TAKUMI Minamino’s moment of magic helped Saints end their wretched run of Premier League defeats, grinding out a draw against Chelsea.

The hosts led against the run of play at half-time at St Mary’s thanks to Minamino’s classy finish.

Chelsea rallied after the restart, quickly levelling from the penalty spot courtesy of Mason Mount, who had been brought down himself by Danny Ings.

Thomas Tuchel’s side continued to press in search of a winner, but Saints held firm and could have won it themselves with Jannik Vestergaard seeing a header come back off the crossbar.

But the 1-1 draw did at least arrest the slump of six top-flight defeats in succession for Saints.

Ralph Hasenhuttl made two changes from last weekend’s loss to Wolves, both of which were enforced. Kyle Walker-Peters missed out due to a hamstring injury suffered in that defeat, while Stuart Armstrong was also not in the matchday squad. In came Moussa Djenepo and Mohammed Salisu, the latter making his full Premier League debut, starting at centre-back with Jan Bednarek operating from the right. Alex Jankewitz returned to the bench after serving a three-match suspension.

Chelsea, who arrived on the back of five straight victories and still unbeaten under new boss Tuchel, recalled Edouard Mendy in goal in one of four changes.

And the Blues instantly began to control the ball in Saints’ half. The hosts were struggling to gain any sort of foothold in the contest and almost went behind after five minutes.

A swift Chelsea break, with Mount at the heart of it, led to Reece James crossing for fellow wing-back Marcos Alonso, who volleyed just wide.

In truth, that was as close as either side would come for a large chunk of the half. For all of Chelsea’s dominance in possession, Alex McCarthy remained unworked in the Saints goal with the final pass lacking from the visitors.

He was finally tested on the half hour mark as Chelsea began to show their impatience with centre-back Antonio Rudiger letting fly from 30 yards, but firing straight at McCarthy.

Just three minutes later, Saints were in front. Having barely broken into the Chelsea half all afternoon, the hosts got their noses ahead completely against the run of play thanks to a moment of brilliance. Nathan Redmond threaded a ball through for Minamino, who had drifted centrally and bore down on goal. The Liverpool loanee sold both Cesar Azpilicueta and Mendy with a dummy, before tucking the ball in the opposite side of the goal with the outside of his boot.

It was the second time the midfielder had netted for Saints since joining earlier this month.

Chelsea quickly went close to a leveller as Kurt Zouma headed an Alonso free-kick goalwards. McCarthy sprung across to tip the ball behind, although replays suggested Zouma may have strayed into an offside position anyway.

Tuchel made a switch at the break, introducing Callum Hudson-Odoi in place of Tammy Abraham.

And the substitute soon made an impact. Saints were given a warning when Timo Werner fired into the side netting from a tight angle and the visitors were soon after awarded a penalty.

A quick corner from James caught Saints out, delivering to substitute Hudson-Odoi. He slipped the ball through for Mount, who was brought down by a clumsy Ings sliding challenge.

Mount stepped up himself, tucking in low to McCarthy’s left, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Saints responded well to the setback, keeping Chelsea at bay.

And as the game ticked into its final 20 minutes, they came within inches of retaking the lead. Redmond collected the ball from the left after a James Ward-Prowse corner had been half cleared. His delivery was deflected kindly into the path of Vestergaard, who headed for goal. Mendy was rooted to the spot, but the effort cannoned back off the crossbar.

Both sides turned to their benches with 15 minutes to play with Nathan Tella introduced for Saints, but it was Chelsea who carved out the clearest opening of the final stages. James blazed wildly off target from a good position as the spoils were shared.

Saints: McCarthy; Bednarek, Vestergaard, Salisu, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse; Djenepo, Minamino (Tella, 76); Redmond (N'Lundulu, 90+4), Ings (Adams, 85).

Unused subs: Stephens, Ramsay, Ferry, Jankewitz, Chauke, Forster (g/k).

Booked: McCarthy.

Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic (Jorginho, 76), Alonso; Mount, Werner; Abraham (Hudson-Odoi, h-t (Ziyech, 76)).

Unused subs: Christensen, Chilwell, Emerson, Gilmour, Giroud, Arrizabalaga (g/k).

Booked: Alonso.

Referee: Anthony Taylor.