Despite only getting a point there is very little that Antonio Conte could have done tactically to extend his 100% record.
Conte’s Chelsea dominated Swansea at the Liberty Stadium and despite only leading by one goal at half-time looked like the only team on the pitch.
The team pushed forwards after the break but the failure to score a second cost Chelsea and it was poor decision making by Courtois that gifted Swansea a way back into the game via the penalty spot.
More defensive slackness and a foul put Swansea in dreamland just minutes later and we had to battle back just to get a point.
Why The Referee Cannot Be Blamed
The referee made a mistake for the second Swansea goal, there is no doubt about that Gary Cahill was fouled. However, that close to his own goal with his back to the defender Cahill should not have been given the ball.
A sharper defence would have anticipated the oncoming danger, although it should not have been a goal Chelsea created their own problems. We should have put the game beyond doubt before the made 3 minutes that changed the game and kept calmer heads.
Swansea supporters should be thanking us for the gift of a point they barely deserved.
Last season Chelsea would have lost that game but were able to find a equaliser. Dropping points like that is not the way that potential top 4 teams go about their business. Yet after creeping past Watford and Crystal Palace this was bound to catch up with us at some point.
In order to move forward, there will need to be a continued focus on improving our defensive mindset and removing the risks that cost us points in Wales.
There were plenty of positives to take from the game and hopefully we will play Liverpool on Friday taking the vibes from the performance and not the result back to Stamford Bridge.
A balanced summary.
Swansea did get lucky but that happens to every team in football. On Sunday we, the fans recognised we were fortunate as did our players and manager. Fer did foul Cahill but in real time I was convinced he’d nicked the ball – as you pointed out the Chelsea man shouldn’t have been in that situation & Courtois really should have saved what was a comical effort by Fer. But there were contentious events all through the game. Costa began the game by routinely clipping his opponents’ legs when the ball had gone (much the same from Hazzard). These ‘fouls’ were considered the sign of a ‘determined’ player. The Swansea CB decided not to respond but that was seen as trying to goad Costa.
I could go on and on but the media’s lack of scrutiny of the these events really annoyed me
1) Costa’s diving, fouling and squaring up to players were allowed without comment from the ref
2) Conte man handling a Swansea player was not picked up by the officials – if our players had the same mentality as Costa and rolled around in mock agony Conte would have been sent to the stands.
3) a scissor kick in a crowded penalty area is reckless and dangerous especially when a payers is kicked in the head – free kick Swansea. I think Costa’s second was allowed to even up Fer’s. Which is fair.
4) Media providing a platform to Cahill to make an extended plea of wrong & the officials’ negligence. I don’t recall any player being given that many TV minutes to whine on and on about a wrong decision. None of our players (or those from other teams) who were equally hard done by last season were given such a platform.
I can’t see Chelsea coming anywhere near winning the league this season as they seem more concerned about bending rules and moaning than getting on with the game. Our match against Hull was one full of committed hard tackling with decisions going for and against each team; but there was no moaning, no histrionics and no extended interview with a wronged player. Chelsea, Cahill, Costa, Conte etc need to grow up.