DIEGO COSTA rescued a point for Chelsea with a brace after they suffered a second-half collapse against Swansea.
Antonio Conte’s men were in cruise control after the Spaniard gave them an 18th-minute lead from inside the Swansea penalty box. But second-half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Leroy Fer turned the game on its head, after howlers from Thibaut Courtois and Gary Cahill, before their star man shone again with a late leveller.
The visitors were comfortably holding on to their early lead when their Belgian No1 hauled down the Iceland star, on 49 minutes, who got up and drove his spot-kick down the middle and into the net.
And, just three minutes later, England centre-back Cahill was too casual receiving a square pass from John Terry which allowed Dutch midfielder Fer to sneak in, rob the ball and ghost it under Courtois.
But Costa robbed Swansea of their big chance to cause a massive early upset when he hurled himself through the air for a brilliant bicycle kick.
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin had never beaten Chelsea manager and fellow Italian Antonio Conte as a coach or a player before this match. A great day for him then.
- Diego Costa’s 18th minute goal was his sixth against generous Swansea City in four Premier League matches for the in-form Spaniard.
- Costa’s fellow Spaniard Cesc Fabregas was again left to ponder his future at Chelsea from his seat on the bench. A World Cup winner with big question marks over his chances under Conte.
- More understandably it was the same situation for new signing David Luiz. The fuzz-ball defender returned to Chelsea on transfer deadline day and is now on a mission to become a much more reliable player under Conte - could be a long wait.
- City boss Guidolin dropped a clanger with his tactics and was forced to ditch his back three before half time because his team was being overrun. Left wing-back Neil Taylor was the victim who made way.
Was Chelsea defender Gary Cahill fouled in the lead up to Swansea's 2nd goal
- Many fans thought Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois would be sent off for legging over Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 61st minute that gave Swansea a penalty. But law changes this year mean it is just a booking unless the offence is a red card one it itself so Courtois got just a yellow.
- Swansea’s win will be welcomed at Manchester City as it means they are now the only Premier League team left with a 100 per cent record this season. A nice little boost for new boss Pep Guardiola.
- Victor Moses was met with cries of ‘cheat’ when coming on as a 77th minute sub. Swansea fans deserve a pat on the back for their memories at least as they still have the hump over a penalty incident from the 2014/15 season when Moses was on loan at Stoke. Let it go!!
- Ref Andre Marriner was at the centre of controversy for his decisions - in his first game since being criticised for missing Sergio Aguero’s elbow in the face of West Ham defender Winston Reid.
- Chelsea boss Conte is normally so animated when his team scores but channelled all his energy into calming his bench down when Costa struck his equaliser - physically shoving them back into their seats so he could bring n sub Michy Batshuayi.
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THE BIG PICTURE
DREAM TEAM RATINGS:
SWANSEA: Fabianski 7, Naughton 6, Fernandez 6, Amat 6, Kingsley 6, Taylor 6, Cork 6, Fer 7, Ki 6, Sigurdsson 7, Llorente 7.
SUBS: Barrow 6, Rangel 6.
BOOKED: Fer, Fernandez, Amat.
CHELSEA: Courtois 4, Ivanovic 7, Cahill 5, Terry 6, Azpilicueta 6, Kante 6, Matic 6, Willian 7, Oscar 7, Hazard 6, Costa 8.
SUBS: Fabregas 6, Moses 6, Batshuayi 6.
BOOKED: Costa, Courtois, Hazard, Terry.
STAR MAN: Diego Costa.
Costa equalised with a brilliant bicycle kick[/caption]
WHAT THEY SAID:
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte told Sky Sports: "It's a bit difficult to talk about the game because we lost two points. We were dominating the game and leading 1-0 and created a lot of chances to score the second and third goals. It's a pity because when you have the possibility to kill the game you must kill the game."
Swansea City boss Francesco Guidolin told Sky Sports: "It is a good result against a very strong Chelsea team. For us it was difficult after the first [Chelsea] goal because before then we played good football."
On subbing Neil Taylor in the first half: "I chose to change something and I am sorry with Neil Taylor. He is a good guy. He understood - there's no problem between us. In the dressing room we spoke together - no problem. At that moment my team needed a reaction and I had to change something."
Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta told Sky Sports: "It's a huge disappointment because we had control of the game for most of the time. We came here to get three points and to go away with one is disappointing.
"The second goal is a clear foul on Gary Cahill. The spirit of the team was very good. Diego Costa's work is reflected in the game. When he is scoring goals we are doing the right things."
Swansea scorer, Leroy Fer told Sky Sports: "We came back strongly with two good goals, it's a good point for us. Chelsea were better in the first half. It's a massive point and we have to get confidence from this game."