Antonio Conte: 'Chelsea showed right spirit at Southampton'

Goals from Dusan Tadic and debutant Jan Bednarek had put Saints on the way to a crucial three points but Giroud headed a previously listless Chelsea back into a game that had appeared nearly out of reach, Eden Hazard levelled shortly afterwards and then the France hitman struck again - all inside an eight-minute spell.

Chelsea were not finished though, and scored their third three minutes later when Giroud stroked a loose ball into the bottom corner to break Southampton hearts. If you don't have something in your heart, it's very hard to win the game, but today I'm very happy with the second half, and very disappointed with the first.

But how did Conte's players perform on the South Coast? I was very disappointed but we must be pleased by the second half. Now we must be focused on the present to try and finish the season as strongly as possible. I think between the referee, linesman or fourth official that one of them should have seen it.

Southampton had no answer to Giroud's aerial dominance and, once the fear created from his first goal pinned them in their own penalty area, they were doomed. "In the second half, we showed great character, great determination and desire to win the game".

"Our first half wasn't good in a lot of aspects, not only tactically, but didn't show great spirit desire or the will to fight for a good result".

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Hughes has clearly learned from the mistakes made in that torrid first half against West Ham last month; Southampton frustrated Chelsea for long spells with a deep and massed defence, while the pace of Bertrand and the constant motion of Long caused problems at the other end. That response didn't arrive in the opening stages of the second half, with Shane Long going close yet again. We went 2-0 down but had the right spirit to come back and win.

Conte also reserved special praise for two-goal hero Giroud.

"The most important thing is you never give up", said Giroud, who also scored for his previous club Arsenal at Southampton earlier this season. "He has specific characteristics, he played well and I am happy for him".

Antonio Conte praised his Chelsea players for rediscovering the "fire in their eyes" after substitute Olivier Giroud inspired a 3-2 comeback victory at Southampton.

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