Mason Mount’s second-half penalty earned Chelsea a point as they came from behind to draw at Southampton, who ended a run of six successive defeats in the Premier League.
The hosts took the lead against the run of play in the first half when Nathan Redmond played a brilliant ball to send Takumi Minamino clear and the on-loan Liverpool striker showed great composure to slot beyond Edouard Mendy.
But the Saints gifted Chelsea an equaliser eight minutes after the break when Danny Ings brought down Mason Mount inside the box and the Blues midfielder stepped up to send Alex McCarthy the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Chelsea were unable to kick on after that and instead it was Southampton who went closest to grabbing a winner as Jannik Vestergaard hit the crossbar with a header before Ings put the loose ball into the side-netting.
The point means Chelsea stay in fourth place on 43 points while Southampton are 13th on 30 points.
Southampton were third on 16 December but a terrible run of losses going into this game had seen then slide down into the bottom half of the table. While they may not have been nervously over their shoulder, arresting their alarming slide down the table had become a priority.
For large periods against Chelsea they were like a plucky lower league side aiming to shock a Premier League opponent. They barely saw the ball for the majority of the first half and it was from their first touch inside the Blues’ area that they got the goal with a brilliantly composed finish by Minamino.
However, no side has dropped more points from winning positions in the Premier League than Southampton and once again they were their own worst enemy as Ings gave away a penalty with Chelsea having rarely looked like creating anything from open play.
While it could have been an even better result, particularly with Vestergaard hitting the woodwork, the point is a positive against an in-form Chelsea. They will hope it provides a good base to try and build from before a tricky-looking run of four successive away games in the Premier League.