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Chelsea claim first win from 2-0 down since 2002

16 April 2018

For all of Liverpool's dominance, the hosts had only one goal to show for it in the first half as Salah continued to be frustrated, with Steve Cook's brilliant challenge denying him.

Trailing 2-0 on the hour mark, Antonio Conte made a decision to introduce Olivier Giroud - and the game turned on its head.

A sunny spring day on the south coast saw two of the league's most out of form sides since the turn of the year take center stage. Marcos Alonso's whipped cross found the head of Giroud who powered his header into the bottom corner to cut Southampton's lead in half.

Despite Chelsea appearing to be out of the contest, an eight minute blitz of quality turned the games on its head, as the Blues clinched victory from the jaws of defeat following an inspired substitute appearance from Giroud. As the Saints failed to deal with a Hazard cross, Giroud half-volleyed the victor through a crowd of players in the box.

However his second season has failed to produce the same results, and the Blues now sit in fifth, and are virtually out of the race for the top four, now sitting seven points behind fourth placed Tottenham.

With five games remaining, they have been left three points below the safety zone before the rest of the weekend matches.

For much of this game-and last week's loss at Arsenal to the same scoreline-Southampton looked impressive. 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. However, with just one win in their last 19, it seems like the necessary upturn in results might be beyond their reach. Ikay Gundogan sent the French keeper the wrong way as he buried his kick into the bottom corner for 2-0. However, they now enjoy a six-point cushion over Southampton thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win over Brighton at Selhurst Park with Wilfried Zaha scoring twice.

McCarthy 6, Cédric 6, Bednarek 7, Hoedt 7, Yoshida 6, Bertrand 8, Romeu 7, Ward-Prowse 7, Tadić 8, Højbjerg 7, Long 7. Subs: Charlie Austin (for Ward-Prowse, 79) 6, Josh Sims (for Tadic, 83) 6.

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Zappacosta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard.

"As long as mathematically it is going to be possible, we are going to believe", said Giroud. It's an bad challenge, but play continues.

The Nigeria global was thrown into the game in the 86th in place of Eden Hazard at a time when both teams were cautiously playing to see off regulation time.

"It's a clear red card and clear intent to hurt Shane", raged Hughes.

Chelsea claim first win from 2-0 down since 2002