Marcos Alonso’s stunning free-kick on the brink of half-time piles the pressure on second-placed Manchester United


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FRASER FORSTER dropped his guard for one second and handed Chelsea victory.

Southampton’s large goalkeeper produced a sequence of excellent saves because the Premier League champions laid siege to his purpose within the first half.


Marcos Alonso broke the impasse on the point of half-time for Chelsea

However he was crushed two minutes into damage time earlier than the break together with his first mistake of the match and paid the worth.

Marcos Alonso curled a shocking free kick contained in the put up from 25 yards out to lastly get the higher of Saints’ 6ft 5ins colossus in purpose.

Forster had earlier produced wonderful stops to disclaim Gary Cahill’s pile-driver from exterior the field, a deflected effort from N’Golo Kante and two different fantastic strikes from Alonso.

Even after Chelsea took the lead Forster didn’t let it have an effect on his confidence and pulled off an ideal flying cease from one more ferocious shot from Alonso.

 Chelsea fans were given a free, blue Christmas hat for the Southampton clash


Chelsea followers got a free, blue Christmas hat for the Southampton conflict
 Chelsea celebrate Marcos Alonso's goal on the stroke of half-time


Chelsea have a good time Marcos Alonso’s purpose on the stroke of half-time

Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois was referred to as upon to make just one severe try at a block when solar Charlie Austin broke free only a minute after approaching within the second half – solely to see his shot palmed away by the lanky Belgian.

Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino dropped defender Virgil van Dijk for the primary time since September 23rd after his crew’s Four-1 residence hammering by Leicester.

Fixed hypothesis a few January transfer to Manchester Metropolis surrounds the Dutch centre half and possibly turned his head when it comes to efficiency – ensuing within the chop.

INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the classes to learn the way the groups fared

 Chelsea went into half-time with a 1-0 lead thanks to Marcos Alonso's strike


Chelsea went into half-time with a 1-Zero lead because of Marcos Alonso’s strike

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte rested striker Alavaro Morata who’s nursing a again drawback however introduced on his ten-goal high scorer with 16 minutes to go to attempt to add to the lead, hold the ball in Saints’ half and see off the specter of a fightback.

Forster was man of the match regardless of the rating and letting his focus slip momentarily.

Chelsea have been additionally denied when Pedro’s first half shot from contained in the field, cannoned off the within of defender Jack Stephens’ leg and hit the put up.

 Fraser Forster was regularly called into action during the game at Stamford Bridge


Fraser Forster was often referred to as into motion in the course of the recreation at Stamford Bridge

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  • Forward of kick-off, Chelsea had received every of their final three Premier League video games in opposition to Southampton since dropping Three-1 at Stamford Bridge in October 2015.
  • Previous to the sport, the Saints have stored one clear sheet of their final 24 league video games in opposition to the Blues – a goalless draw on Boxing Day 2002.
 Southampton struggled to break down Chelsea for much of the game


Southampton struggled to interrupt down Chelsea for a lot of the sport
  • Chelsea had received seven of their final 9 league matches (D1, L1), together with their final 4 video games at Stamford Bridge, forward of the sport.
  • Southampton had received solely two of their 40 top-flight matches away to the reigning champions previous to kick-off – in opposition to Leeds in 1970 and Chelsea in 2015.
 Chelsea enjoyed much of the shooting fun, but possession was near 50-50


Chelsea loved a lot of the taking pictures enjoyable, however possession was close to 50-50
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