There were anxious, edgy moments at half time during Chelsea's visit to St Mary's Stadium.

Not on the pitch or in the dressing rooms, where it looked for all the world that a lacklustre Blues were headed for their first league defeat under Guus Hiddink.

But in the stands where one female fan was waiting on the answer to a momentous life-changing question: one which tradition dictates she may only ask once in every four years.

The away end passed it's judgement on the proposal, offering a comical 'say no!'

Anything to provide light relief from a pretty dire display by their team.

Chelsea were flat as an off-pint; over-baked as a forgotten scone; tuneless as a dropped viola.

If there was the whiff of love in the stands, there was little on the pitch: as there seemed to be the sort of communication breakdown that would normally necessitate a course of sessions with Relate to sort out.

Ronald Koeman's side, meanwhile, were very much the Southampton we're come to expect.

Well-drilled, organised, creative on the break.

Southampton 1-2 Chelsea in pictures:

An applause went up on 34 minutes, spontaneously, as Fraser Forster set a new club record for the longest time without conceding – eclipsing the beastly previous best Saints tally of 666 minutes.

The mistake that led to the opener was preceded by clues that were there for all to see.

Baba Rahman, so impressive in some recent performances, seemed to take a step-back here: and his shaky non-committal attempts to play either man or ball were noticed by many, long before they really mattered.

Shortly before the break he provided what can only be termed an 'assist' to Shane Long, who ran through, beating the suspect positioning of Thibaut Courtois.

And so, to the interval, and to that proposal.

Hiddink was clearly offering a different sort of proposal amid the whiff of lemon wedges and Deep Heat.

The first thing he proposed was that Rahman have the rest of the day off – and he didn't seek to save the left back's blushes with some cooked-up 'injury' post-match.

Must try harder.

Hooked at the break: Charlie Austin of Southampton and Baba Rahman of Chelsea

He also proposed that Chelsea start playing – taking the game more to their opponents, and having a crack.

This they did, with Kenedy as a makeshift full-back – looking more committed to pinning down his man than Rahman had in his natural role.

The Cesc Fabregas equaliser was a fluke – intended for the boot of Hazard rather than the back of the net.

But, so sure was record-breaker Forster of this intention, that he missed the curl on the ball as it looped in.

From hero to zero in 31 minutes – and Koeman was later adamant Forster would not be permitted to celebrate that record.

With the match level, Chelsea tasted blood in the water.

They circled their prey, like a great white shark, and for the first time in the game Southampton were really rattled.

They sat back, nine in the box, protecting both the previously unimpeachable goal of Forster and their slender grasp on a point.

Heroics: Branislav Ivanovic celebrates scoring for Chelsea

Over and over, Blues attempted to break through – but were caught in meandering nothingness on the edge of the box.


With just over a minute remaining of the 90, Willian put over a corner for Ivanovic, so often maligned this season, to heroically leap and head home.

It was a show of late character, one so often missing from Chelsea performances this season; and one emanating from a man whose fortunes have so closely followed those of the team itself all campaign.

Chelsea had, in a rare flash of 'that's why we're champions' magic, grasped victory from the jaws of defeat.

All of which left only one unresolved question from the day's proceedings...

He said 'yes'.

Read more: Five things we learned from Chelsea's 2-1 win over the Saints.

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