Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Lambert stunner wins it for Saints

Rickie Lambert, right, was on target with the second goal against Chelsea

Rickie Lambert celebrated his new Southampton contract in some style on Saturday, smashing home an exquisite free-kick to secure a 2-1 win in a hard-fought encounter with Chelsea.

Saints had gone ahead through another in-form striker Jay Rodriguez, who collected a neat one-two from Steven Davis before slotting home in the 23rd minute.

John Terry was allowed to level unmarked from a corner 10 minutes later, only for Saints to hit back immediately through Lambert's fine strike.

Davis set up Rodriguez for the opener and thenFernando Torres had a goal disallowed and Victor Moses saw a cross-shot deflect behind off Luke Shaw before Chelsea snatched a 33rd-minute leveler.

Marko Marin sent in the resulting corner and kamikaze defending allowed captain Terry to head home unmarked from six yards.

Chelsea were level for less than two minutes, though, thanks to a moment of magic from Lambert.

After Steven Davis was fouled by Ryan Bertrand, Lambert stepped up to fire home a thunderous 25-yard free-kick into Petr Cech's top-right hand corner.

Making his 500th career league appearance, the Liverpudlian's strike was his 14th league goal of the campaign - more than any other English player in the Premier League.

Chelsea peppered the Southampton goal throughout the second half but were unable to find a way past substitute goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, leading to a defeat that drops Rafael Benitez's side to fourth.

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