Football: Chelsea held 1-1 by dogged Southampton

Eden Hazard of Chelsea surges past Toby Alderweireld of Southampton as he closes in on goal to score during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on Dec 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Eden Hazard of Chelsea surges past Toby Alderweireld of Southampton as he closes in on goal to score during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on Dec 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea's Premier League title hopes suffered a blow when they were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by a resilient Southampton side at St Mary's on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris inspired his team to a feisty 0-0 draw with Manchester United in the early kickoff and Chelsea started sluggishly at fourth-placed Southampton.

Sadio Mane gave the hosts a deserved 17th-minute lead, running clear of the defence to slot coolly past Thibaut Courtois.

The visitors struggled to produce their usual fluent attacking play but equalised just before halftime when Eden Hazard brilliantly controlled a fine pass from Cesc Fabregas, cut inside and stroked the ball into the net.

Chelsea poured forward in search of a winner but were frustrated by well-organised Southampton, who had midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin sent off in the closing stages after receiving a second yellow card.

Jose Mourinho's team remained top of the table but their lead will be cut to one point if Manchester City beat Burnley later on Sunday.