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Southampton, Chelsea play to stalemate at the Bridge

Southampton battled back from a two-goal second-half deficit to earn a well-deserved point in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.

The home side struck first in the 25th minute when Demba Ba pounced on a rebound in the box and fired a right-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the net for a 1-0 advantage.

Things got worse for Southampton right on the stroke of halftime as Ramires smashed a shot off the crossbar and Eden Hazard got on the end of the loose ball and buried it into nearly the same spot for the seemingly comfortable two-goal margin at the interval.

Searching for an injection of offense, Saints forward Rickie Lambert came on in the 55th minute, and the substitution paid almost immediate dividends.

Just three minutes later, Lambert got on the end of a cross from Nathaniel Clyne and nodded it past Petr Cech, pulling the visitors within one.

Southampton found its equalizer 15 minutes from time when Luke Shaw crossed the ball into the penalty area and Jason Puncheon blasted it into the upper corner of the net, leveling things at 2-2.

Fernando Torres entered in the 80th minute for Frank Lampard as Chelsea pushed for a winner, but it was not to be as the game ended in a draw.

The result leaves the Blues with 42 points from 22 matches, six points behind Manchester City for second place, while Southampton moved to 22 points from 22 matches, three points clear of the drop zone.