Mark Hughes lamented Southampton’s inability to prevent a dramatic shift in momentum, as Chelsea scored three times in eight minutes to complete an unlikely comeback at St Mary’s.
For 70 minutes, Hughes’s first home game in charge was going swimmingly, as Dušan Tadić finished off a lung-bursting run from Ryan Bertrand, before Jan Bednarek marked his Premier League debut with his first goal for the club on the hour.
But substitute Olivier Giroud pulled one back with a trademark header, and in the blink of an eye Chelsea had turned the game on its head as Eden Hazard equalised before Giroud struck again.
“It was a tough one for everybody,” Hughes reflected.
“I think everybody saw a huge effort from us, and we got ourselves into what should’ve been a winning position.
“Unfortunately, in a period of eight minutes they’ve been able to build a bit of momentum.
“I’ll talk about it until I’m blue in the face; understanding when momentum starts to shift, recognising it and doing something about it to give yourselves time to clear your head.
“To concede so readily after the opening goal… clearly that’s something we need to be better at.
“At that point, I thought we were very much in control. I didn’t feel like they really had the belief that they were going to win that game, and if we’d seen it out for ten more minutes I think we’d have won it.
“It’s all ifs and buts. The reality is we’ve had a two-goal lead and we weren’t able to protect it enough to take something out of the game.”