Southampton go into the game inside the relegation zone and with games running out fast, Mark Hughes will know that three points against his old club this afternoon is a must. Frenchman Olivier Giroud scored two goals after entering the game in the 61st minute, and the third goal came by Belgian Eden Hazard in the 75th minute of the game.
Giroud's ruthless half-volley sparked jubilant Chelsea celebrations as the Blues drew first blood in this dress rehearsal ahead of the two sides' April 22 FA Cup semi-final.
The week of epic comebacks continues with Chelsea being the latest to join the list.
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That proved to be enough to save Chelsea, and perhaps Antonio Conte's job.
While Southampton were intense on the ball, Chelsea closed the half lucky to still have ten men on the field.
The previous warning failed to be heeded, however, as Southampton doubled their lead with 60 minutes on the clock.
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"I'm very, very thankful and blessed, man, to go out and compete", Westbrook told reporters after the game. The Thunder will have home-court advantage after it was seeded fourth in the conference.
Chelsea pulled a goal back on 68 minutes when substitute Olivier Giroud headed home Marcos Alonso's cross.
With Alex McCarthy untested for the whole of the opening spell, he was finally called into action to clear a cross-cum-shot from William two minutes before the half an hour mark.
Hazard levelled the scores merely five minutes later with an emphatic finish from the middle of the penalty area, taking advantage of Southampton's crumbling defence which had looked so assured for much of proceedings.
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McCarthy, R-Calif., now the second-ranking House Republican, is expected to vie with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise , R-La. But others said the race could stretch until after the election clarifies the number, ideology and mood of House Republicans.