Giving up a goal in the first 13 seconds of play could have ruined most teams, but Chelsea battled back with three second-half goals to beat Southampton 3-1 on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues remain on pace with first-place Arsenal, just four points behind their London rivals. Jose Mourinho's squad got on the board with defender Gary Cahill's equalizer, and go-ahead scores from John Terry and Demba Ba.
The Saints struck very early by taking advantage of poor Chelsea passing, and Jay Rodriguez quickly capitalized with a goal in the first minute off a right-footed shot in front of the Blues' net.
Unfortunately for Southampton, they couldn’t contain an aggressive Chelsea club that forced eight corner kicks and seven shots on target.
In the 55th, Ba nicked the ball off the post and Cahill provided the timely header in front of the net for his first goal of the season.
Terry and Chelsea continued to provide pressure with a goal seven minutes later. Juan Mata patiently lofted a cross into the middle of Saints area, and Terry elevated for the deflecting header and a 2-1 lead.
Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc broke hand following the Terry strike, and will be out for six weeks. Paulo Gazzaniga replaced Boruc in 58th minute.
Substituting for Michael Essien in the 45th, Ba nearly converted a Cesar Azpilicueta assist into a goal, but his close-range shot went wide right in the 72nd. Ba made up for the miscue in the 90th with a goal off Ramires’s cross.
Essien was issued the Blues only yellow card, while the Saints were booked four times, including three in a 19-minute span in the second half.
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