Olivier Giroud "proud" of Chelsea comeback at Southampton

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REFEREE: Mike Dean (ENG).

Victory would have given Southampton's survival hopes a major boost.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte left out Antonio Rudiger for his side's 3-2 win at Southampton as punishment for his tactical criticism of his side's collapse at Stamford Bridge last weekend against West Ham United.

It would be the home side who started better, not allowing Chelsea any room in the opening stages of the match and having the better of the early chances. Two of those reverses came at the hands of Liverpool, who cruised into their first Champions League semi-final for a decade 5-1 on aggregate against the runaway Premier League leaders. But Southampton felt that Alonso should have been sent off in the first half for raking his studs down Shane Long's calf.

It was the first time they have produced such a fightback since Claudio Ranieri's tenure in 2002.

The first half was a horror show from the Londoners, the second-half showed what they could do, when they put their collective minds to it.

The French worldwide struck twice as the Blues scored three times in eight minutes for a 3-2 comeback victory at Southampton on Saturday. It was 2-0 on the hour mark, some suspect defending allowing Jan Bednarek to turn home from James Ward-Prowse's free-kick.

Olivier Giroud says Chelsea are determined to keep fighting to secure a top-four finish. Firmino collected a pass inside the box from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, took a touch inside and steered a shot through Simon Francis' legs and past Begovic's dive.

However, that was simply not to be, as super-sub Olivier Giroud came on in the 61 minute and scored a attractive goal in the 70 minute, before Hazard was able to equalize in the 75.

This time, it was a sublime left-footed finish into the bottom corner after pinball in the Southampton penalty area - heartbreaking for Mark Hughes' very spirited side, who were very good value for their original two-goal lead.

The hosts nearly found an equaliser late on through Josh Sims, but his shot was parried by Courtois at the near post and Chelsea would hold on for all three points.

Wise added, "Look at his persona, the way he comes across he looks like the season is done and they haven't done what they're supposed to do". Swansea couldn't make home advantage count against Everton, but also opened up a five-point lead on Southampton just above the relegation zone with a 1-1 draw.