IF YOU think Chelsea defended badly here — just wait until David Luiz is in the team.
Then the fun is really going to start.
It will be sooner than we thought after John Terry piled more agony on Antonio Conte’s stretched defence by limping onto the team bus on crutches after a game in which Chelsea shot themselves in the foot.
Manager Conte was hoping to slowly ease accident-prone new signing Luiz, 29, back into action at his own pace.
And at the same time work hard behind the scenes to iron out the mistakes and kamikaze mentality that are bywords for the fuzzy-haired Brazilian.
But with skipper Terry crocked and just four days until the next game — at home to Liverpool — the decision has been taken out of his hands.
Terry was forced to soldier on until the end because Conte had already used his three subs.
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But the problem was not so much trying to overcome Swansea, the real reason Chelsea failed to win and stay neck and neck with early table-toppers Manchester City is because of their own blunders at the back.
England centre-back Gary Cahill’s lapse in concentration in the second half symbolised a game Chelsea let slip through their fingers.
From 1-0 up they went 2-1 down before Diego Costa’s spectacular scissors kick nine minutes from time saved a point and some of their blushes.
Cahill argued furiously that he was relieved of the ball unfairly by Leroy Fer, who went on to bury it past exposed keeper Thibaut Courtois to put Swansea ahead in the 62nd minute.
But it is still embarrassing. It was either his fault for dithering or Terry’s for passing to him and putting him under pressure right in front of his goal.
Antonio Conte reacts after a Chelsea chance goes begging[/caption]
A similar rush of blood had allowed Swansea to equalise on 59 minutes.
Modou Barrow’s cross curled enough to drag Courtois to the edge of his box with Gylfi Sigurdsson closing in. Unsure of what to do, the 6ft 5in Belgian stuck out a leg and left it hanging to trip the Swansea man and concede a penalty.
Sigurdsson tucked the spot kick away and brought the game back to life.
Conte had little sympathy for his team.
He said: “We had the possibility to kill the game and, if you have that possibility, you must kill the game. We must learn this.
“We were leading 1-0 and then, in two minutes, we were losing 2-1 and risked losing the game. It’s difficult to think we lost those two points today.”
So, bang goes the 100 per cent record Conte was enjoying and there is work for him to do at the back to plug the gaps.
There will be a fair few Chelsea fans worried today that they have turned to erratic Luiz as the man to steady the ship in the middle of a squall.
Sadly, his big-hair does not hide a big football brain and Conte has admits he has a big job to do putting his ‘sweat’ into turning Luiz into one of the best defenders in the world.
Conte is right that his players showed great character to claw their way back into the match.
Costa swept home an 18th-minute opener after Swansea showed that Chelsea do not have exclusivity on sloppy defending, blasting a shot into the bottom corner after Federico Fernandez failed to clear properly.
Costa claimed his sixth goal against Swansea in four Prem games too when he rifled home in mid-air from a deflection off Jordi Amat.
That saved his team but the defence has also cost Chelsea plenty already this season.