Chelsea 4-1 Swansea: Torres see’s red after sending rampant Chelsea on their way
The corner appeared to have been well and truly turned in the eyes of Fernando Torres before a wild two-footed challenge saw him sent off in Chelsea’s home 4-1 win against Swansea City. Torres opened the scoring after half and hour whilst Ramires doubled the lead seven minutes later. However before Torres left the pitch for half time, he was given his marching orders for a reckless tackle on Swansea’s Mark Gower. Ramires added his second after the break and despite the visitors pulling one back with four minutes remaining through Ashley Williams, Didier Drogba appeared from the bench to put the game beyond doubt in added time.
The win sees the Blues stay in third place, yet with Manchester United held to a 1-1 draw with Stoke City they are just three points adrift of both Manchester clubs. The win was as routine as you will see at Stamford Bridge all season, although it took Chelsea half an hour to really find their groove as well as that all important first goal. Andres Villas-Boas made two changes to last week’s line-up at Old Trafford with John Obi-Mikel replacing Frank Lampard and the influential Nicolas Anelka getting the nod ahead of Drogba.
Swansea in fact looked the more imposing of the two teams during the opening exchanges with ex-Chelsea youngster Scott Sinclair starring in midfield for the visitors. Branislav Ivanovich did well to bring to an end an impressive and dynamic run from the Swansea man who will go down in Premier League history as the man to score the first Premier League goal on Welsh soil. The groans of frustration coming from the disgruntled home fans clearly jolted Chelsea into action. Raul Meireles went close with a volley and Ramires was closed down as he tried to pull the trigger; the visitors managing to block the effort and clear the ball to safety.
There was a sense that Chelsea would not have to wait too long before the deadlock was broken however, surprisingly, after last weeks tremendous display in Manchester last week, it looked less likely to come from Torres. That was until a he collected a sublime chipped through ball from Juan Mata and with a defender close on his heels, swiveled in an instant and produced the kind of finish we know the Spaniard is capable of. While to say it made up for last week’s unbelievable miss at Old Trafford is to be kind, it certainly did the 26 year old’s confidence no harm.
Now a goal to the good, Chelsea could comfortably go about doubling the lead as they began to show a glimmer of the gold-studded brand of football they are capable of achieving under Villas-Boas. Ashley Cole did what he does best with a flying run down the left and picked out Ramires in a central position who kept his nerve to slide the ball under the on-rushing keeper.
With Chelsea now in complete control, the only way Swansea were going to get back into this game was if the hosts would let them and just moments before the half time whistle they offered the visitors a lifeline. With a reckless and dangerous studs up lunge, Torres left the ground in an attempt to dispossess Gower on the half way line. The referee rightly showed Torres the red card and ordered the Spaniard to leave the pitch, much to the disapproval and disgust of his manager.
That was exactly the incentive Chelsea did not want to offer Swansea who came out for the second half with their tails up. The only gift greater than having a man sent off moments before the break is a goal, and Brendan Rogers’ side were in the hunt for an equaliser. Wayne Routledge was introduced at half time in a bid to add speed and flair to Swansea’s attack and attack they did. The visitors went close from a corner before Nathan Dyer’s deflected effort from the edge of the box had Petr Cech sweating. Leroy Lita then went close but his shot was deflected over from a stretching Mikel after Angel Rangel had done well to pick the striker out.
It was backs to the walls stuff from the hosts, not a tactic you see played out too often by the home side at Stamford Bridge, but if they could nick one goal on the counter you could sense it would destroy the spirit of Swansea’s siege-style approach. Anelka nearly scored a goal of the season contender, hitting the bar with a powerful effort before Ramires bagged his second of the game. The Brazilian did well to cut inside the defender Williams before slotting home.
It was intended to completely knock the stuffing out of a spirited Swansea outfit, however Williams set up a nervy few minutes for the home crowd as he atoned for the third goal, scoring from a Gower free-kick. But it turned out to be all for nothing as substitute Drogba finished expertly as he was tightly marked; finding just enough space to get his shot away.
If Torres had managed to stay on his feet, 4-1 would have seemed a deserved and comprehensible scoreline however it does not tell the full story. Swansea were good value, and put Chelsea under pressure for long stints. The pleasing aspect in Villas-Boas’ eyes will be the grit and determination we now know Chelsea are capable of under the Portuguese; the ability to grind out results as we all know being a key weapon in any championship winning sides armoury. And this deserved win keeps the Blues apace with the leagues northern pace-setters.
Watch the goals from Chelsea 4-1 Swansea
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