Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has praised his side’s second half showing in their 3-2 Premier League comeback win against relegation threatened Southamption on Saturday at Saint Mary’s.
Southampton went 2-0 up thanks to goals in either half from Dusan Tadic and debutant Jan Bednarek.
But Chelsea fought back to win 3-2 through goals from Olivier Giroud, who scored twice, and Eden Hazard.
The win kept Chelsea in fifth on 60 points, seven points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham who will face Manchester City later on Saturday. Southampton are 18th on 28 points in the league table.
“A good win but for me it was important to see the right spirit, the right passion and enthusiasm in the second half,” Conte said in his post-match interview.
“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.
“”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.”
Conte also reserved special praise for two-goal hero Giroud.
He said: “I am happy for Giroud. Olivier we know very well, we are talking about international players. He has specific characteristics, he played well and I am happy for him.”