Chelsea staged a late comeback on the South Coast, as they scored three goals in eight second-half minutes to overturn Southampton’s 2-0 goal lead.
Following a run of just three wins in their last 11 Premier League games, Chelsea went into Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off against relegation strugglers Southampton in desperate need of a morale-boosting win ahead of next weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against the Saints.
Mark Hughes’ men fully capitalised on Chelsea’s shattered confidence to take a deserved lead through Dusan Tadic, who stroked home a Ryan Bertrand cutback. Shane Long was expertly denied by Thibaut Courtois before the break, but Jan Bednarek soon gave Southampton breathing space when he volleyed in James Ward-Prowse’s deep delivery with 60 minutes gone.
Olivier Giroud was introduced to the fray in an attempt to at least salvage parity for the Blues, but he did far more than that as he scored twice either side of a long-awaited Eden Hazard goal. Marcos Alonso’s whipped cross found the head of Giroud who powered his header into the bottom corner to cut Southampton’s lead in half. Hazard crashed in the equaliser from Willian’s drilled cross before Giroud struck from a similar position just three minutes later to give Chelsea the lead for the first time in the game.