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13 April 2014
• Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 20761
D. Ba 68'
FT: SWA 0-1 CHE - Demba Ba's lone goal keeps Chelsea in the title race, after a hard-earned victory away at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea did well, given the fact that they played 70 minutes with ten men, but they spurned a host of chances. It's Chelsea with the three points.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: Swansea 0-1 Chelsea.
90' + 3'
Willian on the far side has a bit of a job to do to shake off Davies and send in a cross into the centre, but the referee halts his progress and awards the free-kick the other way.
90' + 2'
And the second goal continues to evade Chelsea! Salah again in the thick of it, as Williams leaves his position open. Through ball sideways to Eto'o, who misses the strike. Vorm chases him out of the box, but the covering defender clears the ball.
FOUR minutes have been added on at the end of the second half.
BONY!! A late chance from the hosts. A fantastic cross from Shelvey on the left finds the former Vitesse man in the box, with his glancing header awkward for Cech, who is forced to turn it behind.
Another look at those shot statistics: Total: Swansea 7-23 Chelsea; on target: Swansea 4-2 Chelsea.
SALAH! His finishing today has been non-existent. A chance for Chelsea to extend their lead this afternoon, but his goal bound effort is cleared off the line by Jonjo Shelvey.
Jonathan De Guzmán
Yellow Card John Obi Mikel
SUBSTITUTION - Swansea: Jonathan de Guzman replaces Leon Britton.
ETO'O! Another one goes wide from the Chelsea forward, who has been active since coming on after half-time.
Howler from Swansea, who are lucky not to go 2-0 down. Williams' poor clearance sees Oscar race forward in search of Eto'o, whose resulting shot is blocked.
Free-kick to Swansea. Taken very quickly by Shelvey who hoofs it into the opposition box. Perhaps a little too quickly for Routledge, who cannot get a header on it.
Fine football from Oscar, who slips in an innocuous through ball for Mohamed Salah, who cannot divert into goal from a very acute angle.
John Obi Mikel
SUBSTITUTION - Chelsea: John Obi Mikel replaces Demba Ba.
Nothing comes from the set-piece, as Swansea clear their lines accordingly. The likes of Williams and Rangel have been struggling in this second half.
Demba Ba chases a long pass from Nemanja Matic and faces pressure from an onrushing Michel Vorm, who claims, then spills the ball out for a corner. Very poor from the Dutchman, and it is a corner.
SUBSTITUTION - Swansea: Nathan Dyer has been replaced by David Ngog.
Should the Blues hold on, they will go two points behind Liverpool at the top of the table, ahead of their title deciding clash after Easter. Imperative that they hold out here, though.
The visitors are searching for their second goal though as Salah goes around expertly on Angel Rangel, but unable to engineer a goal-scoring opportunity.
Atmosphere deflated inside the Liberty now as Chelsea take the lead with just a quarter of the match remaining. The Blues nonetheless are good value for their lead.
Assist Nemanja Matić
Goal Demba Ba
GOAL!! Swansea 0-1 Chelsea - DEMBA BA! The goal has finally come, and it is from midweek hero Ba! The forward does well to shake off a defender and strike powerfully under Vorm - who gets a hand to it - and into the net.
Ben Davies gets forward well, but his cross is not met by Bony arriving in the centre, as both defender and striker slip, and Chelsea get the ball away.
Corner delivered in deep by Willian, but the move is scuppered after an unfair challenge in the box. Free-kick Swansea.
Oscar goes down under a strong challenge from Jonjo Shelvey, but the referee whistles for a corner after the former Liverpool man gets the last touch.
Statistic: Shots - Swansea 5-16 Chelsea, on target Swansea 4-1 Chelsea.
Lots of action at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea concede corner after corner after Vorm is forced to tip a dangerous delivery behind, but the Swans eventually repel, before being awarded a free-kick for a foul on Vorm.
And from the corner, Shelvey's superb delivery is met by the head of Bony who seems to have lost his concentration, and drags his header narrowly wide.
ROUTLEDGE! And at the other end, Swansea go close! Routledge with a fine effort, which takes a deflection off of Terry and out for a corner.
BA! Chelsea continuing to spurn the chane. Eto'o on the turn sees his shot blocked by the defender, before Ba's effort is well kept by Vorm. Swansea's defence creaking a little.
ETO'O!! Another golden opportunity goes begging for Chelsea. Willian's fine pass from the right is dealt with awfully by Williams, who leaves it into the path of Eto'o, who drags his shot wide.
DEMBA BA! A fine chance for the Senegalese forward. Wicked cross in from the right, and Ba glances forward, but diverts his header just wide of Vorm's goal!
Swansea are being buoyed by their home support as Chelsea's influence begins to wane. But the Blues have a decent chance after Salah sets Azpilicueta off on the overlap, with his cross being cleared just in front of the line.
Swansea sit in 15th place, with 33 points with West Brom (16th, 33 points) and Sunderland (20th, 25 points) having a game in hand. Anything other than defeat here at the Liberty would be a boost to their chances of survival.
Corner to Chelsea, delivered in by Willian towards the near post and cleared at the first attempt by Wilfried Bony. Referee Phil Dowd failed to notice the shirt-tug on Cahill in the box.
Oscar does well to pick out a team-mate, as he scours for options. Salah on the left delivers in a cross towards Eto'o, but Shelvey is on hand to clear the danger.
Nice footwork from Britton to send Dyer into a bit of space on this near side. The winger is unable to do much with it however, as Chelsea reclaim the ball.
SUBSTITUTION - Chelsea: Ramires has been replaced by Oscar.
SUBSTITUTION: Chelsea - Andre Schurrle has been replaced by Samuel Eto'o
UNDERWAY IN THE SECOND HALF! A big 45 minutes for Mourinho's men as they look to secure the victory to stay in the title race.
The second half is almost upon us, and Jose Mourinho has sent his team out early. Double substitution expected.
HT: SWA 0-0 CHE - intriguing first half at the Liberty Stadium. Chico's first half sending off remains the clear talking point, but the hosts are unperturbed, going closest with chances from Bony and Dyer.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME: Swansea 0-0 Chelsea
45' + 2'
SALAH! For the third time, he has spurned a decent opportunity for his side. Superb close passing from the midfield, and it comes to the Egyptian who powers it way over the bar.
45' + 1'
Into the first of two additional minutes at the Liberty Stadium
Yellow Card Andre Schürrle
YELLOW CARD - Andre Schurrle. The winger receives a booking for a foul on Rangel.
In a half in which Swansea have been disadvantaged in terms of playing numbers, it is they who have come closest, certainly testing the opposition goalkeeper more. Two fine efforts from Dyer and Bony.
DYER! The winger does well to defend an initial chance from the Blues, and he races forward to strike a stinging effort which Cech turns around for a corner.
Statistic: 10 attempts for Chelsea, compared to 3 for Swansea. On target, Swansea lead the shot count 2-0.
Branislav Ivanovic heads over the bar after a decent cross from Chelsea. Edging towards the interval at the Liberty Stadium, and it remains 0-0.
End to end stuff now as Ramires combines with Willian, as the former bundles into the box, amid suspicions of handball, but the hosts repel the danger at the minute.
Audacious shots aplenty. Seconds after Swansea attempt to catch out Cech, Willian cannot test Vorm with a quickfire attempt, as the ball loops over the bar.
Andre Schurrle booed on the ball by the Swansea fans. He was on the receiving end of the challenge that saw Chico Flores sent off earlier in this first half.
Another half-chance for the visitors. Ba does well to hold up the play and find Willian arriving to his left. The Brazilian centres it across goal, but it isn't met by anybody to finish it off.
Half-chance for Chelsea. Willian with a superb through ball for Salah inside the penalty box, but Swansea clear their lines.
Lovely delivery from Shelvey, whipped in deep, towards Routledge, but Chelsea get the ball away, but only towards a white shirt as Swansea resurrect the move.
Nathan Dyer does well to engineer a good chane on the right, delivering a cross on the far side. Handball by Schurrle from a neat dink by Britton, and Swansea have a good chance here.
A Chelsea defeat would put them five points adrift of Liverpool with four games left to play. The two sides face each other in two weeks in what is a three-way race for the Premier League title.
Matic concedes a free-kick after bringing down Wilfried Bony, in a move that wouldn't look out of place on the wing.
Goal-kick to Swansea after it appeared that Amat had conceded a corner. Ba incredulous at the decision, but goal-kick it is as we approach the half-hour.
Matic doing a good job breaking up play in the middle at the moment, and sets Chelsea on retaining possession in this attacking move. The Blues just gently keeping the ball and inviting the opposition to attack at them.
Jonjo Shelvey receives a reprimand from the referee after upending Azpilicueta, then lashing out at the linesman who called the foul.
Chelsea patient in their build-up as they populate the edge of the penalty box in numbers. Matic attempts an effort from distance, blocked well by Jordi Amat, and opens up an opportunity for Swansea to counter.
Bony latches onto the loose ball, but reaches a cul-de-sac, as he is surrounded by a number of blue shirts. Dispossessed by Ramires, before the ball is cleared by Cahill.
Salah races forward, linking with Willian who lets fly from just outside the box, but he sends his effort wide to the right of Vorm's goal.
Garry Monk's side look a little deflated as Chelsea begin to slip into their rhythm as the first half progresses. Swansea will have to play more than 70 minutes with ten men.
SUBSTITUTION - Swansea: Jordi Amat replaces Pablo Hernandez
The Liberty Stadium is up in arms, with chants of "cheat, cheat, cheat" going around the ground. Swansea have work to do, but they defend the resulting free-kick well.
Well, there is a considerable fall out from that decision. Phil Dowd took an absolute age to decide on whether he'd book Chico for a second time. After protests from the Chelsea bench, he has shown the red. Safe to say the Swansea faithful are not pleased at all.
RED CARD - Chico Flores! Phil Dowd, today's referee has sent off Chico for a second yellow card in two minutes after yet another rash challenge, this time on Schurrle.
Positive start from the hosts, who continue to pose a lot of questions to a sluggish Chelsea side at the moment. Nevertheless, the Blues are recovering from their malaise.
YELLOW CARD - Chico Flores: The Swansea defender is the first man in the book for a late challenge on Willian.
Yellow Card Chico
BONY! What a save from Cech. An innocuous cross from Rangel on the right, but Bony stretches the neck muscles to out jump Gary Cahill, and sends Cech sprawling to tip that powerful header over the bar!
Nathan Dyer spreads the play for Pablo Hernandez who moves into a bit of space. Three options in the middle, and Hernandez does well to win a corner, with Azpilicueta and Cahill on him.
Mistake from Chelsea in the middle allows Wilfred Bony a chance, a half one at that, as he runs into a bit of traffic in the middle of the park. Has options, with Britton arriving, but the chance eventually fizzles out.
Good tempo in the opening stages as Swansea advance at the other end. Another cross from the right after a neat run by Jonjo Shelvey, it is headed away by Branislav Ivanovic.
Salah causing a bit of trouble in the Swansea box. Matic with a superb pass over the top, causing Ben Davies to slip. Salah gets on the end of it,but sends a low shot wide once more.
SALAH!! That should've been 1-0. What a howler. Superb intricate play between Schurrle and Ivanovic, as the latter gallops down the right flank. Into the centre, as Salah arrives - he sends the ball wide of the goal! Unbelievable.
Chelsea advancing at the other end, their first foray into the Swansea box. Unable to test Michel Vorm as Williams gets the ball away with Ba unable to connect with the loose rebound.
Bright start from Swansea. Azpilicueta caught out as Rangel surges forward. The ball eventually ends up into the path of Pablo Hernandez, who struck a low shot. Well saved by Cech.
Bony continues his run forward, with Britton racing forward in midfield. Delivers the long pass, headed on towards the centre, but Cahill sees the ball away from danger.
Early pressure from Swansea who attack from the off. Innocuous cross delivered in from the right, but headed away by Chelsea at the earliest attempt.
UNDERWAY IN SWANSEA! The hosts get us started, attacking from right to left in this first half. A big game for both sides.
Impeccably observed at the Liberty Stadium. Seconds away from kick-off.
The teams are out at the Liberty Stadium, but first a minute's silence to remember the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, 25 years ago this week.
CHELSEA FC: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Salah, Willian, Schurrle; Ba
SWANSEA CITY: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams (C), Davies, Britton, Shelvey, Dyer, Hernandez, Routledge, Bony.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
History points to a Chelsea victory today. The Blues are unbeaten in their last seven league fixtures against the Welsh outfit, with Swansea not beating Chelsea at home since 1981.
Full-time at Anfield, and Premier League leaders Liverpool have beaten Man City 3-2. It puts Chelsea in a fine position, win today, and their remaining games (including a fixture against Liverpool themselves) would see them likely to wrest the title.
Chelsea meanwhile have lost each of their last three away games, at Crystal Palace, Paris Saint-Germain and Aston Villa, and coach Jose Mourinho will be aiming for his side to reverse that trend as we head into the final leg of the season.
Meanwhile, Garry Monk's men were beaten by Hull last week, putting them just three points ahead of Fulham, having provisionally played a game more. Defeat today will put them right in the danger zone, but Swansea can take heart, having beaten Chelsea over two legs in the Capital One Cup last year.
Chelsea are set to make changes from the side that knocked out Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday. They go on to face Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals next week.
It is a big game for both of these teams, with both sides eyeing opponents' results at the top and bottom of the table. Chelsea need a minimum three points to stay in touch with Liverpool at the top of the table, while Swansea look perilously over their shoulder, languishing near the drop zone.
Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon's Barclays Premier League clash between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium.
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