Saints stall Chelsea title bid

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March 15, 2015 16:22:46 UK

Diego Costa ended a run of seven games without a goal with Chelsea’s opener against Southampton.

Chelsea failed to take full advantage of Manchester City’s defeat at Burnley as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton on Sunday.

City’s defeat at Turf Moor in the late game on Saturday meant the Blues could have opened up an eight point gap with victory on Sunday but they could only draw with the Saints at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea, who were dumped out of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain this week, appeared on course to seal victory when Diego Costa opened the scoring early on in the first half after being set up by in-form defender Branislav Ivanovic.

However, Saints levelled from the spot less than 10 minutes later as Nemanja Matic fouled Sadio Mane in the box, with Dusan Tadic scoring the penalty as Ronald Koeman’s side kept their top four hopes alive with a valuable point.

Chelsea had a number of chances to regain the lead but Southampton keeper Fraser Forster made a string of fine saves to deny Oscar, Eden Hazard and Loic Remy, while John Terry fired wide late on when well placed after seeing an initial effort blocked following a Blues corner.

Despite the setback Chelsea are still in a strong position to claim the Premier League title as they lead Manchester City by six points with a game in hand.

Jose Mourinho’s men travel to Hull City next weekend and they can be backed at 1.40 to get back to winning ways.

City’s next Premier League assignment is a home tie with West Brom on Saturday and they are 1.28 to take all three points, while they face a daunting trip to Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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