London: Chelsea opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League despite being held to a 1-1 draw against top-four hopefuls Southampton in an absorbing game at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Diego Costa opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 11th minute with a close-range header but Southampton deservedly equalised eight minutes later through Dusan Tadic`s fortuitous penalty.
Southampton dominated for much of the opening period but Chelsea asserted their authority after the break with Costa clipping the post while John Terry was denied in a frantic finish.
Chelsea lead second-placed Manchester City, who were beaten 1-0 by struggling Burnley on Saturday, with a game in hand while Southampton are sixth, three points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.
United host fellow Champions League qualification hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United travel to Everton later on Sunday.