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26 December 2013
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: M. Jones
• Attendance: 41111
E. Hazard 29'
That's all that we have time for, but we hope that you have enjoyed our live coverage of Chelsea's laboured 1-0 Boxing Day victory over Swansea. Laudrup's men move onto five games without a win in all competitions, but Mourinho won't mind. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
Mourinho looked rather flustered throughout, and Eto'o missed a hatful of opportunities to make the afternoon more bearable for Chelsea's fans, but they've got the all important win. Those points see Chelsea remain on the heels of the title pack.
FULL TIME! It's been hard work, but it's a Boxing Day win for Chelsea! A scrappy goal from Hazard is enough for three points for Mourinho's men, as Swansea offer nothing in attack. No shots on target for the visitors.
90' + 4'
Good block by Ramires! The Brazilian gets in the way of a strike from the edge of the box by Britton, and Chelsea look to be riding out this late pressure. Laudrup and Mourinho shake hands before the final whistle.
90' + 3'
Swansea are being given plenty of space in midfield, as Chelsea appear to be inviting them on. Mourinho is fuming, coming out of his technical area to give his team a piece of his mind! Swansea win a late corner off Ramires!
90' + 1'
Four minutes of stoppage time have been awarded, triggering a chorus of knowing groans from the Chelsea supporters.
Heading into stoppage time, and it looks likely that Chelsea will be stumbling over the line with three points this afternoon. Swansea haven't threatened all game, but continue to hold onto the ball as though they're settling into the early stages of a match.
Willian goes down after claiming to have been caught by a flailing arm. It looked to be a fairly innocuous clash, with the Swansea captain catching the substitutes with a glancing forearm blow. He'll be okay to continue.
Amazingly, Swansea haven't registered a shot on target all game, and yet find themselves able to grab a share of the spoils. The home fans continue to watch nervously, they've become accustomed to a lack of killer instinct costing them wins.
Yellow Card Ramires
Five minutes remaining, and Swansea still have a chance of picking up a point with a smash-and-grab chance. The visitors have been sorely lacking going forward, and the service to Vazquez and Bony has been diabolically inconsistent.
Hazard is substituted for Willian, as Mourinho looks to inject fresh legs to help his side over the finish line. Eto'o races through on goal, under pressure from Jordi Amat, and the Cameroonian goes down claiming a push. The referee waves away his protests.
Into the last ten minutes at Stamford Bridge, and this game is still far from its conclusion. Swansea remain within touching distance of their opposition thanks to a lack of clinical touch from Eto'o, and Ramires is next to squander a good opportunity letting Britton get in-between him and the ball on the edge of the Swans' penalty box..
Great tracking back from Hazard! He recovers well to catch up with the onrushing Taylor, preventing the Welsh left-back from delivering from the byline. Ramires heads the resulting corner out of danger, and Chelsea are continuing to hold on in a game in which they should be comfortable.
Nervy stuff from Ivanovic! He hacks the ball away wildly, giving Swansea a corner out of nothing. Fortunately for the Chelsea defender, he heads away the near post delivery to prevent Amat from levelling the scoreline.
Now the momentum has swung back into Chelsea's favour, with Ramires winning the hosts' 12th corner of the game. We're heading into the later stages of this fixture now, and Bony's first real involvement is to head Lampard's corner away from danger.
IVANOVIC! Lampard whips a free-kick delivery towards the penalty spot, but the Serbian right-back can only head way wide of the target. Ivanovic and Amat appeared to be all over each other then, gripping each others' shirts rather than concentrating on the ball.
Mourinho is continuing to pace around his technical area, looking increasingly more worried as time ticks by. Bony is warming up after being sent out from the other dugout, and the Ivorian could prove to be the Portuguese coach's Boxing Day nemesis.
LAMPARD! Great save by Tremmel, he dives well to his right hand side to push the England international's first effort at goal around the post! The hosts take the corner, but it fails to beat the first man.
Good defensive header from Ivanovic! The Serbia international is forced to nod Rangel's back post cross behind for a corner, with Routledge lurking behind him. The set piece is whipped in, but Chelsea clear. Nervy times for the home side.
Despite there being plenty of time left for either side to grab a goal, Chelsea eyes will be the ones worryingly looking towards the clock. Swansea would be pleased to leave with a point, while three points at home against mid-table opposition is vital for the hosts' title ambitions.
Oscar is given a standing ovation, mostly due to his tenacious will to track back and get stuck in, aswell as being capable of quality whilst on the ball. Lampard takes to the field, and a goal from the prolific veteran is certainly what Mourinho will be after.
The atmosphere has gone back to being incredibly flat, with the home fans perhaps starting to feel the tension. This is reminiscent of Chelsea struggling to a victory against Crystal Palace in recent weeks, and the same happening today won't do any Blues supporters any good!
Chelsea continue to struggle, as Swansea come back into the game. The away side are seeing more of the ball, and it is increasingly looking as though Chelsea may regret the likes of Eto'o squandering some good chances.
Swansea show their teeth for the first time in the second half, winning a corner, but it comes to nothing for the visiting side. De Guzman replacing Canas should provide some more invention in midfield for the Swans, which is exactly what they need to get Vazquez involved.
Jonathan De Guzmán
Half an hour left to play, and Chelsea still are unable to kill off this game. Swansea haven't threatened Cech's goal whatsoever in this second half, but only Hazard looks capable of finding the back of the net for the home side. Should the visitors introduce Bony, he could be the man to make an impact on proceedings.
Swansea enjoy a nice spell of possession, with Britton turning skilfully past Ramires with a smart drag-back. There is a sense that Swansea will get a great opportunity at some point during this second half. Hazard drives into the visitors' penalty area, but Jordi Amat gets across brilliantly to make the sliding challenge.
Poor ball from Eto'o! A Swansea attack peters out, allowing for Mata to drive from deep and to let Chelsea break. Hazard finds Eto'o on the left hand side, before the former Anzhi man cuts inside and plays a momentum-slaying ball all the way back to Mikel. The home crowd groan.
The home fans are just getting a little restless, as Chelsea continue to make hard work of this game. Swansea are yet to burst into life in the second half, with Hernandez having very little influence. Hazard continues to be the biggest threat.
Chelsea continue to press, but Swansea remain resilient. A combination of stout defending and poor finishing from Eto'o are making the Swans a rather hard nut to crack. The sooner a second goal can be found, the sooner the hosts can relax.
ETO'O! He's dragged another effort wide! Hazard plays the ball inside to the lone striker, who sidesteps before firing narrowly wide of the post, after nutmegging Williams. Only a half chance, but Mourinho still looks on with anguish.
Hazard continues to plague Rangel with his presence, and Chelsea continue to look the more potent side. Swansea have kept the ball well at times, but they've lacked the cutting edge to be incisive and give Vazquez an opportunity.
Mourinho can't quite believe what he's seeing on the touchline, Eto'o has been exceptionally wasteful in front of goal. The hosts should be out of sight this afternoon, but inside are still searching for the safety of a two-goal lead.
ETO'O! ANOTHER MISS! Well, from kick-off, David Luiz feeds Mata in behind, before delivering an excellent ball to the back post! Eto'o connects with a volley, but Tremmel makes the save!
We are back underway in the second half! Chelsea have a slender lead, but have often been the masters of their own downfall after failing to convert good chances. Swansea opt to make a half-time change, throwing on Hernandez in place of Pozuelo, and Laudrup will hope the former Valencia man can provide an additional threat.
Eto'o has squandered a few half chances, with Ashley Williams doing well to make two blocks before the deadlock was broken. Mourinho's men need to kill the game off, before the tricky likes of Shelvey and Pozuelo come back to bite them in the later stages.
HALF TIME! Chelsea head into the dressing room with a slim 1-0 lead, after a scrappy goal from Eden Hazard gave the hosts the advantage on the half hour mark. Swansea haven't tested Cech, but have looked good on the ball at times, as can be expected.
ETO'O! The lone striker is found in the penalty area, cleverly skipping in behind Williams, but he can only pivot and fire into the legs of his marker. He's been a willing runner and readily involved thus far, but he needs to at least test Tremmel from inside the area.
Headed away by Rangel! Mata fires a brilliant ball into the area, but the Spanish right-back is the only player present at the back post, with Hazard instead choosing to hug the touchline. That was put into the perfect area, but nobody was forthcoming to meet it.
ETO'O! The former Anzhi man is put through on goal by a very clever through ball, but could only fire his effort into the ground under pressure from Jordi Amat! That should be 2-0, but instead the strike is easily collected by Tremmel.
Good defensive header from Terry! Shelvey whips in a good free-kick delivery to the back post, but the Chelsea defender rises well to divert the ball away from goal. Routledge picks up the pieces, but Oscar gets out well to rob him of the ball.
Oscar continues to lap up the appreciation from his home fans, throwing himself into several challenges perhaps over-zealously, as he works for the cause. Just over five minutes before the end of the first half, and Chelsea could do with picking up the cushion of a second goal.
What a waste! Shelvey dusts himself down to take the free-kick which he won, and blasts way over the bar from 40 yards out! Cech is yet to be troubled in this first half, aside from poking a Vazquez effort over his crossbar.
Swansea have dragged themselves back into this game after conceding the opening goal, with Shelvey again heavily involved for the visitors. The former Charlton youngster exchanges possession excellently with Routledge, before forcing Luiz to make a cynical challenge.
HAZARD! Great move from Chelsea! Hazard cuts in from the left, before exchanging a one-two with Mata on the edge of the Swansea area. He strikes the return pass first-time, but can only guide the ball into the arms of Tremmel.
VAZQUEZ! His effort is tipped over the bar by Cech, after a flick-on from Shelvey finds the Spaniard at the back post. He fires towards the target, but Cech is able to beat the ball over the crossbar, even though it might have been going over the woodwork of its own accord.
After a spell of dominance, Chelsea have their reward, even if the goal itself wasn't all too pretty. Hazard has been a real menace throughout for the hosts, and it's fitting that he was the man to give them the first-half lead. Swansea have reacted well to going behind.
Almost a big mistake by Tremmel! The goalkeeper tries to beat an opposite player, rather than clearing his lines, and Eto'o is almost able to steal the loose ball and convert. Close to being 2-0, there!
Assist Ashley Cole
Goal Eden Hazard
GOOOOOOAL! EDEN HAZARD OPENS THE SCORING! The Belgian beat Rangel with ease, before firing a low effort which bobbles through both Williams and Tremmel and into the net! The Swans' goalkeeper looked to be unsighted by the sprawling body of his captain.
Shelvey shows wit and guile to go past Mikel with quick feet in the middle of midfield, but his eventual pass fails to reach its intended target. The Englishman's performance has been frustrating thus far, he's shown real quality, but made elementary mistakes.
This is encouraging from Chelsea, as Swansea's bright start is a distant memory. The hosts are winning corner after corner, with the inventive trio behind Eto'o causing all types of problems. All that is remaining is for Mourinho's men to find the final product.
Wonderful tricky from Mata! The Spain international approaches the byline, shapes to cross the ball, but instead pulls off a smart Cruyff turn. Pozuelo slides in hoping the block the delivery, but is embarrassed, going to ground while Mata twists back on himself.
DAVID LUIZ! Juan Mata whips in a free-kick delivery from deep on the left hand side, but the Brazilian can't get enough contact on the ball to direct it towards the far post. Nobody is steaming in at the back to try and get on the flick-on either.
This is better from Chelsea, as the hosts begin to show their dominance on their own turf. The likes of Hazard, Oscar and Mata are starting to pop up in all areas of the field, but the resolve of Williams and co. is holding out at the moment.
OFF THE LINE! Williams does excellently to hook the ball from off the line, as Mikel looks to try and stab home a squared effort from Terry! The Nigerian midfielder really should have done all he could to get a touch on that cross!
IVANOVIC! The Serbian has another effort from the edge of the penalty area, but his half-volley is charged down by a ruck of Swansea players. Chelsea are beginning to pile on some pressure, and the crowd is responding.
TERRY! The Chelsea captain gets on the end of an excellent ball from Oscar, after the Brazilian robs Pozuelo of possession. He volleys the ball into the ground in front of him, but Tremmel is forced to palm the looping effort over his bar.
Good idea from Eto'o! The Cameroonian striker turns smartly on the edge of the penalty area, before trying to poke Oscar in behind the Swansea defence, but the Brazilian wasn't quite on the same wavelength and the intended pass runs out of play for a goal-kick.
RAMIRES! The Brazilian picks up a clever pass by Eto'o, before firing a tame effort into the arms of Tremmel. Stamford Bridge remains subdued, as Chelsea go through the motions, but that effort drew some applause.
SHELVEY! The former Liverpool man was given plenty of space by Mikel, as the Nigeria international allows him to drive towards the edge of the penalty box. He lets fly from 20 yards, but drags his low strike wide of the target.
Swansea are standing firm, despite Chelsea being keen to press forward with pace whenever possible. Mourinho's men seem prepared to allow the Swans to keep hold of the ball, allowing them to break with pace and purpose. Thus far, however, the visitors are looking solid enough.
IVANOVIC! Williams deflects the Serbian's effort over the crossbar, with Tremmel diving in the opposite direction! The German goalkeeper would have made the save, after good work from Eto'o to set the ball back to his teammate with a cheeky back-heel.
Great covering from Taylor! Oscar is played through on goal, but a poor touch from the Brazilian allows for the Wales international to get across from left-back and hoof the ball off the toe of the advancing Chelsea man. If he'd displayed better control, Oscar would have been in on goal.
Shelvey has given the ball away twice in quick succession, as the English midfielder's tendency to play positive balls plays his side into danger.
Jordi Amat has the game's first real attempt, diverting a header towards goal from range, but it loops harmlessly over Cech's crossbar. The hosts aren't quite finding a footing in this game.
A rather flat atmosphere to compliment a sloppy start to proceedings at Stamford Bridge, as both sides exchange possession needlessly. Vazquez and Rangel nutmeg two players in quick succession as they drive through the centre of the midfield.
Pozuelo tracks back brilliantly to dispossess Hazard, and the Spaniard will have to be alive to the danger of the Belgian throughout the game. Rangel is only just returning to match fitness, and could be given a run-around by the talented former Lille winger.
Poor stuff from Swansea in the opening stages, as a few passes are uncharacteristically misplaced under little pressure. Vazquez and Pozuelo look to combine and drive their side up the field, but again a return ball has too much weight on it, and Luiz sweeps up.
Angel Rangel and Hazard tussle on the edge of the area, and almost looks to tug down the Belgian, but the Spanish right-back is saved by his own ability to get a toe to the loose ball, as Hazard looks to cut inside and shoot.
Swansea are trying to see some of the ball in the early stages, retaining possession with their sometimes rather risky triangles in defence. Eto'o and Ramires look to break at pace, with the Brazilian busting a gut to get forward, but the one-two doesn't quite come off.
We are underway in our Boxing Day instalment of Premier League action, with Chelsea hoping to pick up three points to carry them further into the title race mix!
Both sides are out on the Stamford Bridge turf, with a festive rendition of The Liquidator helping to get the home crowd into good voice. It looks like a full voice, and this should be a rather interesting match-up. Chelsea have plenty of excellent offensive options, with Swansea having had a re-shuffle in advanced positions.
Ten minutes until kick-off, and Mourinho will undoubtedly want three points as a belated Christmas present from his Chelsea side. His side need to keep the mentality that they can win the league among growing expectation, and today is a perfect opportunity to set themselves up for a successful second half of the season. Swansea will presumably be glad to take a point home to Wales this evening.
Swansea haven't found three league points since their victory over Newcastle at the start of December, with league draws against Hull City and Norwich failing to gift the Welsh side some momentum heading into the New Year. A hard-fought draw last time out against Arsenal has provided Chelsea fans with the optimism that their club can chase the title during the current campaign, but they need to make Stamford Bridge a fortress in order to do so.
Swansea substitutes: Zabret, Taylor, Chico, Bony, Pablo Hernandez, Lamah, De Guzman.
Swansea starting line-up: Tremmel; Angel Rangel, Williams, Jordi Amat, Davies; Britton, Canas; Pozuelo, Shelvey, Routledge; Vazquez.
Chelsea substitutes: Schwarzer, Lampard, Torres, Schurrle, Willian, Cahill, Azpilicueta.
Chelsea starting line-up: Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, David Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Eto'o.
TEAM NEWS: Tremmel keeps his place in between the sticks for the visitors, with Angel Rangel recovering from injury to replace Dwight Tiendalli. Jordi Amat is preferred to Chico at centre-half, with Leon Britton given preference over Jonathan de Guzman. No Chico or Wilfried Bony for the Swans, with the Spanish duo of Pozuelo and Alvaro Vazquez replacing the two absentees, with Bony not quite back to full fitness.
TEAM NEWS: Frank Lampard is dropped to the bench for the home side, as Ramires slots into the defensive midfield role with John Obi Mikel. Juan Mata and Samuel Eto'o come into the starting line-up in place of Willian and Fernando Torres, with Ashley Cole and David Luiz being handed defensive starts once again. Plenty of rotation from the Portuguese boss.
We hope that you had a brilliant Christmas, but now it's back down to business with a fixture that possibly has bearing on who tops the Premier League on New Year's Day. Chelsea would need results to go incredibly in their favour, but Mourinho's men sit two points off Liverpool who are currently enjoying themselves on the top of the pile. Swansea have found themselves stagnating in recent weeks, and Michael Laudrup will presumably be keen to push back into the top half of the table as soon as possible.
Good afternoon and welcome to live Premier League coverage of Chelsea vs Swansea on a chilly Boxing Day at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho has been keen to speak of the pressure on his team to perform heading into 2014, as the Portuguese coach's side have a realistic chance of taking home silverware at the end of the season. Swansea arrive without a win in four games, after the sucker-punch of conceding a late Ross Barkley free-kick last time out.
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