Posted January 16, 2013 on AP on Fox
Chelsea capitulated in the second half against relegation-threatened Southampton by surrendering a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 in the English Premier League on Wednesday. Demba Ba and Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a comfortable halftime lead before the third-place side experienced its second consecutive home setback in the league. Southampton substitute Rickie Lambert made an immediate impact early in the second half, heading past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech to reduce the deficit. And Jason Puncheon completed Southampton's comeback in the 75th minute when he volleyed in the equalizer. As Southampton rose three points clear of the drop zone, Chelsea missed a chance to strengthen its grip on third place. Despite manager Rafa Benitez, who is contracted only until the end of the season, being booed by disgruntled home fans, the draw came on the day a potential Chelsea managerial target, Pep Guardiola, announced he would join Bayern Munich. The prospect of another letdown by Chelsea, having lost to Queens Park Rangers at the start of the month, appeared unlikely in the first half. Although the breakthrough didn't come for 25 minutes, Chelsea had been in complete control with a disciplined display against a side it thrashed 5-1 in the FA Cup on Jan. 5. Benitez's decision to keep Fernando Torres on the bench was justified as Ba netted his third goal since arriving at the start of the January transfer window. Lampard did the hard work on the right flank, holding off the visiting defense before Cesar Azpilicueta whipped in a cross that Oscar headed on for Ba to slice into the net. Southampton created no danger near Cech's goal until Steven Davis struck wide but that was a rare threatening moment from the visitors. Chelsea was pushing for the second goal, with Frank Lampard missing the target from Mata's cutback and Oscar slicing the ball wide before the lead was extended. Ramires hit the bar after pouncing on a loose ball and Hazard met the rebound and buried it in the net. Chelsea was cruising until Southampton replaced Jay Rodriguez with Lambert in the 55th and the comeback was on three minutes later. Lambert headed in his 10th goal of the season after connecting with Nathaniel Clyne's precise cross. The closest Chelsea came to extending its lead was Lampard sending a free kick over until Stamford Bridge was silenced by Southampton's equalizer. Luke Shaw, Southampton's 17-year-old defender, rampaged down the left flank unchallenged before crossing into the penalty area, where Ramirez clipped the ball across to Puncheon. After teeing up the shot for himself, Puncheon volleyed beyond Cech with a fine finish in the 75th. The discontent among the home crowd only heightened when, four minutes later, fans' favorite Lampard was replaced by the misfiring Torres. And the Spain striker missed his best chance to produce a winner when he missed the target after being set up by Mata.

Lampard worry over standards

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard admits he is concerned about a potential drop in standards at the club. Following a tumultuous season which saw Roberto Di Matteo sacked, Chelsea sit third in the Premier League, some 14 points behind leaders Manchester United. Although there has been widespread vitriol from the Stamford Bridge terraces towards Di Matteo's temporary replacement...

Frank Lampard to LA Galaxy

Chelsea mid fielder Frank Lampard will to join the LA Galaxy on a free transfer after Chelsea’s season finishes in June, says a source close to Chelsea. Many sources close to Lampard’s agent say, “It’s all but done.”  Neither LA or Chelsea have confirmed the deal. Thursday afternoon at the MLS SuperDraft, Galaxy head coach…

No financial fair play for Frank Lampard’s expiring contract at Stamford Bridge

Originally posted on Top-soccer.comChelsea and former England star Frank Lampard is likely to be left out in the Stamford Bridge cold in London at the end of the season. The 34 year old will be out of contract in the summer and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has made his intentions clear that the midfield legend will be surplus to requirements. This is down to Chelsea’s policy...

Blues drop points in tie with Saints

Chelsea capitulated in the second half against relegation-threatened Southampton by throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 in the English Premier League on Wednesday. Goals from Demba Ba and Eden Hazard gave third-placed Chelsea a comfortable halftime lead. But Southampton substitute Rickie Lambert made an immediate impact early in the second half, heading past Chelsea goalkeeper...

Manchester United v Liverpool Preview, 13th January 2013

Premiership leaders Manchester United renew rivalry with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday in the lunchtime kick-off. The Red Devils begin the weekend with a comfortable seven-point advantage over champions City and have had much the better of recent clashes with their Merseyside rivals.United have won the last three meetings between the teams at Old Trafford and an impressive...

Tweet Sweep: Best Twitter barbs (so far) at poor Jonathan Walters’ expense

For the very first time in his EPL career, Jonathan Walters looked longingly to the heavens and wished earnestly that he could just stop scoring goals. You see, after you send two of the opposition’s crosses into the back of your own net, you start realizing that you are only one accidental ****** away from earning the utterly humiliating “own-goal hat trick” milestone… and...

Saints battle to Chelsea draw

Chelsea dropped more points in the Premier League title race after failing to win for a third consecutive game at Stamford Bridge as they were held to a dramatic 2-2 draw by Southampton. Demba Ba scored his first Premier League goal for the club on home soil and his third in 11 days against their opponents before Eden Hazard put the Blues in a comfortable lead before the break with...
Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.