Olivier Giroud came off the bench to inspire a stunning Chelsea turnaround, scoring his first Premier League goals for the club as they fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Southampton.
Chelsea looked destined to suffer a sixth defeat from nine league outings when Jan Bednarek put Saints 2-0 up after an hour, but Antonio Conte’s decision to throw Giroud on from the bench proved a masterstroke.
Despite appearing to be in the ascendancy early on, Chelsea’s lack of craft meant Southampton were comfortable, and that encouragement ultimately led to the home side breaking the deadlock.
Ryan Bertrand did well down the left before setting up Dusan Tadic for a straightforward fourth goal of the season.
Chelsea were not much better immediately after the restart and, after failing to heed a warning courtesy of Shane Long, the Saints’ lead was doubled thanks to a fine finish from Bednarek, who was making his first start for the club.
It was only after Giroud’s introduction in the 61st minute that Chelsea took charge, as the France international scored twice either side of an emphatic Eden Hazard finish to wrap up an unlikely victory to leave Southampton in
the bottom three.