the three points were there for the taking and were duly rewarded for their second half endeavours when Ivanovic eluded the attentions of Virgil van Dijk to head home unmarked from eight yards.

The result lifts Chelsea up to eleventh, while Southampton slip to seventh.

By: Kieran O'Daly

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