Saints 1 Chelsea 5
Sta 5th Jan 3pm
Attendance: 27, 813
Saints faced Chelsea after a run of games which had given them hope that they could at least make a game of it.
Nigel Adkins made just two changes to the starting eleven with Gaston Ramirez and Rickie Lambert both rested. Jay Rodriguez and Jame Ward-Prowse came in in their places.
The game got under way with both teams playing high intensity open attacking football. Saints seemed to settle quickly and Morgan Schneiderlin set Jay Rodriguez up with a through ball but he was thwarted by a well timed tackle by Ivanovic.
Chelsea were held well by the Saints defence at first but gradually the Blues were growing into the game with their midfield players looking ever more dangerous.
The St Mary's crowd erupted with joy in the 22nd minute however when a diagonal ball from Puncheon was latched onto by Jay Rodriguez. He outpaced Cahill and coolly slotted the ball home passed Turnbull to give Saints the lead.
4 minutes later Chelsea came close with a delightful curling effort from Mata but Boruc had it covered as it went by the outside of the post.
Saints continued to repel the Chelsea attack force and a fine move which looked promising with Shaw, Ward-Prowse and Puncheon involved, brought the crowd to it's feet before petering out.
Chelsea drew level in the 36th minute after some superb work from Mata. He received a delicate flicked pass from Moses out on the left and ran into the box before shooting. Boruc saved it with his outstretched finger tips only for Demba Ba to force the ball home on the line.
Chelsea were now taking control and a Moses shot was saved by Boruc. Boruc then saved a long drive from Azpilicueta though he needed two attempts to do so.
The Chelsea pressure was now mounting as the half drew to a close, and in the final seconds of added time they took the lead. Ashley Cole found Moses with a perfect cut back and Moses smashed the ball past a despairing Boruc into the far corner of the net.
HT and Chelsea were deservedly leading 1-2.
No substitutions were made for the start of the second half as Chelsea continued with the momentum from the end of the first. It was no surprise to any when the third Chelsea goal went in after more good work from Mata gave Ivanovic chance which he took heading home at the near post.
3-1 to Chelsea and Saints withdrew Morgan Schneiderlin for Steve de Ridder which enabled Guly do Prado to switch inside. It made little difference as Chelsea were now running rampant.
The 61st minute saw Chelsea hit their fourth after a classy move with Ramires involved before Hazard clipped a superb pass to Ba he slipped the ball under Boruc for his second.
4-1 and even worse was the fact that Fonte injured himself trying to stop the goal. He was removed on a stretcher and was replaced by Jos Hooiveldt.
Steve Davis took on the captaincy and Chelsea brought on Frank Lampard for Ivanovic. Chelsea were in complete control and it was now simply a question of who would score next.
Saints did make a chance through a dangerous cross by Guly but Turnbull did well blocking a De Ridder effort before moving quickly to save a low drive from Steve Davis.
Moses was then replaced by Marin before Lampard had a fierce drive well blocked by Boruc. Saints in turn then won a corner which De Ridder headed hopelessly wide.
Both sides then made their final substitutions with Jason Puncheon replaced by Tadanari Lee for Saints, and Oscar coming on for Chelsea in place of Mata.
Chelsea then won what looked a decidedly dubious penalty which Lampard duly struck home. Dubious because the spot kick was given for handball when it looked as though the ball hit the chest.
At the end it made little difference to the result and the game closed with Chelsea deservedly running out easy winners. At times it looked like men against boys once Chelsea had got their game moving.
A highly entertaining game at times with Saints not getting the result that they wanted and worse a possibly serious injury to Jose Fonte. All in all a result that was half expected by many.
Well played Chelsea. You showed that we still have a long way to go to reach your level.
Vital Saints on:
Vital Saints on:
Join Vital Saints
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.