25th of February 2017

Superb Pedro leads Blues to win over Swans (3-1)

The Blues extended our lead at the top of the table to 11 points following a deserved 3-1 victory against Swansea City courtesy of goals from Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Diego Costa.

The Blues dominated the opening 45 minutes and took an early lead through Fabregas, who was making his 300th Premier League appearance, but Swansea equalised against the run of play when Fernando Llorente headed home just before the break.

Eden Hazard and Fabregas both went close early in the second half, and we eventually restored our advantage when Pedro netted his third goal in as many games, curling home from outside the penalty area.

Diego Costa, who loves playing against Swansea, put the seal on the victory when he volleyed home from close range following good work by Hazard, his third goal against the Welsh side this season and eighth in total.

There was just one change to the side which started at Burnley a fortnight ago as Cesc Fabregas was named in the starting line-up, with Nemanja Matic dropping down to the bench.

Diego Costa, leading the line, was flanked by Pedro and Eden Hazard, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek was named among the substitutes.

The Blues threatened inside the opening minute and it was Pedro, scorer of our opening goal in the last two games, who went close.

Hazard flicked the ball inside to Fabregas following a short corner and as the midfielder picked out his compatriot Pedro fired first-time over the bar.

At the other end, Federico Fernandez was a fraction away from getting his head to a Gylfi Sigurdsson corner, but it was the home side on the front foot during the opening exchanges.

Fabregas was next to go close at the end of a move he started with a lofted ball over the top to Diego Costa. The striker did well to bring it down under pressure and find Hazard, who cut inside and rolled it into the path of Fabregas, but his strike was charged down inside a crowded box.

The Chelsea pressure was mounting and in the 19th minute the breakthrough arrived courtesy of a brilliantly-worked team goal.

Our attacking players had started the game well and all four were involved in another move which was finished by Fabregas.

Having picked the ball up deep inside the Swansea half Hazard exchanged passes with Diego Costa before shifting the ball out to Pedro on his right-hand side. He smartly held it up, giving Fabregas time to arrive in the box, and as he switched it back inside the midfielder took a touch and poked his strike into the bottom corner.

Moments later Fabregas almost doubled our lead, only to be denied by a brilliant Lukas Fabianksi save after meeting a well-placed Victor Moses cross on the volley.

As the half-hour mark ticked by Thibaut Courtois had been a virtual spectator, but with only Fabregas’s goal to show for our dominance the visitors remained very much in the game.

A mix-up between Gary Cahill and Diego Costa meant the defender headed wide from a Fabregas corner when, in fact, it was the striker who was better placed to attack the ball, and there were a couple of bookings in quick succession for Swansea full-back pairing Kyle Naughton and Jonas Olsson shortly before the break.

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard was introduced to the crowd during the half-time interval and, after the club’s all-time highest goalscorer was given a fantastic reception by the fans, attention quickly turned back to the match itself.

We started the second half positively and almost straight from the restart we saw a good opportunity go begging as Hazard drove into the box and saw his low shot well saved by Fabianski.

From our next attack we went even closer to restoring our advantage as Diego Costa rolled the ball into the path of the advancing Fabregas, who rattled the bar from just outside the penalty area.

Swansea’s goal just before the break had given them something to cling onto, and while we were enjoying plenty of possession the visitors were getting men behind the ball in large numbers.

In the space of a couple of minutes both teams felt they should have been awarded penalties following incidents at opposite ends of the pitch, with Swansea believing the ball had struck Cesar Azpilicueta’s hand as he attempted to clear. Diego Costa then looked to have been brought down by Mawson, but again the referee waved play on.

From our next attack, though, we were back in front, with Pedro scoring for the third game in succession.

Kante found Fabregas, who in turn moved it on to Pedro, roughly 25 yards from goal. His left-footed strike was a decent one but Fabianski looked to have had it covered, only for the ball to creep under his arm and into the back of the net.
Courtois then saved a Sigurdsson free-kick and had to be alert to quickly gather the ball as it bounced away from him, before Conte made his first change with 15 minutes remaining, replacing Pedro with Nemanja Matic.

The Serbian produced a brilliant delivery from wide on the left which Kante volleyed over, but a minute later it was 3-1 when Hazard skipped past Naughton before pulling it back for Diego Costa, who fired home.

Fabregas, outstanding throughout, curled one just over the bar in the closing minutes, but the damage had been done thanks to those goals from Pedro and Diego Costa.

The victory ensured we equalled a club record of 12 successive home victories, and attention now turns to a huge London derby away at West Ham United a week on Monday.

 

- Match stats:

 

Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses ( Zouma 84), Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro ( Matic 75), Diego Costa, Hazard (Willian 84).
Unused subs: Begovic, Matic, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Batshuayi
Scorer Fabregas 19, Pedro 71, Diego Costa 84
Booked David Luiz 74

 

Swansea (4-3-3): Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson; Carrol (Ayew 75), Fer, Cork (c); Routledge (Narsingh 80), Llorente, Sigurdsson.
Unused subs: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Amat, Britton, Borja
Scorer Llorente 45+1
Booked Naughton 34, Olsson 35, Fer 79

 

Referee Neil Swarbrick.
Crowd 41,612


- Match report by chelseafc.com

Sponsors

Webmaster Luis Cuenca - Web diseñada por HPS, High Performance Solutions