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Chelsea 2 Saints 2
This live event has finished
- Saints earn a point with a wonderful fightback
- Demba Ba volleys Chelsea in front
- Eden Hazard adds a second just before the break
- Rickie Lambert comes off the bench to pull one back
- Jason Puncheon fires Saints level
Saints stay 15th in the table, but are now three points clear of the bottom three. A fantastic night for Nigel Adkins' men. We will have reaction for you here later, as well as a full match report, comment, and quotes for you in tomorrow's Daily Echo. Thanks for joining us.
FULL-TIME: Chelsea 2 Saints 2
GOAL: Chelsea 2 Saints 2 (Jason Puncheon 75): Luke Shaw scampers down the left and delivers a low ball that works its way to Puncheon just inside the area. He hits a glorious left-foot strike into the far top corner.
CHANCE (72 mins): Lampard bends a free-kick a yard wide after Yoshida tripped Mata just outside the area.
CHANCE (68 mins): Juan Mata hits a brilliant chipped through-pass that Demba Ba volleys over.
GOAL: Chelsea 2 Saints 1 (Rickie Lambert 58): Nathaniel Clyne breaks away past Hazard down the right and delivers a cross that is headed into the top corner by Rickie Lambert.
SUB (55 mins): Rickie Lambert replaces Jay Rodriguez.
HALF-TIME: Chelsea 2 Saints 0
GOAL: Chelsea 2 Saints 0 (Eden Hazard 45): Ramires crashes a shot against the post, with the ball rebounding to the edge of the area, where Hazard is on hand to lash home a crisply-struck left-foot shot.
CHANCE (43 mins): Mata's cut-back picks out Lampard just inside the area, but he pulls his right-foot shot wide.
CHANCE (37 mins): Yoshida's long ball is brought down in the box by Rodriguez, who lays it back to Davis, only for the midfielder to drag his shot wide from a good position.
GOAL: Chelsea 1 Saints 0 (Demba Ba 25): Oscar and Hooiveld challenge for Azpilicueta's cross, with the ball spinning off them and dropping to Ba, who volleys home from 12 yards.
CHANCE (16 mins): Guly's cross from the left is met by Puncheon at the back post, but his header across goal goes well wide.
CHANCE (10 mins): Demba Ba's low cross bounces off Steven Davis and Maya Yoshida before spinning wide of the goal.
The teams are out here at Stamford Bridge. Kick-off a couple of minutes away. We will have updates here for you throughout the match.
Chelsea (last six, league only): W W W W L W
Saints (last six, league only): W L D D D W
Chelsea (top scorer, league only): Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres – all 7
Saints (top scorer, league only): Rickie Lambert – 9
Watch Rafa Benitez have his say ahead of tonight's match...
A couple of surprise changes for Saints this evening. Rickie Lambert and Gaston Ramirez drop to the bench, with Guly do Prado and Steven Davis coming into the line-up. Luke Shaw has recovered from the gash on his leg that he sustained at Aston Villa last Saturday and starts.
CHELSEA: Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Ba.
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand, Marin, Torres.
SAINTS: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw, S Davis, Schneiderlin, Cork, Puncheon, Guly, Rodriguez.
Subs: K Davis, Lambert, Ramírez, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Seaborne, Chaplow.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Chelsea come into this match having lost their last two games at Stamford Bridge. Interim manager Rafa Benitez has been discussing the reasons behind the differences in his team's home and away performances...
We are doing well away but at home other teams play deep and wait and there's less space. We are still creating chances but the main thing is to be more clinical. If we take our chances it will be totally different because the teams we play will be more open and we will have the space we're looking for. But if that's not the case, as in the last two games, it is more difficult. If a team puts 11 players behind the ball you have to find the space and be more precise.Rafa Benitez
Here is Nigel Adkins speaking about Chelsea ahead of tonight's fixture...
Nigel Adkins has been speaking about Chelsea ahead of tonight's match, ten days on from the Blues' 5-1 FA Cup win at St Mary's...
I think with the addition of Demba Ba now and whoever else they might bring in they look a very well-equipped side to go for the title. It will be an interesting one but obviously he (Rafa Benitez) has started well in respect that they have won games, he is a good manager and has won the European Cup and the team play good. The experience of playing them here at St Mary's 10 days ago they have got exceptionally good football players who play good football and if you give them half an opportunity they will capitalise on that. Will he win the fans around, who knows? I think there has obviously been a big turnaround in managers at Chelsea anyway and I think you will find that Chelsea fans are passionate about their football club.Saints manager Nigel Adkins
Good evening and welcome to the Daily Echo’s blog covering tonight’s Premier League fixture between Chelsea and Saints, at Stamford Bridge. This game was due to be played in December, but was rearranged because of the Blues’ Club World Cup commitments. There won’t be too many Saints fans complaining about that, though*. Back then, Chelsea were banging in the goals, but now they’re in a spot of bother at home. Rafa Benitez’s team have lost their last two matches at the Bridge – without scoring – and have an increasingly restless fanbase. They did, however, beat Nigel Adkins’ side 5-1 in the FA Cup third round at St Mary’s just over a week ago. The pressure is off Saints tonight, after Saturday’s huge win at Villa Park, but they’ll be hoping for a surprise bonus from their game in hand this evening. We’ll have the build-up, team news and match updates for you, at least for as long as it takes until my fingers freeze.
*This viewpoint will almost certainly alter after a couple of hours outside in these Siberian-like temperatures.