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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PHOTOS: Chelsea late show sinks Southampton; Leicester's dream stays alive

EPL PHOTOS: Chelsea late show sinks Southampton; Leicester's dream stays alive

February 28, 2016 00:06 IST

Diego Costa

IMAGE: Chelsea players celebrate their second goal by Branislav Ivanovic (obscured) during the Premier League match against Southampton. Photographer: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic struck late goals to earn improving champions Chelsea a 2-1 victory at Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Shane Long took advantage of a mistake by Baba Rahman to put the hosts ahead just before halftime, pouncing on the ball before beating Thibaut Courtois with a neat finish.

Chelsea struggled to create clearcut chances before Fabregas equalised after 75 minutes when the Spanish midfielder's hopeful cross deceived Southampton keeper Fraser Forster and sneaked in at the far post.

It was the first goal the Saints had conceded in seven league games and Chelsea grabbed the winner one minute from time thanks to a powerful header from Ivanovic.

"Branislav is a very good header, he jumps well and is courageous. Then his execution is perfect," Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink told the BBC.

"I think it was a deserved win for us. They haven't conceded in last six, seven games so it was successful for us.

"We had a setback when we went 1-0 down, it was a present from our defence, but we did very well in the second half. We were well organised and then got the goals."

Southampton are seventh in the table with Chelsea comfortably in the middle of the standings after recovering from a dismal start to the season.

Leicester's dream stays alive with late Ulloa winner

Leonardo Ulloa of Leicester City

IMAGE: Leicester City’s Leonardo Ulloa celebrates scoring his team's goal against Norwich City at The King Power Stadium. Photographer: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Leaders Leicester City belatedly grasped their golden opportunity to pile the pressure on their Premier League pursuers as a late winner from Leonardo Ulloa sunk struggling Norwich City 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.

With closest challengers Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal not in action until Sunday, Leicester had the stage to themselves to forge five points clear at the summit and made the most of their chance with a victory they scarcely deserved.

Despite producing one of their flattest performances of their surreal season, Ulloa's 89th-minute contribution, sliding in to knock home Marc Albrighton's cross, was decisive.

It stretched Leicester's advantage to five points over the north London duo although both second-placed Spurs, at home to Swansea City, and third-placed Arsenal, who visit Manchester United, can reduce the deficit again on Sunday.

Champions Chelsea fought back with late goals from Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic to earn an excellent 2-1 win at Southampton.

At the bottom of the table, Aston Villa's mission looked ever more impossible, still seven points adrift of the pack after a Marko Arnautovic double helped Stoke City beat them 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium.

In the day's early game, West Ham surged into fifth place in the table in what has become their best-ever Premier League campaign in their final season at Upton Park, holding off a stirring fightback from Sunderland to win 1-0.

A fine curling shot on the half hour from winger Michail Antonio sealed the points, yet for Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, back at his former club, there was nothing but frustration as his side still lie 19th, a point behind Newcastle United and Norwich.

More woe for Sunderland as Antonio fires Hammers

Michail Antonio

IMAGE: West Ham United’s Michail Antonio is jubilant. Photographer: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Sunderland's fight for survival at the foot of the Premier League was left looking ever more parlous as Michail Antonio fired West Ham United to a 1-0 win in their excellent final season at Upton Park.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce, back at his previous club, was left frustrated as he watched a stirring second-half fightback from his 19th-placed side come to nothing.

The Hammers went ahead after poor defending from Patrick van Aanholt on the half hour gifted an opportunity to Antonio, who cut in from the right and deposited a fine left-foot curler past Vito Mannone for his fifth goal of the season.

Jermain Defoe hooked a clear opportunity just wide after the break and Jack Rodwell forced a fine save from Adrian but West Ham, for whom Mark Noble and Andy Carroll both hit the woodwork, took their unbeaten home sequence to 13 games in all competitions and climbed to fifth in the table.

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