Substitute Olivier Giroud scored twice as Chelsea recovered from a woeful first-half display against relegation-threatened Southampton. Here’s how we rated each Blues player in the 3-2 comeback victory at St Mary’s.
Thibaut Courtois: 7
The Belgian had no chance with either Saints goal. He caught cleanly and made a few useful saves.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Ran a really poor line tracking Ryan Bertrand and trying to get back into position for Dusan Tadic’s first-half goal but was otherwise sound enough defensively.
Andreas Christensen: 7
Restored to the side after being dropped against West Ham, Christensen had a testing afternoon against the pace of Shane Long but did well and used the ball sensibly.
Gary Cahill: 8
The club captain retained his place following the draw with the Hammers and showed typical passion and the sort of commitment and urgency that needs to be standard throughout the team. He is often harshly criticised, but won numerous crucial challenges and played a big part in inspiring the comeback as well as helping set up Giroud’s winner.
Davide Zappacosta: 6
Ineffective in the final third as Saints doubled up out wide to counter Chelsea’s wing-backs, but steady in defence.
N’Golo Kante: 9
Magnificent. Again. A masterful midfield performance by Kante, who was dominant throughout, standing out both when Chelsea were terrible and when they were on top.
Cesc Fabregas: 7
Another player who obviously cares and looked determined to drag the Blues back in the game, Fabregas became increasingly influential in the latter stages.
Marcos Alonso: 7
Pilloried for his challenge on Shane Long when the more likely explanation was that the full-back was trying to step across the striker and ensure the ball got cleared. But had he been sent off he could hardly have done less to help defend the home side’s second goal, when he didn’t bother to track Jan Bednarek from a free-kick. That aside he was typically impressive in possession and his fine cross for Giroud’s opener sparked the comeback.
Poor with his final ball and too sloppy and casual in possession in the first period, Willian has been outstanding this season but was way off his best for much of the game. He had very little impact but was a different player as Chelsea fought back, setting up the equaliser with a great stepover and cross.
Eden Hazard: 7
Hazard dropped too deep and lacked tempo with his play in the first 45 minutes, part of a desperate team display. But his second-half efforts were a stark contrast when he demanded possession and showed real drive, typified by his surge into the box when he smashed the ball home to make it 2-2.
Alvaro Morata: 4
Weak and lacking conviction once again, Morata’s inability to keep his composure and get so easily rattled must make him a dream to play against when things aren’t going his way. Contributed almost nothing.
Busy and effective, Pedro’s tempo and willingness to run in behind and create space after coming on was a telling factor in Chelsea’s comeback.
Olivier Giroud: 9
A brilliant and brave header from Alonso’s inviting cross soon after coming on brought Giroud his first Premier League goal, his desire won the ball in the build-up to the second goal and his composed finish won the points. Morata take note.