Sports

Why Chelsea defender Rudiger has been frozen out by manager Conte

Why Chelsea defender Rudiger has been frozen out by manager Conte

Chelsea have just the FA Cup - where they face today's league opponents Southampton in the semis next Sunday - left to salvage something from their season.

The week of epic comebacks continues with Chelsea being the latest to join the list.

Nearly immediately on his introduction at St Mary's the France worldwide imposed himself on Maya Yoshida, the wily but physically limited Southampton centre-back who had gleefully bullied Chelsea's record signing.

They were the first goals for Chelsea in the Premier League for Giroud, who gained a reputation as a so-called "super-sub" in his time at Arsenal before moving to Stamford Bridge in January.

Former Chelsea star Ryan Bertrand embarked on a dashing run at the left flank before cutting back to Tadic who scored from close range.

Antonio Rudiger was axed from Chelsea's squad for the trip to Southampton for "tactical reasons" according to Antonio Conte.

Things went from bad to worse from the visitors when debutant Jan Bednarek doubled Southampton's lead on the hour mark, putting Mark Hughes' side in pole position to earn a much-needed three points.

Chelsea pulled a goal back on 68 minutes when substitute Olivier Giroud headed home Marcos Alonso's cross.

Giroud completed the turnaround with his second, and Chelsea's third, in the space of eight minutes as the Blues finally showed some of the fighting spirit that they had been sorely lacking in recent weeks.

However, the Blues were not finished there, as the shell shocked home side wilted and watched their dreams of Premier League safety pass by as yet another delivery from the left-hand side caught Southampton napping, as Giroud fired through a crowded penalty area to secure a stunning comeback.


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