Terry seals Chelsea landmark in style
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Last Updated: Monday, December 02, 2013, 00:35
  
Terry seals Chelsea landmark in style
London: John Terry marked his 400th Premier League appearance with a second-half goal that helped Chelsea recover from the shock of falling behind after just 15 seconds to beat Southampton 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The win saw Jose Mourinho`s second-placed side move to within four points of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

But it took a stirring second half comeback to clinch three points after Jay Rodriguez had given Mauricio Pochettino`s visiting side a stunningly quick lead.

Gary Cahill headed Chelsea level ten minutes after the restart before Terry celebrated his landmark appearance with the Blues` second goal seven minutes later.

And Demba Ba rounded off the win in the 90th minute with a volleyed finish from Ramires`s cross.

Having lost at Arsenal last time out, a second away defeat meant Southampton dropped to seventh place.

Rodriguez`s goal came as a blow to a Chelsea side attempting to shake off the effects of a midweek Champions League defeat at Basel.

Liverpool`s defeat at Hull City and Manchester United`s draw with Tottenham Hotspur earlier on Sunday had handed Mourinho`s team a great opportunity to extend the gap on some of their main title rivals.

But if they were to do that, they would have to improve on the dismal display in Switzerland.

There was no attempt to disguise how disappointing that performance had been with Mourinho describing the display as "really bad" in his match programme notes.

Chelsea captain Terry, meanwhile, conceded the only positive from the evening was that the Blues still qualified for the knockout stages of the competition.

Mourinho attempted to freshen up his side by handing Michael Essien his first Premier League start since returning during the close season from a season-long loan at Real Madrid.

But the plan backfired with the Ghanaian`s first touch lifting the ball into no man`s land between keeper Petr Cech and centre-back Cahill, allowing Rodriguez to nip in on the inside of Branislav Ivanovic and place the ball beyond Cech.

It was the last thing Chelsea needed and their response during the remainder of the first half was largely ineffectual, although they did shows signs of finding their feet towards the interval.

Fernando Torres began to exert a greater influence on the game, crossing for Oscar whose header drew a fine save from Artur Boruc, the Southampton goalkeeper.

Then Boruc produced an even better one-handed stop to repel a Torres header two minutes before half-time.

But it was the introduction of Ba in place of Essien that helped galvanise Chelsea`s attack.

And with Southampton pressed back by the home side`s more convincing forward play, it took Mourinho`s men just ten minutes to conjure the equaliser when Cahill headed home after Southampton failed to clear a Juan Mata corner.

Ivanovic rose to meet the original cross and his header was directed goalwards by Ba, whose effort struck the post and looped up inside the six-yard box, where Cahill twisted acrobatically to head home.

The momentum was with Chelsea and it was no surprise when Terry made it 2-1 by meeting Juan Mata`s left wing cross with an excellent header past Paulo Gazzaniga, who had replaced the injured Boruc.

Chelsea, playing with an urgency and confidence missing from their first half performance, saw Ba seal victory with a volley from Ramires`s cross after the Brazil midfielder had shown impressive persistence to create the chance.
AFP

First Published: Monday, December 02, 2013, 00:35


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