Saints inflict fifth defeat in seven EPL games on Chelsea
Chelsea's grip on a top-four spot has loosened further, following their 2-0 loss to Southampton at Stamford Bridge last night.
Goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond sent the Blues tumbling to their fifth defeat in seven English Premier League games, as Frank Lampard's men failed to break down the defensive Saints.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuettl rested in-form talisman Danny Ings, but that decision paid off as his replacement Michael Obafemi scored just his second EPL goal after a counter-attack.
|(Michael Obafemi 31, Nathan Redmond 73)|
Bursting inside from the right, the Irishman curled into the top corner after a tight opening half hour.
Lampard changed his side's formation from 3-4-3 to 4-2-3-1 at the break. It nearly earned an instant dividend as substitute Mason Mount set up Tammy Abraham, who flashed a shot into the side netting.
Saints winger Redmond was denied by Kepa Arrizabalaga on the break, but coolly finished for the visitors' second after an impressive team move to silence the home crowd.
The hosts struggled to break down Southampton's tight defence, and Hasenhuettl's side rise to 14th, three points clear of the relegation zone, building on last weekend's win over Aston Villa.
After the highs of victory at Spurs as Lampard got one over his former manager Jose Mourinho, Chelsea again struggled when faced with breaking down stubborn opponents in Southampton.
The Blues have now lost to West Ham, Bournemouth and the Saints in their last four home league games.
They stay fourth with 32 points from 19 games and must pick themselves up for Sunday's trip to Arsenal. - REUTERS, AFP