Southampton 2-3 Chelsea: Giroud To The Rescue As Blues Secure Win
Chelsea produced a stunning comeback to beat Southampton 3-2 after being two goals down, at the St. Mary’s Stadium today.
The reigning champions were pegged back early in the game when Dusan Tadic poked home from close range after some brilliant work down the left-hand side by Ryan Bertrand in the 21st minute.
At the hour mark, the Saints doubled their advantage when defender Jan Bednarek scored on his Premier League debut, slotting home a James Ward-Prowse cross.
Chelsea came back into the game ten minutes later, as substitute Olivier Giroud headed a Marcos Alonso delivery into the back of the net to make it 2-1. Within five minutes, they came back on level terms, courtesy of an Eden Hazard strike who was found by Willian. Moments later, the turnaround was complete, as Giroud buried home a left-footed half-volley to put the Blues ahead.
Chelsea Player Ratings
Thibaut Courtois – 6.5/10
Made a good stop to deny James Ward-Prowse in the first half. Produced another very good stop to deny Shane Long after the break. Crucial save from Josh Sims’ effort in the injury time. Not a lot he could do about the two goals that were conceded.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 5/10
An uncharacteristically poor display from the ever so reliable Spaniard, especially in the first period. Should have done better against Bertrand in the lead up to the Saints opener. Improved after the break.
Andreas Christensen – 5/10
The academy graduate was given a tough time throughout the game by the zippy Shane Long. Made a couple of strong challenges but was not convincing enough.
Gary Cahill – 5/10
Was caught out for the second goal as he seemed to misjudge the flight of Ward-Prowse’s cross. Booked for a cynical foul on Long late in the game.
Davide Zappacosta – 4/10
The Italian had a day to forget. Was given a torrid time by Bertrand and Tadic on the right-hand side. Offered little going forward. Poor display.
Cesc Fabregas – 5.5/10
Sprayed a few nice passes forward but wasn’t nearly as effective as the manager would have expected him to be. Was undone by the Saints’ pressing.
N’Golo Kante – 6/10
A fighting, combative display in the middle of the park from Chelsea’s midfield mainstay. Typical tireless performance as he covered every blade of grass.
Marcos Alonso – 6/10
Was lucky not to have been sent off for a horrific challenge on Long in the first period. Set up Giroud’s first goal with a peach of a cross.
Willian – 6/10
The Brazilian was some way off his best but tried to make things happen. Produced a great run and cross to set Hazard up for the equaliser.
Eden Hazard – 6.5/10
Struggled to make too much impact for most of the game, with Southampton doing a good job to keep him quiet. Showed his quality with a great touch and strike to make it 2-2.
Alvaro Morata – 3/10
Awful display from the Spaniard. Was wasteful with the ball and ineffective without it. Struggled in his battle against Maya Yoshida. Was taken off after the Saints’ second goal and the Blues improved after that.
Olivier Giroud – 8/10
On for Morata after the Saints’ second goal, the Frenchman turned the game on its head, scoring the first for Chelsea with a brilliant header before going on to score the winner not long after. A game-changing performance.
Pedro – 5/10
Replaced Zappacosta in the 61st minute. A quiet display.
Victor Moses – N/A
Came on for Hazard for the last few minutes.