Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Swansea 1 – 1 Chelsea: an honest look at the game.

As I'm sure many will have said as they poured from the stadium last night: had Chelsea scored first and Swansea equalised (a la Spurs) it would be a scoreline worth celebrating. However, last night's point is acceptable to be annoyed at. As I see it, it is two points dropped.

As many others will have said: to be disappointed with a draw against Chelsea really shows Swansea have come a long way. Yes it does, but that fact doesn't make the disappointment any easier.

Looking at the match, and the evening in general, it was quite entertaining. The first half saw the typical Swansea set-up and the slick pass-and-move philosophy. Swansea could well have taken the lead at the 15-minute mark when three beautiful open-goal opportunities presented themselves, but it was not to be.

The pressure did pay off when Scott Sinclair took a blind swing at a bouncing ball and it dipped and floated past Petr Cech. A deserved 1-0 to the Swans.

Second half was a different game. Swansea's passing was way off the mark, with one too many loose passes and aimless runs. I had a feeling it wouldn't end 1-0 and I was right. It's just so cruel that the equaliser came in the 93rd minute from an own goal! The own goal won't be remembered though – Taylor had a good night and didn't deserve it. But Chelsea's goal looked imminent during the last 20 minutes.

I think a turning point was bringing on Luke Moore for Scott Sinclair. Apart from the goal, Sinclair didn't have an outstanding night, so a sub was a decent call. Bringing on Moore wasn't. He just doesn't do the running of Sinclair and never seems that interested in defending. I'd have brought on Routledge or even Richards if they wanted to close the game up. Ultimately Moore let Bosingwa through and there came the goal.

Moore and his lackadaisical approach aside and it was a decent team performance: Dyer didn't seem as composed as usual, but frustrated the hell out of the Chelsea midfield towards the end. Ashley Williams put in a good man-of-the-match performance, while Caulker mopped up a lot of loose ball at the back. Leon Britton was busy as usual and Kemy Agustien seemed to have a positive impact when coming on.

The referee was terrible in the second half generally, though he did issue the yellow cards and eventually send off Ashley Cole, so he got something right.

We can't blame the referee though. Swansea let Chelsea keep possession and territory in the second half and that led to the goal. The now famous “Swansea Triangle” was rarely seen in the latter stages. The skill is always there, but the composure and concentration is the thing that tends to transform three points into the single one with Swansea.

Still, it's a point...

Onto West Brom on Saturday, where there's now just a little more pressure to get the away win.

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