Chelsea boosted their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League with a storming 3-2 comeback win against Southampton on Saturday afternoon.
Antonio Conte’s side have looked woefully out of sorts since the turn of the year, leaving their chances of finishing in the top four hanging by a thread
Facing relegation-threatened Southampton, Chelsea’s issues looked set to continue when they went in 1-0 down thanks to Dusan Tadic’s effort, failing to even register a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse from the visitors when debutant Jan Bednarek doubled Southampton’s lead on the hour mark, putting Mark Hughes’ side in pole position to earn a much-needed three points.
Conte responded by bringing on Pedro and Olivier Giroud, and it was to the the Frenchman ho made a matchwinning contribution. With 70 minutes on the clock, Giroud’s header gave Chelsea hope that the comeback was on (and given what went on in Europe this week, they had every right to believe), and Eden Hazard levelled it up just four minutes later.
Giroud completed the turnaround with his second, and Chelsea’s third, in the space of eight minutes as the Blues finally showed some of the fighting spirit that they had been sorely lacking in recent weeks.
21 ⚽️ Southampton 1-0 Chelsea
60 ⚽️ Southampton 2-0 Chelsea
61 ➡️ Olivier Giroud subbed on
70 ⚽️ Southampton 2-1 Chelsea
75 ⚽️ Southampton 2-2 Chelsea
79 ⚽️ Southampton 2-3 Chelsea
— BT Sport Score (@btsportscore) April 14, 2018
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.
For Southampton, meanwhile, they stay in the relegation zone after yet another defeat. With just one win from their last 20 Premier League matches, their hopes of staying in the division are looking very bleak indeed right now.