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Benitez frustrated by Chelsea home blues
By Alex Lowe
06:07 AEST Fri Jan 18 2013

Rafael Benitez was left feeling home-sick once again after his Chelsea side threw away a two-goal lead to Southampton at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues led at half-time courtesy of goals from Demba Ba and Eden Hazard and they appeared to be cruising to a first home win since December 23.

But Rickie Lambert pulled Southampton back into the game with a header three minutes after coming off the bench and Jason Puncheon equalised with a brilliant volley.

Since their 8-0 rout of Aston Villa, Chelsea have lost at home to QPR and Swansea and now drawn with the relegation-battling Saints.

Benitez, booed by supporters on the final whistle, admitted Chelsea had thrown away the chance of victory by failing to kill off the game.

"We should have won," Benitez said.

"We didn't take our chances when we had them. I said we would have to be more clinical and today was the same.

"We had situations where we could score. We didn't and they broke on a counter-attack. We gave them hope they could score and they did it.

"I was talking to the team at half-time, trying to say 'we have to score a third goal'.

"I think for us we cannot be happy drawing at home. I am disappointed. When you know your players and what they can do it is disappointing.

"We have to think how we can improve for the next one."

On top of their frustration at Chelsea drawing, the Stamford Bridge faithful were also taking in the news that Pep Guardiola was bound for Bayern Munich not the Kings Road.

Benitez, though, had little to say on the matter.

"It is fine for him because he decides to go there," Benitez said.

Asked if it was a surprise, he added: "No.

"My job is to get three points against Arsenal."

Chelsea beat Southampton 5-1 in the FA Cup less than two weeks ago but the Saints arrived at Stamford Bridge with a different game-plan.

Manager Nigel Adkins urged them not to panic at the interval and the Saints delivered, with a draw moving them three points clear of the relegation zone.

"We know Chelsea are a good side. We knew if we opened up the space they have players who can hurt you," Adkins said.

"We came with a gameplan to be compact and frustrate the opposition. At half-time it was 2-0 and I said 'stick to the game-plan'.

"If we had gone and chased it there was every chance we could have ended up with a scoreline like Aston Villa, who conceded eight here.

"We stuck at it. Rickie came on and scored the goal and what a fantastic goal it was for the second one.

"Not many teams will come back from two goals down against Chelsea."


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