After The Whistle : Swansea 2–2 Chelsea
“This result is important for us. Chelsea did not deserve to lose, but we deserved something because we fought in the second half and played with more intensity”
— Francesco Guidolin
After Saturday’s top of the table clash between the designer managers in Manchester, Sunday was the turn of two ̶t̶i̶t̶a̶n̶s — Italians. Chelsea were coming into this as favourites, winning their first 3 games of this season, whilst Swansea with a win and two losses under their belt.
Unsurprisingly, Chelsea took the lead from a well worked goal. Oscar with his silky touch, laid the ball for Diego Costa to finish with aplomb past Lukasz Fabianski. It was his 6th goal against The Swans since moving to England. Chelsea continued to impose their will on Swansea for much of the first half. It was so bad Guidolin had to go against the grain and tinker with his tactics by taking off defender Neil Taylor just before halftime. Taylor wasn’t too pleased with this and was seen going back and forth with his manager on the bench.
The second half was a much different affair. Swansea gained some confidence and pegged one goal back in the 60th minute. Chelsea were caught on the counter, and a seamlessly harmless ball into the box by substitute Barrow(who came on for Neil Taylor) led to Courtois bringing down Gylfi Sigurdsson in the box. Sigurdsson tucked away the penalty brilliantly, making him the the club’s all time leading goal scorer in the premier league (a record formerly held Wilfried Bony).
2 mins later, Cahill got robbed(fouled in reality) off the ball just outside the Chelsea box, and Leroy Fer ran onto goal to slot the ball between Courtois legs (Fer’s 3rd goal of the season). Swansea were amped, and Conte responded to the swing in momentum by throwing on Fabregas and Moses. Moses’s direct running and Cesc’s laser vision brought life back to Chelsea’s attack. Chelsea pressed and buzzed around Swansea’s penalty area. Costa seemed to go to ground rather fairly easily just outside the box against an onrushing Fabianski, but the referee waved play on. It seemed to be a moment of rushed judgement from the former Arsenal goalie. To be fair to him, he made a brilliant save right afterwards from a well struck effort by Oscar.
In the 81st minute, following some brilliant footwork from Ivanovic in the Swansea box, Costa latched onto a loose ball in the air, and unleashed a brilliant overhead kick which deflected off Swansea defender Fernadez into the back of the net.
“We forget the past. We worked hard to forget last season and focus on the present”thegoldcoastreport.com
After the game, Gary Cahill was critical on the referee(Andre Marriner)with his no foul call leading to Fer’s goal. Guidolin also apologized to Neil Taylor in his post game interview, and admitted it was a needed change at the time to spark some life into his team. For an agitated fella on the touchline, Antonio Conte was fairly calm in his post game interview. He was glad, his team showed some fighting spirit to claw a point back after going down.
Good news for Chelsea fans is that Hazard seems to have found that extra yard of pace and his confidence back. His hold on the game yesterday brings back memories of the days he was being compared to ahem Ronaldo & Messi. Diego Costa also seems to found his swagger and predatory instincts back.