Swansea City 0-1 Chelsea – Five Observations

Ba deserves to keep his place

Before his monumental goal against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, to fire Chelsea into the Champions League semi-finals, Ba was behind Torres and Eto’o in the centre-forward pecking order. Now, he has risen to the fore.

Before winning over Jose, Ba had impressed in substitute cameo appearances, scoring two against Tottenham last month and endearing himself to the Bridge faithful with his goal against PSG on Tuesday evening.

He started at the Liberty Stadium, troubling Williams and first Flores, before the Spaniard’s needless bookings, and then his replacement Amat. His goal, with 20 minutes remaining, was clinical and crucial, effectively put the game out of reach of Swansea. Deservedly awarded Man of the Match.

Courtois will have to fight for number one jersey

Courtois is an excellent goalkeeper, tipped to strip Cech of the number one jersey as he flourishes in a powerful Atletico Madrid team, Chelsea’s opponents in the Champions League semi-finals. Yet, it won’t be as easy as that.

The Czech Republic skipper saved excellently from Bony twice, one an amazing reaction stop, and a sweetly-struck effort from Routledge. He is a world-class keeper, unworthy of assuming the role of back-up keeper.

Matic a shrewd acquisition

Mourinho had noticed the problem in pre-season, acquiring Marco Van Ginkel in the summer as he searched for a mobile, leggy midfielder. In January, he was shrewd to beat off competition from the likes of Liverpool for Matic’s signature, and the £21m invested in the Serbia international is paying dividends.

Chelsea were criticized for letting him go in the first place as part of the deal to sign David Luiz from Benfica but Matic’s incredible development under Jorge Jesus was unexpected.

His propensity to keep moves ticking over, collect loose balls and stride forward whilst playing guard in front of the Blues’ solid defence, coupled with his excellent vision to pick out Ba for his goal is what Mourinho paid for. No losses, just gains.

Swansea are underachieving

For 30 minutes after Chico’s foolish sending-off, Swansea continued to employ their keep-possession playing style, leading the possession charts. After the interval as Chelsea emerged from the break with more vigour, intensity and urgency, the hosts finally crumbled under the pressure. Garry Monk’s side are only a few points away from safety, with Newcastle, Aston Villa, Southampton and Sunderland their remaining four games. Yet, they should not be struggling at the foot of the table.

With the quality in their starting line-up, a mid-table finish should have been the minimum expected. Vorm is a decent goalkeeper, with Britton and Shelvey effective in the holding role behind the attacking prowess of Dyer, Hernandez and Routledge, supporting Bony. Play like they did here and they should retain their Premier League status without much bother.

Salah is promising

The 21 year-old, dubbed the “Egyptian Messi” for his tendency to drift past opposition defenders, impressed on only his second league start, wreaking havoc in the Stoke back-line a week ago.

He frequently found himself in behind the Swansea defence with his wonderful turn of pace, deciding to supply the profligate Eto’o on two occasions, with the Cameroonian failing to profit from his menacing incursions. Give him time and he could really flourish.

There are 18 comments

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  1. Blue_MikeL

    Salah did impress a lot in general, but equally frustrated a lot during the game wasting several very good opportunities. Overall it was win of the champions, when one plays badly, but still gets three points.

    • Ahmed Osoble

      Agreed. Suspect he was under instruction to supply Eto’o, as he did so when he was in fantastic positions himself.

  2. Blue_MikeL

    Man City got only point against Sanderland right now it is between Chelsea and Liverpool! Now our title is in our hands!

    • Ahmed Osoble

      We’ve got this title, methinks. Jose’ll think of a plan for the ‘Poo but we can’t afford any more slip-ups. KTBFFH.

        • Ahmed Osoble

          We’ll be formidable next season with a striker. Imagine if we had Diego Costa or a Jackson Martinez against Newcastle, Everton, Stoke, Villa or Palace? We’d be well ahead, the title tied up weeks ago.

          • Blue_MikeL

            Yes, indeed, when one looks back on those games, which we completely dominated but couldn’t win due to lack of striking power, one know we should have been the Champions by now.

  3. limetreebower

    Looks like it’ll be an interesting finish, to say the least.

    I suspect we’ll drop a couple of points here and there. But will the ‘Poo keep winning?

    As tonights results show, you just never know in this league.

  4. musumba

    All media outlets are endorsing Liverpool and Gerrard.The English media are now creating another Fergie from Brendan, at the end of it all we may end up with silly refereeing decisions at Anfield that may influence the outcome of the league.

  5. LFC

    Plastics, all of ya

    Thanks for the result boys

    …. And now you’re gonna believe us…


    Mourinho is classless … A disgrace to the profession, dear oh dear

    • limetreebower


      Despite their unbelievably tiresome and self-important fans [though I’m not sure this particular one could string enough actual words together to achieve the effect of self-importance?], I’d be happier seeing the ‘Poo winning the league than any of the other lot. I wonder, though. You suspect there are some more odd results to come.

  6. Blue_MikeL

    Well, what we were afraid of was this refereeing calamity. Nothing new really and pretty much as expected. Who needs Foy when they have Mike Dean.

  7. Blue_MikeL


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