Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's first goal against Southampton during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's Stadium in SouthamptonReuters

Chelsea maintained their top position in the Premier League despite being held in a 1-1 draw by Southampton at St. Mary's on Sunday.

Sadio Mané opened the scoring early on in the game for Southampton, but Eden Hazard came to Chelsea's rescue as he levelled the score just before the break.

The game started with Chelsea on the back foot as Southampton moved forward in search of the opening goal.

The hosts created the first chance of the game after only two minutes through Dusan Tadic, but the opportunity went begging as the Serbian midfielder dragged his shot wide of the target.

Tadic soon made amends for his missed effort as he picked out Mane with an excellent lofted ball that caught Chelsea skipper John Terry off guard, allowing the Senegal winger to race ahead and find the net with a calm finish past Thibaut Courtois in the 17th minute.

The Blues, who were dominant against West Ham in their last fixture, looked unimpressive in the opening stages of the game as they failed to create a single chance despite enjoying a fair share of possession.

However, despite looking far from their usual selves, Chelsea did manage to level the score just before halftime thanks to the individual brilliance of Hazard.

Cesc Fabregas picked out Hazard with a brilliant chipped pass and the Belgian, after cutting in from the left side and avoiding the challenge of two defenders, fired a low shot that nestled into the bottom right corner of the net.

Ten minutes into the second half, Fabregas was brought down by teenage full-back Matt Targett inside the box, but referee Anthony Taylor, instead of awarding a penalty, booked the former Barcelona midfielder for simulation.

The Blues looked much better in the second half as they restricted Southampton into their own defensive third, launching attack after attack on their defence.

Fabregas once again teed up Hazard in a very good position at the hour mark but the Belgian wasted the opportunity as he was unable to get his shot on target.

Although Southampton came under more pressure towards the end of the game after Morgan Schneiderlin received his marching orders following a second yellow card, they managed to hold on and the game ended 1-1.

This result does not change Chelsea's three point cushion over Manchester City as the defending English champions were held to a 2-2 draw by Burnley.

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