Chelsea achieve 15-year first to save Conte blushes against Southampton

Rudiger criticised Conte's tactics after Sunday's 1-1 draw with West Ham at Stamford Bridge

Rudiger criticised Conte's tactics after Sunday's 1-1 draw with West Ham at Stamford Bridge

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.

Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard saw Chelsea complete a remarkable comeback from two goals down against Southampton to achieve a 15-year first for the club.

The French worldwide striker has largely struggled to make an impact since his deadline day move from Arsenal in January.

And although Conte was impressed with the comeback - the first time Chelsea had come from two goals down to win a league game since 2002 - he was keen to ensure people knew his opinion of their first-half display.

The win pulled Chelsea to within seven points of fourth-placed Tottenham, but their London neighbours are yet to play.

But after that game, Rudiger appeared to criticise the Italian's tactics saying he doesn't understand why the Blues allow the opponent to get more of the ball.

"As long as it is mathematically possible to finish in the top four we will keep battling".

They dominated the first half and went ahead in the 22nd minute when captain Vincent Kompany's long pass released Jesus to score in clinical fashion.

It remains to be seen if he could be tempted with a return to the Premier League, should Chelsea be unable to land their other top targets.

It was a former Chelsea player who got Saints off to a ideal start as Ryan Bertrand burst past Cesar Azpilicueta down Southampton's left before squaring for Tadic to apply a simple finish. "In the second half, we showed great character, great determination and desire to win the game".

Southampton face Chelsea again in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley next weekend. If you don't have something in your heart, it's very hard to come back and win. "There were three officials within five to 10 yards so how each of them missed it is a mystery to me".

"I said when I came on we need to fight until the end, keep believing".

And as for the great controversy of the match, when Marcos Alonso raked his studs down Shane Long's calf in a unsafe challenge and the cry went up for a red card, Conte pleads ignorance.

After a toothless performance from Alvaro Morata, Giroud's introduction was exactly the injection of life that we needed.

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