Chelsea went behind 2-0 at Southampton on Saturday, prepared to open up the fifth place discussion for Arsenal and allow the hosts Saints a Premier League safety lifeline.
Manager Antonio Conte was furious with his team when Jan Bednarek scored Saints’ second, but it was inspired sub Olivier Giroud‘s 8-minute double sandwiched around an Eden Hazard marker that inspired a 3-2 win on Saturday at St. Mary’s.
“In every moment of the game you must think positive despite the result. I was very angry for our first half. We didn’t show great desire and great will to fight. I was very disappointed. In the second half we showed great character and a great reaction. We showed the right fire in our eyes. We must be pleased for the second half. It’s not important to win, lose or draw. The important thing is to play with a great intensity and fight from the beginning until the end.”
Stories had circled that Conte did not want Chelsea to buy Giroud, and the Italian did manage some decent if seemingly deflecting words for the well-coiffed French scorer.
“I’m very happy for him. We changed something in the second half and the difference was the approach and the will to fight. It was a great difference between both halves.”
Chelsea has a six-point advantage on Arsenal, who plays Newcastle on Sunday.