As the Christmas period approaches, it seems as if the teams are saving up their energy for the busy schedule that comes with it. A midweek match was never going to be played in full tempo but Wednesday’s fixture between Chelsea and Swansea City was simply disappointing.
The match never took off to the usual speed of Premier League match and the display was anything but exciting. Chelsea can be forgiven for playing in their second gear. After all they completed a 5000 mile trip to Azerbaijan and finished a high-intensity match at Anfield in the last seven days. Antonio Conte rested his ace forwards Eden Hazard and his absence was felt on the pitch as the Blues failed to cut open clear chances despite having most of the possession.
The break finally coming in the second half from Chelsea’s corner after it was taken short and then Antonio Rudiger heading it in from close range to an empty net. The simple fact that Chelsea earned sixteen corners showed the lethargic nature of Swansea’s approach who would be ruing the fact that had they been a little more alert and productive on the ball, they could have come away with all something from the match.
Chelsea will be happy to have come away with all three points as they failed to perform distinctly enough to merit a winning scoreline by a bigger margin. The focus on the match, however, went to the referee who seemed to be focusing harder on Antonio Conte’s voice than getting his on-field decisions right. He ended up sending the Chelsea manager to the stands.
Here is a look at the player ratings for the Blues on the night.
Thibaut Courtois: 6
Could have taken a chair to sit on for most of the match. Had only a few routine catches to make throughout the match.
Davide Zappacosta: 6.5
A constant threat on the right flank and a series of good crosses to keep Swansea City defence busy.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
The pacey German did well for himself as he came away with a goal for the Blues.
Andreas Christensen: 7
Another calming display from the Dane, as he looks ready for the big role at the back.
Gary Cahill: 6.5
An easy night for the Chelsea captain with not much defending to do.
Marcos Alonso: 6.5
A routine day out on the left flank as he stuck to his basics and did nothing wrong on the pitch.
N’Golo Kante: 7
Breaking up the opposition’s play is what he does and is exactly what he did.
Cesc Fabregas: 7
A lethargic Swansea meant Fabregas had all the time to pick out his passes and he did that without much ado.
The Brazilian looks better and better with every match as he nears his old form.
A wasteful day for the Spaniard as he looked out of sorts for the Blues.
Alvaro Morata: 6
Could have come away with a goal at least but instead chose to get himself booked in the silliest fashion.
Victor Moses: 5
Clearly needs more time to get back to his old form as he returns after a long spell off.