Chelsea travelled to the Liberty Stadium with both teams in a good run of form, results wise. However Chelsea had not looked convincing of late, while Swansea were going from strength to strength in the league, especially at home.
Chelsea took kick off and lost the ball soon after. Swansea had 88% possession in the first four minutes, which dropped to 78% after 11 minutes. Swansea looked in control as they usually do at home.
In the seventh minute Swansea were awarded a free kick on the right wing and Sigurdsson delivered a dangerous ball into the box. Caulker was first to the ball but his header was blocked instantly, the ball fell to Graham seven yards out. He needed a touch to bring it down, which allowed Ivanovic to get a foot in and Graham’s follow through shot went wide.
Swansea had a golden chance to take the lead when Rangel over-hit a pass intended for Graham. Cech spilled the ball and went to ground outside the box, while Sigurdsson waltzed around him, and saw his shot blocked on the six yard line. The ball fell to Graham who went across goal with his left foot from 12 yards out. The ball was blocked on the line, but Graham had so much time to shift the ball onto his right foot and maybe he should have done better. Allen then followed up from 25 yards but Cech recovered to save with his legs. A ten second spell saw three swans trying their luck but failing to find a way through the Chelsea ranks.
Swansea broke the deadlock with Sinclair scoring in the 37th minute, against his former club. Chelsea failed to clear another great set piece delivery from Sigurdsson. Sinclair kept his eye on the bouncing ball and sent a curling left footed volley into Cech’s top right hand corner from 17 yards out.
The game did not ignite straight away in the second half, with Swansea taking the sting out of the game and slowing the pace down.
However, by the 80th minute Chelsea had become completely dominant although Swansea managed to keep them at a comfortable distance and see out the last ten minutes.
Maybe a wave of expectancy went over the Swansea team as two minutes of injury time had gone by without any real threat. But then with 92.25 minutes played, Bosingwa cut in from the right wing with no one closing him down, and was allowed to cross the ball. Of the 43 crosses Chelsea put in, this one took the cruelest deflection off Taylor and spun past a diving Vorm.
In the end Swansea had conceded too much possession, ending the game with 46.2%, and failing to get a hold of the ball after Chelsea had Cole sent off in the 85th minute. Chelsea managed to attempt and complete more passes than Swansea, with better accuracy – a rare occurrence (413/491 vs 360/443).
Chelsea created many chances throughout the game with the better ones falling to an eager looking Sturridge. But they could not find the net, and Torres looked as though he had completely lost his strikers instinct.
It can not be denied that Chelsea deserved a draw over the 95 minutes and before the game Swansea would have taken a point. But to draw in that manner after being ahead for so long would have felt like a defeat for Swansea.
Never-the-less Swansea can once again take many positives from the game and then look at what they need to do better, so that they can convert positives into wins.
Opta International, European & Official Swansea FC analyst. MSc Sports Performance analysis. BSc Astrophysics. Youth Football Coach
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