Chelsea 1-0 Southampton: Blues edge Saints
- Alonso’s free kick on half time seals win
- Southampton with 1 win in 9
- Chelsea in third place
Chelsea edged by Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday with Marcos Alonso’s free kick the difference between the two teams.
Antonio Conte’s side dominated for large periods and missed several good chances, yet Saints had opportunities on the break but failed to take them.
With the win Chelsea solidify third-place in the table, while Saints remain on 18 points and continue their slide down the table to 12th place.
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Saints had a decent chance early on as Ryan Bertrand whipped in a delightful cross but Gary Cahill cleared under pressure from James Ward-Prowse.
Cedric was then forced off with injury for Saints after a heavy challenge from Cahill and Mario Lemina came on with a defensive reshuffle.
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Willian went close but curled an effort wide and on the break Manolo Gabbiadini threatened but Fraser Foster was busy and Bertrand made a great last-ditch tackle to deny Willian.
Pedro’s deflected effort hit the post just before the break but Saints couldn’t hold on until the break. Alonso caught Forster napping and snuck in a fine free kick at the near post to put Chelsea 1-0 up.
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Willian danced free of Saints’ defense in the second half but fired well over and the visitors had their first big chance of the game as Charlie Austin came off the bench and his first act was to race free but Thibaut Courtois saved well.
Another substitute, Cesc Fabregas, went close as he almost made the most of quick free kick from Willian but his audacious effort went just wide.
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Late on Saints pushed hard for an equalizer but Chelsea held on comfortably for their eighth win in their last 10 games.
Hardly champagne football from Chelsea, but Conte’s boys got the job done.