Southampton v Chelsea player ratings

Southampton v Chelsea - Barclays Premier League - St Mary's Stadium

Chelsea scored twice in the final 15 minutes to win 2-1 at Southampton. Here’s how we rated the players at St. Mary’s.

Thibaut Courtois: 6
Punched well when required but was hesitant in the build up to Southampton’s goal as he delayed his decision to meet Shane Long. That split second was all the Saints striker needed.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
Worked hard up and down the flank, though his crossing was hit and miss. He struggled in the air, particularly early on, as Southampton swung in crosses, and he fired well off target with a shot.

Gary Cahill: 7
Generally solid, both on the ground and in the air, but he was perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty after a clumsy challenge on Charlie Austin.

Branislav Ivanovic: 8
Recovered from a slow start to become Chelsea’s best defender, winning plenty of aerial battles. He then capped it with the winning goal, thumping a header home.

Baba Rahman: 5
A poor 45 minutes from the Ghanaian, who was brushed off the ball too easily and gifted Southampton their opener when he headed into the path of Long. Boss Guus Hiddink was ruthless, hauling him off at half-time.

Baba was taken off after a poor first half
Baba was taken off after a poor first half

John Mikel Obi: 7
Kept things simple in midfield, and came into his own in the second half as Chelsea imposed themselves. Should have done better with a header, but then he’s not a goalscorer.

Cesc Fabregas: 7
His first half was a mixed bag, as he combined good link-up play with the occasional sloppy pass. His goal, while fortunate, was a reward for starting a counter-attack deep in his own half. He had 143 touches in the match – far more than any other player.

Eden Hazard 7:
Played out on the right and struggled in the first half. But, like many of his team-mates, he had greater influence as Southampton sat back – though his wait for a Premier League goal goes on – 300 days and counting.

Willian: 8
Typically busy throughout and was probably the most-fouled Chelsea player. His industry looked like it might go unrewarded – until his perfectly delivered corner was met with an equally perfect header from Ivanovic.

Diego Costa: 7
Discarded his protective facemask during a first half in which, despite some neat touches and a shot over the bar, he cut a frustrated, lonely figure. In the second half, he was constantly involved and – after being goaded by Saints fans for his involvement in a few niggly incidents and a wild volley over – he had the last laugh, playing a key role in Fabregas’ equaliser.

Oscar: 7
Came on for the injured Pedro and drifted in and out of the game. His eagerness to cut in showed he feels much more comfortable in the middle.

Kenedy: 7
Received praise from Guus Hiddink for his performance after replacing Baba. Was immediately involved, making a good sliding tackle, but bizarrely escaped when the assistant referee flagged for a foul as Chelsea broke away to equalise.