SOUTHAMPTON: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic struck late goals to earn improving champions Chelsea a 2-1 victory at Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
Shane Long took advantage of a mistake by Baba Rahman to put the hosts ahead just before halftime, pouncing on the ball before beating Thibaut Courtois with a neat finish.
Chelsea struggled to create clearcut chances before Fabregas equalised after 75 minutes when the Spanish midfielder’s hopeful cross deceived Southampton keeper Fraser Forster and sneaked in at the far post.
It was the first goal the Saints had conceded in seven league games and Chelsea grabbed the winner one minute from time thanks to a powerful header from Ivanovic.
“Branislav is a very good header, he jumps well and is courageous. Then his execution is perfect,” Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink told the BBC.
“I think it was a deserved win for us. They haven’t conceded in last six, seven games so it was successful for us.
“We had a setback when we went 1-0 down, it was a present from our defence, but we did very well in the second half. We were well organised and then got the goals.”
Southampton are seventh in the table with Chelsea comfortably in the middle of the standings after recovering from a dismal start to the season.