English Premiership

Conte: Chelsea's poor first-half showing my fault

2018-04-15 15:29
Antonio Conte (Getty)

Cape Town - Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has shouldered the blame for a "negative" display from his team in the first half, as they came from behind to beat Southampton 3-2 on Saturday.

The Blues turned things around in the second half after Dusan Tadic opened the scoring on 21 minutes at St Mary's, before Jan Bednarek doubled the Saints' lead on the hour mark.

Olivier Giroud was introduced from the bench moments later and the French striker made a huge impact with two goals in eight minutes, while Eden Hazard also scored in between to help secure the comeback win.

Conte admits their performance in the opening 45 minutes was not good enough, but was delighted with the response he got after the break, as the west Londoners successfully overturned a two-goal deficit for the first time in the Premier League since 2002.

"Our first half wasn't good, in a lot of aspects," the Italian said after the match. "I think we didn't show great spirit, enough desire or will to fight for a good result. The first half was very negative.

"I saw a great reaction after half-time, the right will to fight, the right desire to win this game, despite the difficulties because they went 2-0 up.

"But we have had the right spirit to come back and win this game. If you don't have something in your heart, it's very difficult to win the game, but today I'm very happy with the second half, and very disappointed with the first.

"I'm the first to take the fault for the first half, but I repeat the second half my players deserve great credit."

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