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Southampton Rallies for 2-2 Tie With Chelsea in Premier League

Southampton used second-half goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon to draw 2-2 with Chelsea in English soccer’s Premier League and keep the Blues winless at home in 2013.

Demba Ba and Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a 2-0 halftime lead last night at Stamford Bridge in west London. Lambert then scored in the 58th minute and Puncheon followed with a goal with 15 minutes left.

Chelsea, which routed Aston Villa 8-0 on Dec. 23, has this month lost to last-place Queens Park Rangers at home in the Premier League and to Swansea in the League Cup semifinals.

“We can’t be happy when we draw at home,” Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez said on his club’s website. “The next game has to be totally different. We have to defend as a unit better, especially when we are winning.”

Southampton remains 15th in the 20-team league with 22 points, three points above the three relegation places at the bottom of the standings. Chelsea is third with 42 points, two more than Tottenham.

Ba got the opening goal in the 25th minute for Chelsea, which beat Southampton 5-1 in the F.A. Cup 12 days ago. It was the striker’s 14th league goal this season and first since joining Chelsea from Newcastle on Jan. 4.

The Blues made it 2-0 just before halftime as Hazard scored off the rebound after a shot from Ramires hit the post.

Lambert scored with a header three minutes after joining the game as a second-half substitute. The Saints then pulled even in the 75th minute as Luke Shaw made a run down the left before crossing for Puncheon, who volleyed a shot past goalkeeper Petr Cech.

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