Report - Swansea City 1-1 Chelsea
3rd November 2012
Pablo Hernandez rescued a point for Swansea City as they knocked Chelsea off the top of the Premier League table following a deserved 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.
Victor Moses opened the scoring on the hour mark as he nodded in Cahill's header from a corner, but when you might have thought that Di Matteo's side might have gone on to score a second or third, the Swans had other ideas as they battled brilliantly to create a goal worthy of a valuable point. Hernandez had to pick something out from the top draw to beat a world class goalkeeper like Petr Cech and he did with a superb low strike from 20 yards to find the bottom corner of the net.
Both teams were playing on the back of a mid-week Capital One Cup win. Chelsea played extra time on Wednesday to beat Manchester United, while the Swans were 3-1 winners at Liverpool to progress through to the quarter-finals.
Michael Laudrup was forced to make a change in defence as Chico Flores couldn't recover from a dead leg in time so skipper Garry Monk got a rare start, while Wayne Routledge returned to replace Nathan Dyer on the left wing.
While the Swans were playing some excellent passing football, at a far better quality than in previous weeks, Chelsea were the side that looked like scoring first - particularly when Torres created space at the front post to nod a corner goalwards, but fortunately Leon Britton was well-placed on the post to clear the danger - as Tremmel was well beaten.
Chelsea were causing problems for the Swansea defence, but there weren't many opportunies where we could see Tremmel's shot-stopping qualities as the hosts looked solid enough despite the absence of Chico Flores at the back. Petr Cech had little to do too as although Swansea had a good share of possession, they could only produce half chances before the break.
It was a well-contested opening 45 minute period, with two good sides looking for an opening goal, as opposed to some who prefer to sit back and be content with a goalless first half.
Roberto Di Matteo's side showed potential in the first half that they could get the three points they wanted after a disappointing first defeat of the season last week to title-rivals Manchester United, and the win looked odds-on when Victor Moses got the vital touch to Cahill's header to find the top corner of the net on the hour mark. It was a fortunate goal for the visitors as it looked like Moses didn't know too much about it.
Chelsea had increased the pace of their game in the second half as their manager must have told his players in the dressing room that they could get the three points if their attacking play was a bit slicker and quicker in the final third. Swansea's hardwork was undone, but they refused to give up and they showed their character and desire to pick up vital points, even against the title-chasing sides as the equalising goal was typical Swansea - superb build-up play and an excellent finish. The ball was well-worked to Hernandez from down the left wing, and he did brilliantly to pick out a 20-yard shot that flew past Cech's outstretched arm and deep into the bottom corner of the net.
The Swans have produced three good performances this week, beginning with their impressive display last weekend at Manchester City. While some of their previous performances have missed that slick passing play and defensive reliabity, they've bounced back in style - rounding off an impressive week - that also saw a 3-1 win at Liverpool against former manager Brendan Rodgers, with a well deserved draw against Chelsea.
Michael Laudrup will now look for his side to pick up a win against Southampton next weekend, as he openly admitted that that game has more importance to today's as they'll be up against another team looking to avoid relegation.