Chelsea 2-2 Southampton: Five things we learned

Benitez Tour 2

Rafa Benitez may well look over his shoulder this morning after Chelsea dropped yet more points. But Southampton will certainly be celebrating.

Chelsea let a two goal advantage slip last night to drop more points. After Pep Guardiola's snub, joining Bayern Munich instead of the Blues, it was the last thing Roman Abramovich would have wanted.

Here are five things we learned from the match last night:

Chelsea can no longer be considered title contenders

Now 13 points behind Manchester United, Chelsea have left themselves too much to do with poor results this January. It had looked in December as though Rafa Benitez was getting it together, but the two points dropped here and at the loss at home to QPR will prove crucial. Two wins in those 'home bankers' and Chelsea would have been just one point below second placed Manchester City, but in truth now they will be spending the rest of their season looking over their shoulders instead as they strive to ensure a Champions League spot.

Demba Ba > Fernando Torres

Demba Ba has three goals in three starts for Chelsea; it took Torres 39 starts to score three. Ba scored a terrific goal to open the scoring and is full of confidence. Torres was booed by a section of support when he came on for Frank Lampard, and looked anything but sharp, attempting to round the 'keeper and score but fluffing the opportunity. This game reinforces the view that Ba isn't just more in-form, nowadays he really is a better player than Torres is, who can no longer survive on his past reputation.

Luke Shaw is the real deal

Ahead of the Chelsea game, Southampton left-back spoke out about how much he admired the Blues, and by the end of the match the feeling was mutual. The left-back created the Saints equalising goal for Jason Puncheon, and onlooking supporters had to check that he really is only 17. He is an outstanding prospect for Southampton and England, and his suitors really will be disappointed he signed a new contract just last week.

Southampton control their own destiny

After a horrific run of fixtures at the start of the season which left them playing catch up all year, Southampton have now got back on an even keel. The draw consolidates their status above the relegation zone, in 15th, three points above 18th place. It is a narrow gap, but they have control over their own destiny now. If they continue showing the same fight and ability which has seen them get four points from the last two game, survival should be assured.

Rafa Benitez really is an 'interim' manager

The news Pep Guardiola had chosen not to manage Chelsea and go to Bayern instead should have given Rafa Benitez a huge lift; with his looming shadow gone, Benitez could have put down a real statement victory. Instead his side showed a lack of character to allow Southampton to battle back and claim a draw, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Roman Abramovich at the training ground in Cobham 'rallying the troops'. Although in all likelihood, he will more likely be dusting out the contacts book, and giving his old pal Jose a call and preparing to write a big cheque.

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