The Straits Times
Published on Jan 17, 2013

Chelsea suffer title blow as Saints rally


LONDON (AFP) - Chelsea's hopes of winning the Premier League title this season were left hanging by a thread after they squandered a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 draw at home to strugglers Southampton on Wednesday.

The result, which came on the same day former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola confirmed he was turning down the European champions' overtures to manage German giants Bayern Munich, left Chelsea 13 points behind leaders Manchester United with just 16 league games remaining.

First-half goals from Demba Ba and Eden Hazard put European champions Chelsea in a commanding position against a Southampton side they beat 5-1 in the FA Cup at St Mary's 11 days earlier.

Ba volleyed Chelsea into a 25th minute lead at Stamford Bridge.