Swansea City 1-1 Chelsea – The Two Amigos


I wanted to take the liberty of going to this game but unfortunately on the morning the tickets became available I didn’t follow my normal routine. You know, getting on the PC at 6:55am to open three browser sessions, Firefox, Chrome and IE, to maximise the chances of escaping from the virtual waiting room. Instead I dithered until 7:45am when I suddenly remembered what I should be doing only to find to my shock and horror that all tickets were sold out.

Talking of tickets, following our success in the Capital One Cup and subsequent quarter-final draw, I asked my son if he fancied a trip to Leeds. Have we played them in a cup since 1970? Anyhow he said he’d check his work commitments and the following day told me he couldn’t make Leeds because he’d still be in Japan following Chelsea in the Club World Cup. My ageing brain took a while longer to process this answer than in years gone by but eventually I did respond: “If you’re in Japan watching Chelsea which team is turning up in Leeds?” The Club World Cup final is on Sunday 16th December, if we qualify, and Leeds is on Wednesday 19th and my son is tacking on a week of touring and returning on Friday 21st December.

Team Selection

This crowded fixture list begs the question of priorities. Should we take the Club World Cup seriously? My son and other fans will be paying a fortune to go to Japan to support the team so if they’re making the effort it’s only reasonable the team do too. Otherwise they might just as well pop down to Yo-Sushi at Fulham Broadway and then watch the game in the pub for a vaguely similar lower cost experience.

Should we have taken the Capital One Cup seriously? United didn’t but we ended up playing pretty much the full team. Even resting Cech was deemed too much of a risk so clearly there’s no confidence in the three reserve keepers. And by the end of the game the holy trinity of Mata, Hazard and Oscar were on the pitch and as a result Mata and Luiz were unavailable for this game. Should Robbie do a Wenger and make the Capital One Cup the fifth amendment or was he right to play a strong team? If I’m honest I think if we’re in a competition we should play to win. Who knows what will happen and we might be grateful for a Capital One Cup at the end of the season.

Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Romeu (Ramires – 46′), Oscar (Bertrand – 79′), Mikel, Moses (Sturridge – 72′), Hazard, Torres.

First Half

We failed to dominate for any period and were neither threatening nor looking threatened. Moses made a reasonable contribution in his first Premier League start whereas Marin, signed at the same time, sat on the bench as he lurches from injury to injury.

No racist chants were evident but I don’t know if anti-Welsh songs or sheep innuendos count. We had a couple of half chances but nothing much until the 45th minute when Torres had a break but lacked the confidence to make anything happen.

Second Half

Ramires on for Romeu which begs the question why did Robbie start with two holding midfielders? Watching in the pub was a little disconcerting because the commentary was from the radio and was three seconds ahead of the pictures, so you always knew what was coming.

After 60 minutes a great Cahill header from a corner hit Moses on the head and into the goal. The lad’s blessed!

Aside from the goal this was a dour Mourinhoesque performance compared to our recent fare. Without Mata, Hazard and Oscar looked like the three tenors without Pavarotti, the Goodies minus Tim Brooke-Taylor or Charlie’s Angels missing Farrah Fawcett-Majors.

Oscar showed a few glimpses and has the class that I hoped we’d one day see from the banished Josh McEachran. Late in the half just as Moses was substituted there was a heavy hailstorm. Robbie needs to be careful about withdrawing Moses because a plague of locusts might be next.

With only five minutes remaining Swansea struck an equaliser with a shot from the edge of the box.


A point away a Swansea isn’t a shocking result but with United beating Arsenal we’re now off the top of the league. The game was roughly 50:50 so 1-1 is a fair result.

Torres once again failed to do anything. Last Wednesday, despite scoring, Sturridge was a hopeless one-trick pony so we’re effectively strikerless. In the January window if we can’t get Radamel Falcao I’d settle for Grant Holt.

Press Reports

The Independent on Sunday, Steve Tongue: “A pale and uneventful game involving Chelsea? Surely not. For a long time the most colourful thing about an afternoon of alternating rain and sun in South Wales was a rainbow above the halfway line. That would not have bothered Roberto Di Matteo at the end of another hectic week, once Victor Moses headed the goal that was keeping his team on top of the Premier League. Then, with two minutes to play, Swansea’s Spanish midfielder Pablo Hernandez drove in an equaliser that left Manchester United, who had beaten Chelsea last Sunday, on top of the pile.”

The Sunday Telegraph, Jonathan Liew: “With verve and spirit, with resolve and dedication, and in weather fit for Swans, the home side deservedly seized a point against the champions of Europe, shifting them from the Premier League summit in the process. Three minutes from time, the Spanish international and club record signing Pablo Hernandez made himself a little space on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, spotted a gap amidst the maze of blue socks and coloured boots, and curled the ball right into it. Drenched and downtrodden, Chelsea’s players stared forlornly at each other. This time there was no referee to blame. Champion sides are generally the ones scoring late goals, not conceding them.”

The Observer, Joe Lovejoy: “Chelsea have had so many “issues” of late that their next signing could be Jeremy Kyle, and the European champions were again involved in drama on Saturday, albeit of a footballing sort, when Pablo Hernandez’s last-gasp equaliser for Swansea prevented them from displacing Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Victor Moses with a second-half header gave the Blues the lead but a late Swansea equaliser means we slip from the top of the table on a wintry afternoon in Wales. The crisp, attacking football of much of this season was infrequently seen as the effects of recent games may have taken their toll and both keepers had an easy job in a near chanceless first half. Chelsea were better after the break and although Swansea were bright at times, once the lead had been established with a set-piece goal and Petr Cech had made a couple of saves, the three points looked London-bound, but Spaniard Pablo Hernandez finished a good move and we failed to win a league game in which we had opened the scoring for the first time this season.”


61′ Moses 0-1
88′ Hernandez 1-1

There are 31 comments

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  1. Blue_MikeL

    The only good thing about this game is correct referee. After we scored a goal we yet again dropped speed, retreated back to our half and it was just matter of time, when we concede.

  2. Fiftee

    We really need a striker. We can’t keep playing games with 10 men. Torres has had his time and chances and he’s simply nowhere near doing anything to warrant his selection. Lukaku back or (preferably) Falcao.

  3. True blue

    Yup … Torres is done Iin my opinion. We have been patient and he has not delivered. Enough is enough.

    We really struggle with mata.

    Why take of Moses for studge? Should hae played him upfront instead of Torres and if you wanna take of Moses, replace him with Marin!

  4. Cunningplan

    Come on guys, it’s been a frenetic week on and off the pitch, the lads looked tired, physically and mentally.
    No great shame to draw in Abertawe, they’re a good team unlike those cloggers at West Ham who managed to stop the Premier League champions from scoring, and also win a point.
    Utd benefited from yet another soft sending off, I think old purplenose has been quite clever in his vocal support of Clattenburg, he’s obviously got the support of fellow referees.

    And nice to see you back fiftee!

  5. Fat Nakago

    My takeaway from the game is that we simply HAVE to keep the foot on the gas when we take the lead. ESPECIALLY against teams that play like Swansea. All of our attacking prowess comes top naught if we don’t play fast, quick, and sharp. It’s more of a mentality that seems to set in. We can’t expect to WIN anything if we play with that mindset.

  6. Vik Sohonie

    If we draw away from home every weekend following an extra-time midweek match – and a turbulent week off the pitch – in an injury and suspension-ridden fixture to a team that’s only lost once at home all season, I’ll be a happy man.Oh, and Gary Cahill to finish with 20 goals this season 🙂

  7. GrocerJack

    Lovely stuff as usual Mark. Darren Bent anyone? Has a point to prove and is a decent if unspectacular player.

    Anyway, here’s something to pop the blood pressure gauges a bit higher. Very possibly the most despicable, shameful, contemptible, gutter scraping low life piece of journalism I’ve seen in years. I’m not easily outraged but to conflate two very separate issues in order to shame us merely devalues what this poor woman has gone through and what, for Chelsea, patently isn’t a frivolous matter.


    • Blueboydave

      I almost choked on my muesli when faced with that piece of garbage you link to, which I read earlier in my hard copy of the Indie on Sunday – truly vile.
      Weirdly, if you look at the first link on the left-hand side to other articles [ “why Chelsea risked reputation on racism claim”]  you’ll find one of the few even-tempered bits of writing from a mainstream hack, that comes from nearer the front of the Indie sports section written by of all people Mihir Bose – a man who must have written more “BBC Sport understands….” speculative rubbish in the past than I’ve had hot dinners.

      As to the match, it looked pretty dull stuff all round watching the complete re-run on what Sky laughably called “Game of the Day”, though I must have dozed off at some point as the Beeb website is claiming both sides had 7 attempts on target, while I can scarcely recall either keeper having a serious save to make?

      Limetreebower – it’s getting closer to a blip, isn’t it?

      On the other hand AVB seems to be working hard to get there first again this season 😉

    • WorkingClassPost

      If I had the vaguest clue what that ‘writer’ was getting at, I’d attempt to rip it to shreds, but clueless I remain.

      Don’t really share in the doomnessness of some of our fellow bloggers, coming after 3 points stolen on the previous Sunday, the result has indeed negatively altered our immediate situation, but the season’s a long way from finished, and, anyway, Christmas is the period I fear most as a fan of the Chels.

      Trying to analyse events it’s clear that we’re not the same team without Mata and Torres (wassat you say, Torres did play – actually I do recall an effort kicked off the line, but where was the feisty competitor that we’ve been seeing more and more of recently?)

      But we can’t be a one man team and with Mata missing we looked lame and even Oscar and Hazard couldn’t lift the occasion. I thought Robbie did his best, though, and bringing Sturridge on should’ve been a clear enough signal that we needed to push on for a second goal, but not so, and that’s possibly as much to do with the exertions of the twin match-ups with the mancs as with any long term malaise. At least that’s my hope.

      Also, we mustn’t forget the shadow of Shaktar which hangs over us at this time too.

      As I shook hands with a fellow fan just before kick off, all he spoke about was poxy Shaktar and it’s clear that, try as we might to stay focused, the CL is still a major distraction for the players.

      Gonna catch a bit of MOTD2 now, followed by some FC Roma v Palermo, then it’s off to bed – big week ahead!

      • mark_25

        @ WorkingClassPost 

        Did you make it to Swansea?  You said “As I shook hands with a fellow fan just before kick-off” but that could have been standing outside Costa Coffee in your local high street.

        If you did get to Swansea how was it?  Train or car?  Did you get a decent roast lamb lunch?

        • WorkingClassPost

          Get to Swansea? You must be joking, Mark. I struggle to get to our local moody sky provider in time for kick off these days.

          The guy I mentioned is one of the local Chelsea contingent and we always express a bit of solidarity on Matchdays; there are still a few Arse/Manu/Totties around so it’s important that we ensure the Chelsea supporters get first dibs when the Blues are showing.

          If/when I get to an away game again, I will try to engineer a meet up with you or one of the other travelling bloggers on the Virgin Special (they do still run football specials, don’t they?) 

  8. GrocerJack

    Type your comment here.one more thing. How comes Luiz isn’t being blamed for their equaliser? And YES I do realise he wasn’t playing. No doubt if he had then he’d be to blame from the anti-
    Luiz brigade who seemed to have moved on from being the anti-Mikel brigade

  9. bluebayou

    Like the measured tone Mark. I don’t think we’ve really taken in what a mid season trip to japan might do to the season. Add in how important Mikel is becoming to the team and he may be gone to the ACN after Christmas and there could be some turbulence ahead.

    It was a game where they just couldn’t seem to get on top of Swansea, who’s tidy passing style allowed them to move through the defensive lines far too easily. Definitely missed Mata but he wont always be playing so they have to be able to get to a tempo and stay there without him. A combination of moving the ball too slowly and not closing  either both ball or man.

    At 1-0 they weren’t convincing and yet had a couple of opportunities to beak away. It was just one of those frustrating away days.

    A 5 point reverse on Man Utd over a week. But there’s a long way to go.

    There has been a lot of praise for Moses over these two games and I think he has done well as it is difficult to hit the ground running when not playing regularly. But he looked slow on Wednesday and yesterday when tracking back on occasions. He looks almost lost or confused and seems to lack an understanding of how key his defensive work is in a team that plays the way Chelsea do at the moment, particularly given that he is a pacy player.

    Azpilicueta has been steady I think. Needs to improve his crossing and build an understanding going forward, but looks sound I think.

  10. Benjami

    Just watched a certain Chelsea player who is out on loan at Real Madrid, and he was truly excellent. I don’t know how he came across over tv but he looked great today. We need to call him back asap…

    • GrocerJack

      Why? Our midfield is fine. Mikel has been superb. Next you’ll be asking for Pizzaro to come back because he got a hat trick yesterday. Ridiculous. 

  11. mark_25

    Stamford Bridge is conveniently located next to a cemetery to offer a similar scheme.


    I sometimes walk through the cemetery from West Brompton station to the Bridge and many of the grave stones are in need of attention so an influx of money is needed.

    This means that Ron Gourlay doesn’t need to lose the recurring revenue from a fan post death and can sell burial plots for a one off fee or on a season ticket basis payable from the estate or relatives. Not sure if it’ll be feasible to have temporary plots to wheel in a few away fans?

    • bluebayou

      Given the crowded nature of Brompton Cem. Ron also needs to factor in the extra revenue if he offered areas where one could face eternity in the standing position….like Schalke and other German stadia allow when watching the game.

    • GrocerJack

      Really? We played a very VERY good team full of brazilian talent. Did you really expect a walkover? Ridiculous criticism. 

  12. Cunningplan

    If I had a heart condition and hypertension, I’d be dead by now.
    Why the fuck do our lads put us through this?

  13. NorthernVA

    Replay of the Chelsea match is about to come on however it was preceded by Celtic vs Barcelona. Apparently Barcelona has taken those La Liga is the equivalent to the SPL jibes to heart.

  14. WorkingClassPost

    Just when we need a result…
    Obama wins a second Term: He’s in, he’s out, it’s neck and neck, it’s Republican, it’s Democrat…it’s all over!!!

    We don’t need to worry about Robbie going to another club, he’s off to American politics!

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