Monday, 16 July, 2018

Two-goal substitute Giroud inspires Chelsea turnaround

Betsy Taylor | 15 April, 2018, 00:58

The victory keeps alive fifth-place Chelsea's slim hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League with seven points now separating the champions from Tottenham and Liverpool above them.

But substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a turnaround with two goals either side of Eden Hazard's emphatic strike to spare Chelsea's blushes and leave the Saints three points adrift of safety.

"In the first half we didn't play well but not just that, they put more into the tempo than us".

Giroud's ruthless half-volley sparked jubilant Chelsea celebrations as the Blues drew first blood in this dress rehearsal ahead of the two sides' April 22 FA Cup semi-final.

"We changed something in the second half but the difference was the approach, the desire, the will to fight to try not to lose another game".

And their frustration overspilled as tempers flared when Marcos Alonso was lucky to escape unpunished for raking his studs down Shane Long's calf.

"This the most important thing and we must finish the season with this spirit".


"I really wanted the team to bounce back in the second half and obviously at the beginning it was not what we expected, but in football you always have the chance to step up and bounce back".

"I don't know why the desire wasn't there but the coach is the first person to have the fault". In the second half I saw a great reaction, the right will to fight to win despite the difficultly.

If you don't have something in your heart, it's very hard to win the game, but today I'm very happy with the second half, and very disappointed with the first.

Asked why the summer signing from Roma was omitted, Conte said: 'It was a tactical decision [to not select him]'.

Southampton who are yet to win any Premier League game on home soil in 2018 looked like they were going to get it right against the Blues.

"We are having a hard season and we know this, but especially in this situation I think you can see the men before the players".

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