English Premier League Report: Southampton v Chelsea 14 April 2018

Antonio Conte with Eden Hazard

Relegation-threatened Southampton threw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Chelsea in Saturday's Premier League clash at St Mary's.

Southampton got off to the flawless start as they opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Dustan Tadic tapped home from close range following some great work from Ryan Bertrand down the left.

"We have to congratulate Manchester City because they are very close to winning the title".

Eight minutes later he had his second when a loose ball fell his way from a set-piece, but not before Willian had smartly found an open Eden Hazard in the box three minutes prior - Chelsea went on to hold their one-goal advantage until full-time.

"We need it believe, we need to trust in each other and try to win every game".

Chelsea's frustration overspilled as tempers flared late in the first period when Marcos Alonso was lucky to escape unpunished for raking his studs down Shane Long's calf.

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Chelsea needed a change and brought on Olivier Giroud with under half an hour to play, hoping to spark a comeback. We went 2-0 down but had the right spirit to come back and win.

Chelsea next face a challenging trip to Burnley in the league, while Southampton travel to Leicester before the two sides meet again in an FA Cup semifinal at Wembley on April 22. The Frenchman has now earned the right to get a starting place in the cup semi final next Sunday against the same opposition.

Olivier Giroud proved to be the catalyst for a remarkable fightback as the Blues came from behind to see off Southampton on a scoreline of 3-2 leaving Mark Hughes' side in deep relegation trouble. I did not tell him that we are going to score, but I believed the first goal that we score maybe puts Southampton in a bad position and we succeeded to make it, and it is very nice for the team'.

"I always used to say that football is an ever-lasting beginning, so you always need to question yourself and in those moments the most important thing is to show some character".

Giroud started the comeback with a brilliant header in the 70th minute and scored the victor just eight minutes later.

Chelsea, meanwhile, sit in fifth spot in the table, although they are on a poor run of form themselves, having won just one league game since February 12th. Such a triumph will only be possible of course if Conte and his players banish what has gone before, erase any negative thoughts and imagine the first match with Southampton is the first of a new season. Southampton are in 18th, still three points from safety.

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