Super Giroud Scores Twice As Chelsea Fights Back To Defeat Southampton 3-2
Olivier Giroud was the hero for Chelsea when he came off the bench to net twice as Chelsea came from the dead to score three times in the space of eight minutes and turned around a two-goal deficit into a 3-2 lead and win at St Mary’s.
Giroud came on for Morata in the 61st minute and pulled a goal back in the 70th for Antonio Conte’s side, five minutes later fabulous Eden Hazard levelled the score to 2-2 before Olivier Giroud dealt the killer blow on Southampton by scoring the winning goal in the 78th minute.
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Southampton started the match with all intent and purpose as former Chelsea man Ryan Bertrand set up the opening goal for the Serbian Dusan Tadic.
Bertrand speed past the static Cesar Azpilicueta before delivering a fine cross to Dusan Tadic, who slotted past the helpless Thibaut Courtois in Chelsea goal in the 21st minute.
Fifteen minutes into the second period, the worse happened for Chelsea when Jan Bednarek, who was making his Premier League debut, scored from close range after he was found unmarked by a James Ward-Prowse’s right-wing free-kick.
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The Southampton’s second goal jerked Antonio Conte into action as he responded by replacing Alvaro Morata with Olivier Giroud. Pedro also came on in place of left wing back Davide Zappacosta.
Conte’s changes proved effective as the French striker pulled Chelsea back into the game by heading home Marcos Alonso’s cross in 70th-minute.
Eden Hazard delivered the equaliser five minutes later in the 75th minute, controlling Willian’s ball into the box and then shooting past Southampton’s goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
Olivier Giroud then struck again, firing a fierce shot through a crowd of bodies after Southampton were unable to adequately deal with Hazard’s ball in from the left. The score remained 3-2 as Chelsea claimed a hard-fought win and further deem the Saint’s hope of surviving relegation this season.
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Nigerian international Victor Moses came on for Eden Hazard in the 86th minute for a cameo appearance as the Blues held on to the lead to earn their 18th league win of the season and maintain 5th position on the Premier League table.
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta (Pedro 61), Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Morata (Giroud 61), Hazard (Moses 86).
Subs not used: Caballero, Emerson, Bakayoko, Barkley.