The history books will show that Chelsea, on 14 April 2018, travelled to the south-coast to play Southampton and won 3-2.
But what the history books won’t mention is that, for a large part of the game, Chelsea gave what can only be described as an insipid, languid performance.
It was only after Antonio Conte shuffled his pack, with the introduction of Giroud and Pedro, Chelsea clicked into life, producing a devastating three-goal blitz inside eight second-half minutes, a period of play that changed the outcome of the game.
Following the victory, Antonio Conte spoke to both Sky Sports, who covered the match live, and the BBC.
Talking to Sky Sports, Conte had this to say,
“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.
“Our first half was very negative. In the second half I saw a great reaction, the right will to fight to win despite the difficultly. We went 2-0 down but had the right spirit to come back and win.
“I am disappointed in the first half, I am the first to take the fault for that, but in the second half my players deserved credit.”
And as for the BBC, Conte commented,
“A good win but for me it was important to see the right spirit, the right passion and enthusiasm in the second half. In the first half we didn’t play well but not just that, they put more into the tempo than us. I was very disappointed but we must be pleased by the second half.
“The most important thing is to show in every game the right passion and to fight until the end. We need to finish this season in the best possible way.
“I don’t know why the desire wasn’t there but the coach is the first person to have the fault. It doesn’t matter that we won the game 3-2, it was important to see the right reaction and fight in the eyes of my players.
“Southampton played a good game and took a lot of confidence after their first goal because they were nervous at the start. It was difficult for us to come back so we must be pleased by the desire we showed.”
The two sides go head-to-head, next weekend, in an FA Cup semi-final, let’s hope Chelsea are on top of their game from the start, unlike yesterday.