Radamel Falcao returned for Chelsea but a Gylfi Sigurdsson goal at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday was enough for Swansea City to record their first ever win in the Premier League over the Blues.
It was an unusual afternoon for the Blues in terms of team selection, as they were missing several key first team regulars, and handed rare starts to Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Matt Miazga as a result.
While Miazga had an impressive debut in Chelsea’s last game against Aston Villa, the 20-year old was hooked at half time after a torrid first half in Chelsea’s central defense, and was replaced by the Brazilian, Kenedy.
Diego Costa’s absence also meant a rare start for Alexandre Pato, as he led the line for the Blues and while he showed occasional flashes of brilliance, he was wasteful for the most part.
The Premier League champions began the game with a bit of intent as Loftus-Cheek had the first shot of the game within the opening two minutes but it was straight at Lukas Fabianski in goal for Swansea.
And the Swans ceased the initiative from there with the lively Jefferson Montero giving Caesar Azpilicueta the runaround, forcing the usually reliable Spaniard into so many rash tackles.
But it wasn’t just Azpilicueta who was finding Montero’s pace and trickery too much to deal with, as Miazga was also being given the runaround by the Peruvian, which as a result disoriented the Chelsea defence.
Asmir Begovic, called in ahead of the recently erratic Thibaut Courtois, made some early minute saves to save Chelsea’s blushes, as Monterro, Andre Ayew and Sigurdsson combined well up front for the Swans.
Chelsea were also not without their chances but it was Swansea who seemed to want it more, as they kept the pressure on the Blues’ defence, which eventually caved with the impressive Sigurdsson beating the stranded Begovic with a left-footed half volley.
The first half continued with Chelsea creating half chances, Loftus-Cheek, playing in the number 10 role looking their most dangerous outlet, but it was Swansea that looked most likely to score whenever they went forward.
At the start of the second half, Kenedy was introduced for Miazga, and the change saw John Obi Mikel moved to central defence, where he partnered with Branislav Ivanovic.
The outgoing Premier League champions tried as much as possible to get an equalizer, and almost did when a Pedro cross found Pato, only for the Brazilian to miss by whiskers. The introductions of Bertrand Traore and Radamel Falcao did little to change the course of the game, as Swansea reached the 40-point mark, which almost guarantees them safety in the Premier League.