Conte Hails Chelsea "Spirit", "Passion" Vs Southampton; Praises Giroud

by Olga Hunt April 15, 2018, 0:58

Chelsea looked destined to suffer a sixth defeat from nine league outings when Jan Bednarek put Saints 2-0 up after an hour, but Antonio Conte's decision to throw Giroud on from the bench proved a masterstroke, the visitors scoring three times in eight minutes.

Goals from Dusan Tadic and debutant Jan Bednarek had put Saints on the way to a crucial three points but Giroud headed a previously listless Chelsea back into a game that had appeared nearly out of reach, Eden Hazard levelled shortly afterwards and then the France hitman struck again - all inside an eight-minute spell.

Olivier Giroud had been waiting for this moment since joining Chelsea 2.5 months ago. In between, Eden Hazard scored from close range as Southampton conceded three goals for the fourth successive game.

"I'm very disappointed for the first half, and I'm the first to take fault for it, but in the second my players deserve credit".

"We've shown great character, great team spirit. We showed the right fire in our eyes".

"We must be pleased for the second half".

"It is important to score, when you don't score, you don't win".

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He said: "I think that the coach has to try to find a different solution, especially if you are losing, but I think the difference was that we played in the second half with great desire not to lose another game".

But, with Mark Hughes seemingly on course for a first league victory as Southampton manager since arriving on 14 March, Giroud sparked a listless Chelsea into life.

"I am happy for Giroud". I have been through difficulties in my career, other times I tried to come back stronger.

"We have two strikers and Olivier arrived at Chelsea in January after a bad muscular problem". Now he's in good fitness.

Late in the first half, with Southampton winning 1-0, Alonso appeared to go in high and catch Southampton forward Shane Long's leg with his studs.

"It's a really poor challenge", he insisted. "It should have been a red card, clearly".


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