Southampton 2 Chelsea 3: Two-goal substitute Giroud inspires turnaround

Antonio Conte praised his Chelsea players for rediscovering the "fire in their eyes" after substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a 3-2 comeback victory at Southampton. Giroud came on just after the hour mark and changed the entire course of the game by heading home from a Marcos Alonso cross.

Nearly immediately on his introduction at St Mary's the France worldwide imposed himself on Maya Yoshida, the wily but physically limited Southampton centre-back who had gleefully bullied Chelsea's record signing.

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.

Former Chelsea star Ryan Bertrand embarked on a dashing run at the left flank before cutting back to Tadic who scored from close range.

Giroud scored a perfectly placed header to half the deficit on the 70 minute mark.

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Conte responded by immediately introducing Giroud and Pedro for Alvaro Morata and Zappacosta, and Chelsea finally stirred. Ward-Prowse's deep free-kick was cleanly met by the full debutante Bednarek whose half-volley went past Courtois in goal for Chelsea.

However, Southampton, who are also in desperate need of points, failed to hold onto their lead. From that moment, it was game on for Chelsea.

It was only after Giroud's introduction in the 61st minute that Chelsea took charge, as the France global scored twice either side of an emphatic Eden Hazard finish to wrap up an unlikely victory to leave Southampton in the bottom three.

It was level-pegging four minutes later after Willian fired the ball low across the area to find Hazard, who took a touch before rifling the ball into the back of the net.

The win narrows the gap between Chelsea and the top four to seven points, though that could be widened again should Liverpool and Tottenham win their respective matches on Saturday evening.

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