Half-time: Chelsea 2 Southampton 0

Goals from Demba Ba and Eden Hazard put Chelsea in command at Stamford Bridge.

Fans’ favourite Frank Lampard played a key role in Ba’s 25th-minute opener.

He did well on the right before laying the ball off to Cesar Azpilicueta and when Southampton were unable to clear the full-back’s cross, Ba hooked home from 10 yards – perhaps with the help of a slight deflection off Maya Yoshida.

Earlier, a ricochet off Yoshida almost resulted in an own goal by the Saints defender and Oscar sent a tame effort wide.

After Ba’s goal, Lampard missed a great chance to double the lead when he scuffed a shot wide after being found unmarked by Juan Mata.

And Southampton keeper Artur Boruc produced a reaction save to deny Hazard in first-half injury time.

But Boruc could not keep out a thumping effort from Hazard, who belted in the rebound from just inside the penalty area after Ramires’ shot had struck the post.

Oscar was restored to the starting line-up by Blues interim manager Rafael Benitez along with Gary Cahill, who missed Saturday’s win at Stoke to attend the birth of his child.

A win would take third-placed Chelsea four points clear of rivals Tottenham.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Oscar, Mata, Hazard, Ba.
Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Torres, Ferreira, Marin, Terry, Bertrand.

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