Swansea City 2-2 Chelsea: What Went Wrong For The Blues At The Liberty Stadium?

thibaut-courtois-chelsea-swansea-premier-league-dejected_3784259

Antonio Conte was left to rue a missed opportunity in South Wales on Sunday as Chelsea were held by a resilient Swansea City side to a thrilling 2-2 draw. Diego Costa opened the scoring with a well-worked goal in the first half and ought to have added more to his tally as the visitors asserted their superiority with pomp and flair. Conte’s opposite number, Francesco Guidolin could do little about it and was forced to rejig the setup a few minutes before the interval, replacing Neil Taylor with Modou Barrow.

Switching to an old school 4-4-2 formation, Swansea looked more threatening in the second half and were rewarded for their efforts with an equalizer. Barrow’s industrious run down the left flank was followed by a cross into the path of Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Icelandic talisman took the ball away from Thibaut Courtois and was bundled over after the goalkeeper attempted to clear the danger, resulting in a penalty. Sigurdsson tucked it away coolly and proceeded to spearhead a turnaround that seemed unlikely in the first half.

Former Queens Park Rangers midfielder Leroy Fer delivered a hammer blow no less than two minutes later. John Terry’s pass to fellow centre-half Gary Cahill was intercepted by the Dutchman, albeit by clipping his heels and he slipped the ball past the onrushing Courtois for Swansea’s second of the day. Cahill felt aggrieved as he firmly believed he was fouled in the build-up and did not mince his words when he was questioned about it in a post-match interview.

Now Chelsea had to step it up and did just that. Conte brought on Cesc Fabregas for Nemanja Matic and reaped rich dividends from that move as it helped cancel Fer’s goal, that ought to have been disallowed in the first place. The Spanish playmaker found Branislav Ivanovic lurking in space down the right-hand side and effortlessly lobbed the ball his way. The Serbian right-back’s attempted cross took a deflection and was smashed home by an acrobatic effort from Diego Costa. It was no less than they deserved although a late onslaught amounted to nothing as they were forced to share the spoils for the first time in the league this season. In the context of the title race, it means precious little but with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, the only side left with a perfect start to the campaign, Conte will reflect upon the chances his men ought to have taken and will now aim to galvanize them ahead of their Friday night blockbuster clash against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

diego-costa-chelsea-swansea_3784231

As for the controversial decision to allow Swansea’s second goal, it appeared a dereliction of duty from Andre Marriner not to penalise Fer for his challenge on Cahill. Some may argue it was a borderline one, given the referee’s view, but Cahill was adamant in his stance. In all fairness, the Englishman was hard done by that and it can be assumed he was livid on watching the replay.

That alone does not explain Swansea’s revival, though. Chelsea’s defence looked shaky following the arrival of Barrow and were outdone by the 23-year-old’s cross towards Sigurdsson. With little time to react, Courtois was forced to run off his line and mistimed his challenge on the midfielder. The Belgian goalkeeper has previously been reprimanded of his poorly timed tackles in such situations, his red cards against the same side and Manchester City last season standing testament to that. Yet the perfectly weighted pass called for it and ultimately, he was left in no man’s land.

Defensive mistakes have threatened to make life difficult for Conte and the sight of John Terry leaving the stadium on crutches would have done little to appease him. With the veteran out for at least ten days, the Italian boss will have to turn to David Luiz to counter Liverpool’s ferociously quick strike force this Friday.

1 Comment

  1. joseph Porto

    September 16, 2016 at 4:32 am

    Terry to Azpilcueta, back to Terry, Terry divided pass to Cahill….sounds familiar?
    Yes again and again! Is this Conte idiot? We are saying that for months. Terry don’t know how to take a ball out of our own area.
    Conte’s fault. He is being paid to see this. Does he has a clue of our disastrous last year defense? Why insist in something wont work?
    You are an excellent manager but accept Guardiola had the guts to put young stones and you are afraid of benching Terry.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply