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The BBC's Mike Ingham
"An English team taking the field without a single English player"
 real 28k

Sunday, 26 December, 1999, 14:01 GMT
Flo upstages Tiss return

Flo's first was an accurate finish past Paul Jones

Southampton 1-2 Chelsea

Tore Andre Flo helped get Chelsea's domestic season back on track with two first half strikes at The Dell.

The Norwegian striker's goals set up the Blues' first away win in the Premiership for three months.

Match facts
13 mins: Le Tisser free kick hits crossbar
18 mins: Slick passing sets up Flo's first
43: Flo again after Deschamps ball
70 mins: Saints hit woodwork again
80: Davies offers Dell hope
Althgough substitute Kevin Davies pulled one back with ten minutes to go, Chelsea's greater class gave them a deserved victory.

Gianluca Vialli's line-up was exclusively foreign, with Brazilian defender making an impressive debut after his move from Sheffield Wednesday.

Alongside him was Frank Leboeuf, who became the first player to be booked after his sending off against Leeds last week.

Southampton boss Dave Jones handed Matthew Le Tissier a rare start on a day which had seen more newspaper reports about the Saints legend's threat to quit The Dell if he does not play more games.

This was only the 31-year-old's sixth start of the season and his first in two months.

We allowed them to play too much and you can't do that with world class players
Dave Jones
Le Tissier almost repaid his manager's restored faith immediately after Chelsea goalkeeper Ed De Goey needlessly conceded a free-kick by carrying the ball outside his area.

His 13th-minute set piece smashed against the underside of the bar before rebounding to safety.

The deadlock was broken in the 18th minute following a slick five-man midfield move from Chelsea.

Gabriele Ambrosetti and Dan Petrescu were involved before Didier Deschamps moved the ball to Roberto Di Matteo.

Saints striker Marians Pahars and Chelsea's Abert Ferrer
The Italian played it into Gustavo Poyet, who repeated the trick with another pass to Flo just inside the area.

The Norwegian angled the ball across Paul Jones and into the opposite corner of the goal.

Celestine Babayaro thundered a volley against the bar and Petrescu headed just wide before Flo's second two minutes before half-time.

A chipped through ball from Deschamps saw the Norwegian time his run to beat Southampton's offside trap.

As Jones dived at his feet, Flo flicked the ball over the goalkeeper's body and into the net.

Flo had three chances to seal a hat trick in the second half, smashing one effort against the post.

We've got to play our matches from now on as though they are cup finals
Gianluca Vialli on his title chances
But the star of the second period was Le Tissier, playing a full 90 minutes for only the second time this season.

Two more free kicks from the former England man caused mayhem in the nervous Chelsea defence.

The first, with 20 minutes remaining was headed into the danger area by Francis Benali, only for Trond Soltvedt to hit the post from two yards with De Goey stranded.

Ten minutes later a free kick from the Saints left found Davies, who knocked the ball down and flicked it past De Goey.

Saints pushed for a point with Le Tisser having another free kick deflected wide.

But the game ended in frustration for the Guernsey-born player as he was booked for yelling at a linesman in injury time.


Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Lundekvam, Richards, Benali, Le Tissier, Oakley, Soltvedt, Kachloul, Pahars, Beattie. Subs: Boa Morte, Davies, Hughes, Tessem, Moss.

Chelsea: De Goey, Petrescu, Thome, Leboeuf, Babayaro, Ferrer, Deschamps, Poyet, Di Matteo, Ambrosetti, Flo. Subs: Morris, Nicholls, Cudicini, Terry, Harley.

Referee: P Alcock (Halstead)

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See also:
24 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Solskjaer in line for recall
23 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
French stars to stay at Chelsea
19 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Leeds back on top
18 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Sunderland outfox Saints
Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.