Swansea City vs Chelsea: Talking Points

Published 09/11/2016, 4:15 PM EDT


Antonio Conte led his team into the game as the only other team, apart from Manchester City, to boast a 100% record in the league. But all did not go as per plan as they dropped their first points under Antonio Conte as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Swansea City.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It was almost a tale of two halves as Chelsea looked to be cruising in the first half. But the second half was more exciting and ended up as one of the most exciting games of the season so far. EssentiallySports takes a look at the major talking points from the encounter at the Liberty Stadium.

DIEGO COSTA IS BACK TO HIS INFLUENTIAL BEST

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

There were many stories linking Diego Costa to a move away from Chelsea after a disappointing 2015-16 season. But Conte was determined to keep hold of the Spanish striker and that decision seems to have paid off for the Italian and Chelsea. Costa has started the season well; scoring 2 goals from the first 3 games coming into this match. And he strengthened that stat by scoring twice and being the most influential player on the field for Chelsea. The Spanish striker was rewarded for his efforts with the Man of the Match award as well.

And this is not the first time that Diego Costa has dominated against Swansea. He came into the match having scored 5 times against them in the Premier League, the most he has ever scored against any side. And his brace has taken the count to 7, making him well and truly Swansea’s nemesis.

Chelsea were clearly the dominant side throughout the game with 28 shots in total. And Diego Costa was a very influential part of almost all of the good things going forward. He had 5 shots in total along with his 2 goals and finished the game with a 53% pass success. His hold up play against a stubborn Swansea defence was an impressive aspect and he proved, once again, that he is one of the best centre-forwards in the Premier League and in Europe.

These will be exciting factors for the Chelsea fans as they missed his goals and influence throughout the last season.

But along with his goal scoring brilliance came his other side as well. His battle with Amat caught a few eyes and once again, he was the receiver of all the boos from the home fans. But Conte would be hoping to use this spirit and passion to their advantage as Jose did a couple of seasons ago. But we can surely say that the Diego Costa we know is well and truly back on his track after a disappointing season the last time around. FRANCESCO GUIDOLIN’S EARLY CHANGE AND A CHANGE OF SHAPE FOR SWANSEA

Chelsea started the game on a very positive note and were running riot over the Swansea defence. The 5-3-2 or the 3-5-2 formation was not working for Swansea and Chelsea were able to find a way through very easily. Also, too much attention given to the defence meant that Fernando Llorente was more like a lonely figure up the pitch and was struggling to get involved in the game.

But the Swansea manager realised this and made a surprising substitution fairly early, in the 41st minute in taking off Neil Taylor. Guidolin brought on the pacey Modou Barrow and changed the formation to a more conventional 4-3-3 which the Swans were more comfortable playing.

The substitution did not please Neil Taylor and he clearly let the manager know that as well as he and many others fancied the less experienced Stephen Kingsley to be taken off.

However the change did make and impact and Barrow’s pace and innovation came in handy for Swansea. Barrow was heavily involved in the play which led to Courtois fouling Siggurdson and conceding a penalty, which the Icelander converted to level things up.And this however was to be a major turning point as this slowly shifted the momentum and brought the Swans well and truly back into the game.

GYLFI SIGURDSSON’S MILESTONE

Gylfi Sigurdsson has been an important component for the Swansea side ever since his return to the side from Tottenham. He had earlier had a brief spell at the club during his time at Hoffenheim and his return was seen with lots of hope. The Iceland international has certainly delivered for the side on a consistant basis. He has made 84 appearences for Swansea in the league and now holds a special milestone for the Club.

Sigurdsson forced Courtois to the tackle and won a penalty for Swansea in the 59th minute. He himself stepped up and converted the spot kick. The goals took his overall tally for the club in the Premier league to 26.

This figure of 26 goals has now made him Swansea’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League, surpassing Wilfried Bony’s tally of 25 goals. The Swansea fans would be hoping for a lot more goals to come as he continues to be a very component for their side.

LEROY FER’S TACKLE ON GARY CAHILL

The final stats might not tell that the game was as exciting as it was. Chelsea completely dominated the game for most parts and finished the game with a total of 28 shots and 417 accurate passes with 85% pass success.

However, Chelsea completely lost themselves for about 5-10 minutes and this ended up costing them 2 points. It all started with a counter attack in the 58th minute and Barrow’s early ball across for Sigurdsson forced a mistimed tackle from Courtois and a penalty for Swansea. The Swans converted and equalised with that penalty. But the major surprise was yet to follow. They took the lead in the 62nd minute after Leroy Fer scored his 3rd goal of the season for Swansea.

The goal was much talked about for the lapse in concentration of the Chelsea defence as Gary Cahill was dispossessed by Leroy Fer in what seemed to be otherwise a comfortable position for the Chelsea defence. However, the goals gave us more to talk about as Fer’s tackle on Cahill seemed to an offence worthy of a foul. But the referee played on and Fer converted past Courtois to turn the game on its head in a short span of nearly 6 minutes.

Swansea were pretty much looking like they were out of the contest until those crazy 6 minutes for Chelsea and Chelsea paid for their lack of conversion of their chances. Swansea, on the other hand, made the most of their chances as scored 2 goals from their 2 shots on target. However, the tackle on Cahill that led to the goal seemed to be a controversial moment of the match and will be talked about in the coming days.

CHELSEA’S LACK OF CLEAN SHEET

Antonio Conte is known for his disciplined style of management and his style seems to be reflecting on the sides that he put out as well. This was evident with the Juve side and the Italian national side. This has not been the case so far for Chelsea.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

From the opening 4 games, Chelsea have managed to keep just a single clean sheet. This is despite being in control for most of those games. This was also the case for this game. Chelsea were in total control of the game. But they completely lost it for a brief period and this cost them 2 points on the night.

It is evident that Conte still has not put out his best first team out. The injury to the likes of Kurt Zouma and Conte’s activities in the transfer market clearly indicate that the Italian knows that he has things to correct at the back.

Many might believe that Conte and Chelsea are yet to face the bigger teams in the Premier League this season. But whenever put under pressure, the Chelsea defence has at times looked very shaky indeed. And this included their keeper Courtois. The solid defence was a major factor in their title winning season and Conte would be hoping to follow those lines this season as well. Though the London club has been unbeaten this season so far, they surely must improve their defensive showing. Conte’s transfers have been pointing to this factor as well. He first brought in N’Golo Kante as a firewall to his defence. And he has strengthened his defence towards the end of the transfer market, bringing back the Brazilian David Luiz and Marcos Alonso to the Stamford bridge side.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It will be interesting to see the players that he will be putting out in the weeks to come, but it is a definite fact that the Chelsea defence is a very weak component when compared to the threat they possess going forward.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Thrishal Sunil

22 articles

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT