outhampton secured their first clean sheet in 11 Premier League games as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side produced a battling performance to frustrate Chelsea and secure a point at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues, fourth in the Premier League, had more than 70% possession but could not break down a well-organised and disciplined Saints side.
Chelsea’s best chance fell to Eden Hazard, but his well-hit shot was saved by Premier League debutant Angus Gunn.
Alvaro Morata thought he had scored when he put the ball into the net midway through the second half, but it was ruled out as he was given offside
Southampton offered little as an attacking force, with one Oriol Romeu shot easily saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The hosts wanted a late penalty as Marcos Alonso went to ground under a challenge from Shane Long, but referee Jonathan Moss was not interested in Chelsea’s appeals.
Despite the hard-earned point, Southampton still drop into the bottom three as they fall below Burnley into 18th after the Clarets’ 2-1 win at Huddersfield.
Before the game, Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri said the club “was in trouble” because of their injury problems and the fact they would have to play “every three days” in January.
Those problems worsened in the first half as Willian, following a strong challenge from Maya Yoshida, limped off to be replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, himself only just returning to contention after a back injury.
It means the Brazilian joins Olivier Giroud (ankle), Pedro (hamstring) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (hamstring) as attacking options that are unavailable for the Blues, who could play as many as eight games this month.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chelsea announced they have signed 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund forward Christian Pulisic for 64m euros (£58m), although he will also not feature for the Blues in 2018-19 as he will be loaned back to the German club until the end of the season.
This performance shows why Sarri has opted to strengthen his squad as once again Morata failed to impress up front with the Spaniard failing to score for the seventh consecutive Premier League game.
He had a weak header easily saved after Cesar Azpilicueta’s long ball forward and looked to have ended his goalless run but was denied by the assistant referee’s flag as he was judged offside.
The draw means Chelsea are now 10 points behind leaders Liverpool, who play their game in hand, away at Manchester City, on Thursday.