April 14, 2018 / 1:46 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer-Giroud double inspires incredible Chelsea comeback at Southampton

* Chelsea beat Southampton 3-2 with three goals in nine minutes

* Frenchman Olivier Giroud scored twice, his first Chelsea goals

* Eden Hazard also netted in astonishing comeback from 2-0 down

* Saints fullback Ryan Bertrand set up opener for Dusan Tadic

* Jan Bednarek added second with his first Premier League goal

* Saints conceded three goals for fourth league game in a row

* The two sides meet again next week in FA Cup semi-final

* Chelsea at Burnley in league next; Southampton visit Leicester SOUTHAMPTON 2 CHELSEA 3

April 14 (Reuters) - Chelsea staged a spectacular comeback with three goals in nine second-half minutes to beat Southampton 3-2 on Saturday and revive their faint hopes of a top-four Premier League finish as Saints remained in the drop zone. Olivier Giroud scored twice, his first league goals for Chelsea, either side of an Eden Hazard strike just when it looked like Antonio Conte’s visitors lacked the fight against opponents who scrapped for every tackle at St Mary’s.

The win moved Chelsea within seven points of fourth-placed London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who host Manchester City later on Saturday, and Liverpool who welcome Bournemouth.

Southampton looked to be cruising towards a win that would have lifted them up to 17th and out of the relegation places, at least temporarily, after Dusan Tadic and Jan Bednarek, playing only his third game for the club, put them two goals ahead.

But Saints have struggled to hold on to leads this season and they collapsed halfway through the second period, conceding three goals for the fourth successive league game. The two sides meet again in the FA Cup semi-final next weekend. (Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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