Sat 03 Nov 2012 15:00 (Attendance: 20,527)
The first game in November sees Chelsea go west, looking to stay top of the pile. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton switch their attention from cup to league…
Chelsea's unbeaten runs in the Champions League and Barclays Premier League were ended in consecutive games over the last 10 days, so a return to winning ways on Wednesday was timely.
The manner of the success over Manchester United - coming from behind three times, scoring a hatful and never giving up - is becoming a hallmark of this Chelsea side. Late goals have also served the team well. The three on Wednesday brought to eight the total notched from the 80th minute onwards this season.
The Blues' back four has also weighed in with an impressive 13 goals this season. Gary Cahill (pictured below) now has five to his name and is behind only Juan Mata (seven) and Fernando Torres (six) on the top scorers list.
However, ahead of this weekend's trip to Wales, the number of goals our leaky defence has conceded domestically has suffered upward inflation: one, two, three, and now four goals on the spin, and no clean sheet in five matches in all competitions.
Saturday's hosts Swansea, buoyed by their own triumph at Anfield on Wednesday, have likewise not prevented the opposition scoring at the Liberty since West Ham visited in August.
That 3-0 demolition of the Hammers moved Michael Laudrup's team to top slot before three straight losses deposed them to 11th, where they remain. The concerned Dane emphasised the need to start home games especially well, but they have not hit the net in the first hour of a game at the Liberty since.
Chelsea's 5-4 extra-time win over Man United avoided a run of three successive defeats for the first time since almost exactly a decade ago under Claudio Ranieri. It also added another match to the Blues' bulging pre-Christmas schedule.
Our League Cup quarter-final away to time-honoured foes Leeds United, is delayed till 19 December, just two days after the squad's return flight from the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan lands in the UK.
The total of games to be played before the end of the year now rises to 16 in eight weeks. No one is complaining - it is a signal of success - but the physical demands on playing staff is mirrored by financial ones on supporters in straitened times.
It is all the more impressive, then, that Swansea and West Brom away, Liverpool, Man City and Shakhtar at home have all sold out, with others presently available almost certain to follow suit. More than 600 tickets have already been sold to Chelsea's intrepid Club World Cup pioneers.
Everton received a Capital One Cup allocation of five thousand at Elland Road this season; Southampton were offered three thousand. Such has been the enthusiasm among Chelsea fans for the Leeds trip - the first there since December 2003 - there is certain to be huge demand for a seat.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Manchester United v Arsenal 12.45pm Sky Sports
Fulham v Everton 3pm
Norwich v Stoke 3pm
Sunderland v Aston Villa 3pm
Swansea v Chelsea 3pm
Tottenham v Wigan 3pm
West Ham v Manchester City 5.30 ESPN
QPR v Reading 1.30pm Sky Sports
Liverpool v Newcastle 4pm Sky Sports
West Brom v Southampton 8pm Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League top 12|
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It is the day of the game and joining club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton to complete their look at the match in South Wales is former player Clive Walker…
Chelsea look to return to winning ways in the league on Saturday. Former Chelsea winger Clive Walker provides an insight as to how it might be achieved.
'It would be unfair to say Brendan Rodgers's former players beat his new players at Liverpool in midweek, but there is some truth that he instilled the passing mentality at Swansea. Two of their best players, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Joe Allen, moved on in the summer, though, and so have Swansea.
'In Rodgers' 4-3-3 the wingers stayed wide quite rigidly. Under the new coach Michael Laudrup they have licence to come into the middle more. What it means is that they are closer to the midfielders and striker.
'Sometimes in their first Premier League season they seemed keener to retain possession than take risks. The current manager has a bit more adventure about him and has put the emphasis on attacking, and they are much more direct this season.
'You always have a trade-off - as Robbie Di Matteo is finding too. So maybe Swansea are a little more vulnerable at the back when they lose the ball than they were before.
'Victor Moses took his opportunity to shine in midweek. He ran the young defenders ragged, showed strength and endeavour and created goals and chances. He offers something a little bit different to the others who play behind the striker and is a good "out" ball to the flank.
'I thought Danny Sturridge did okay leading the line against Man United and took his goal very well but he sometimes makes the wrong choice. Fernando Torres is available again and he will have a point to prove. I imagine he will come back in, but Sturridge is there if required.
'It's probably good news for the Blues that Swansea's first choice keeper Michel Vorm is out injured. He has been in terrific form for them, but Gerhard Tremmel has come in, played in the Liverpool win and made a few decent saves.
'He's 33 and has Bundesliga experience but this will be only his third Premier League appearance, and he won't have faced many sides with as much attacking threat from all angles as this Chelsea side. There were 25 shots against Manchester United. I'm sure Tremmel's eyes would have popped if he saw that stat.
'Swansea are a counter-attacking side and Michu and Pablo Hernández give them pace and a cutting edge on the break. Michu has been the surprise package so far this season. So far most of his goals have come against lower half sides at home though.
'Mind you, Chelsea's defending has left something to be desired in recent weeks. This is the last of the four games John Terry is banned. You only need look at the statistics to know how much the defence has missed him: nine goals let in over three matches.
'Cesar Azpilicueta had a mixed night against United. He did good things and some of his cover play, with pace to burn, was impressive. But he did give away a penalty and is still adjusting to the pace of the game here.
'I think he will make way for Branislav Ivanovic for the moment, unless David Luiz is unfit and Brana plays in the centre. He, David Luiz and Gary Cahill have weighed in a few goals so far. It's always handy to have that in your armoury, but first and foremost their task is to stop the opposition scoring.
'I'm sure Laudrup will be telling his men to make the most of home advantage and to be very quick out of the blocks. The last few weeks we have tended not to be quite at the races in the opening moments, so there's a vulnerability we have to avoid today.
'If we start with the right intensity I can only see one winner.'
The Blues wait for fitness decisions on Juan Mata (hamstring) and David Luiz (ankle) but Ashley Cole's swelling on his ankle has receded and he is back in a squad bolstered by Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic returning from bans. John Terry is still suspended, Frank Lampard (calf) still injured.
For Swansea, defender Chico Flores is likely to play despite a dead leg in their match at Liverpool. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm (groin) plus defenders Neil Taylor (broken ankle) and Kyle Bartley (thigh) are ruled out.
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WE HAVE HISTORY
This fixture was first played in 1925/26 and early results largely went the home side's way. The Blues' first win came at Vetch Field over Christmas 1928 and sent David Calderhead's team top of Football League Division Two.
The Swans reportedly played an attacking game but were let down by their passing and a lack of understanding between the players upfront. With Jack Townrow standing out in defence, the Pensioners' play was quicker and more methodical.
Tiny winger Jackie Crawford set up the only goal of the game with a cross that Swansea keeper Ferguson mishandled. Jimmy Thompson, who would later become a brilliant talent-spotter for the Blues, discovering Jimmy Greaves and Terry Venables among others, put the ball in the net from a prone position. Despite that success, promotion would have to wait one more season.
More recently, Chelsea have scored 14 goals in our last four games against the Swans, though this will be only our second visit to Swansea in 29 years. Last season's draw was our first match at the Liberty Stadium as all our previous games were at Vetch Field.
Our last win there was in November 1983 (pictured below) during our promotion campaign under John Neal. The Blues won 3-1 with goals from Pat Nevin, John Bumstead and Kerry Dixon. Swansea's reply came from Colin Pascoe. The Swans were eventually relegated for a second successive season.
Swansea's last home win against the Blues was in April 1981 when goals from Robbie James, Neil Robinson and Dzemal Hadziabdic without reply was enough to secure the victory.
|Our previous meetings at Swansea|
|1925/26||Drew 0-0||Old Division Two|
|1926/27||Swansea won 2-1||Old Division Two|
|1927/28||Drew 0-0||Old Division Two|
|1928/29||Chelsea won 1-0||Old Division Two|
|1929/30||Swansea won 3-0||Old Division Two|
|1962/63||Swansea won 2-0||Old Division Two|
|1979/80||Drew 1-1||Old Division Two|
|1980/81||Swansea won 3-0||Old Division Two|
|1983/84||Chelsea won 3-1||Old Division Two|
|2011/12||Drew 1-1||Premier League|
Other match last season
24 September 2011 Barclays Premier League
Torres 29 Williams 85
Ramires 35, 75
Swansea City v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 21
Chelsea wins 9
Swansea wins 5
Head-to-head in the league at Swansea
Games played 10
Chelsea wins 2
Swansea wins 4
Biggest league win at Swansea for each team
Swansea 3-0 Chelsea - 12/04/1930 and 25/04/1981
Swansea 1-3 Chelsea - 22/11/1983
Chelsea won in Wales: 2,078
Swansea beat Chelsea: 11,515
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,723
Liverpool won the league: 8,218
Visit tomorrow for part two of the Briefing.
The Blues are hoping for a third straight away win in the Premier League.
Chelsea have only conceded three goals in four away Barclays Premier League games this term. Only Arsenal can match that.
The Blues are nine points better off after nine games compared to the corresponding games last season.
All six occasions this term in the Premier League we have opened the scoring we have gone on to win the game.
|Last six results|
|Oct 2||FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League a)||W 4-0|
|Oct 6||Norwich (h)||W 4-1|
|Oct 20||Tottenham (a)||W 4-2|
|Oct 23||Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League a)||L 1-2|
|Oct 28||Manchester United (h)||L 2-3|
|Oct 31||Manchester United (League Cup h)||W 5-4 aet|
Premier League scorers
Mata 4, Torres 4, Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Cahill 2, Hazard 2 (1 pen), Cole 1, Ramires 1, Sturridge 1. Total 21.
League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 2
An away defeat: 4
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Wed 7 Nov||Shakhtar Donetsk (CL) home||7.45pm|
|Sun 11 Nov||Liverpool home||4pm|
|Sat 17 Nov||West Brom away||3pm|
Frank Lampard is now equal with Bobby Tambling as our top league scorer in top-flight matches with 129 goals.
2 Football League Trophies, last in 2006
10 Welsh Cups, last in 1991
This is Swansea's fourth season in the top flight.
In March 1978, a 28-year-old John Toshack became the youngest manager in the Football League and took the Swans from the Fourth Division to the First in four seasons. They achieved their highest ever finish, sixth, in 1981/82 but were relegated the following season and in another four years were back in the Division Four.
Swansea achieved a similar rise in fortunes after promotion from League Two (fourth flight) in 2004/05 and arriving in the Premier League via the Championship play-offs in May 2011.
The Swans only defeat at the Liberty Stadium in six league and cup games was 0-3 against Everton in September.
Swansea have won the three league games this term when they have opened the scoring whereas when their opposition scored first they drew two and lost four.
They are looking to keep a clean sheet for the first time since 25 August against West Ham.
Manager Michael Laudrup
Days in charge: 139
Swansea's last 10 year league history
|2002/03||49||21st||League Division Three||4|
|2003/04||59||10th||League Division Three||4|
|Last six results|
|Sep 25||Crawley (League Cup a)||W 3-2|
|Sep 29||Stoke (a)||L 0-2|
|Oct 6||Reading (h)||D 2-2|
|Oct 20||Wigan (h)||W 2-1|
|Oct 27||Manchester City (a)||L 0-1|
|Oct 31||Liverpool (League Cup a)||W 3-1|
2012/13 Premier League scorers
Michu 6, Dyer 2, Routledge 2, Graham 1, Hernández 1, Rangel 1, Sinclair 1. Total 14.
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 1
A home defeat: 2
SWANSEA MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
Ins Pablo Hernández (Valencia, £5.5m), Ki Sung-Yueng (Celtic, £5m), Michu (Rayo Vallecano, £2m), Chico Flores (Genoa, £2m), Jonathan De Guzman (Villarreal, loan), Itay Shechter (Kaiserslautern, loan), Kyle Bartley (Arsenal, £1m), Dwight Tiendalli (unattached), Jamie Proctor (Preston, undisclosed)
Outs Joe Allen (Liverpool, £15m), Scott Sinclair (Manchester City, £6.2m), Stephen Dobbie (Brighton, undisclosed)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Kevin Friend will referee his second Chelsea match this term. He was the official for the Community Shield game at Villa Park in August when he booked eight and sent off Branislav Ivanovic after 41 minutes.
Friend is the only current official to have refereed more Chelsea defeats than victories (three in six games).
Victor Moses with a second-half header gave the Blues the lead but a late Swansea equaliser means we slip from the top of the table on a wintry afternoon in Wales.
The crisp, attacking football of much of this season was infrequently seen as the effects of recent games may have taken their toll and both keepers had an easy job in a near chanceless first half.
Chelsea were better after the break and although Swansea were bright at times, once the lead had been established with a set-piece goal and Petr Cech had made a couple of saves, the three points looked London-bound, but Spaniard Pablo Hernandez finished a good move and we failed to win a league game in which we had opened the scoring for the first time this season.
Swansea replaced injured goalkeeper Michael Vorm with Gerhard Tremmel. Central defender Chico Flores had not recovered from a dead leg so was replaced by Garry Monk.
With Manchester United beating Arsenal in the lunchtime kick-off, Chelsea need to return to winning ways in the league in order to maintain our place at the top of the table. For much of the opening 45 minutes the signs didn't look too promising. There was never going to be the frequency of goals in this one as in the previous two matches.
Swansea full-back Angel Rangel made an early run outside of Cole and took a smart reverse pass from Pablo Hernandez in his stride but with opportunity to pick out Michu in a very dangerous position, the Spaniard couldn't deliver and the leg of Ivanovic stretched out to cut it out.
Oscar scuffed a Chelsea free-kick into the wall but a genuine Chelsea chance was a while in coming. On 11 minutes, Moses dropped a shoulder and won a corner that Torres was able to meet with a flick at the near post but Ivanovic just couldn't quite reach it sliding in at the far post, and the ball was cleared off the line by Leon Britton who had been stationed there.
At the other end, Michu couldn't make the most of a difficult volley chance when a cross found him between Ivanovic and Azpilicueta.
Swansea were linking their passes better in the Chelsea half than we were in theirs. A long ball towards Torres fell back to Hazard just outside the area who took a touch but fired over.
Midway through the half Moses was unfortunate to slip on turf that had taken a pre-match soaking by the rain just as Oscar and Hazard had passes through the centre of the Swansea side.
Three minutes later, the lively Moses was played into space inside the area by Torres and clipped a cross back that was knocked out in the direction of Torrres. His header back lacked the necessary power to trouble the Swans' second-choice keeper.
Chelsea had enjoyed our best five-minute spell but then the home side pegged us back again and Mikel was sharp to block a shot by Ki Sung-Yueng. Swansea corners were survived before Chelsea improved towards the break.
Hazard was looking our player most likely to spark something good and on 36 minutes a trip on him by Britton earned the Swansea midfielder the game's first booking, to the discontent of the home fans who felt Mikel should have seen a card a few minutes earlier.
The card count was evened up on 38 minutes when Azpilicueta fouled Davies inside the Swansea half.
Just before the interval there was a rare chance in this game for Chelsea to counter-attack into space. Hazard played a pass out to Torres but the striker was dispossessed inside the area.
Ramires was a direct replacement for Romeu at the start of the second period, the Brazilian hopefully able to bring some forward momentum to Chelsea's play.
The first thrust came without his involvement though as Swansea lost the ball on halfway which led to a Hazard run and shot, gathered lowdown at his post by Tremmel. Then Torres chipped a cross over towards the back post but Moses couldn't keep his header down. That was the best Chelsea chance so far.
On 52 minutes it was Swansea's turn to break but diligent defending by Cahill with a vital tackle on Michu and then by Cole, kept Chelsea on level terms.
Swansea, as at similar stage in the first-half, were looking sharper in attack and Cech needed to dive at the feet of Michu as the home side passed through our defence.
Just before the hour, Britton fouled Oscar unnecessarily and with a well-struck free-kick, Hazard drew a diving save from Tremmel. From the corner that followed, Chelsea found the net.
Gary Cahill, such a threat at corners ever since he joined the club, towered above the white shirts to head Oscar's delivery goalwards and Moses reacted quickly to nod it into the net, celebrating his second Chelsea goal with a slide in front of the Blues following behind the goal.
Swansea responded strongly however. Cech saved a first-time strike by De Guzman and soon after had to back-peddle and punch over a deceiving chip by substitution Nathan Dyer.
Between those attempts, Roberto Di Matteo made his first substitution with 72 minutes played, Sturridge coming on for goalscorer Moses and playing wide on the right.
The main attempts on goal since Chelsea went ahead continued to come from Swansea and Ivanovic was in the right place at the right time to block from Hernandez as some filthy, wintery hail fell hard.
Still Chelsea couldn't prevent the home side taking the game to us and the equaliser came with 87 minutes on the clock. It was a good move down our right, with the ball played in by Hernandez to substitute striker Shechter who turned to lay it back to Hernandez. From 18 yards out, he drilled the ball low into the bottom corner.
The closing minutes were more about preserving the point than restoring the lead with Cahill intervening to keep the ball out of the net near the end.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech (c); Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Romeu (Ramires h-t); Moses (Sturridge 72), Oscar (Bertrand 79), Hazard; Torres.
Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Piazon.
Scorer Moses 60.
Booked Azpilicueta 39.
Swansea (4-2-1-3): Tremmel; Rangel, Monk (c), Williams, Davies; Britton (Graham 64), Ki Sung-Yueng; De Guzman; Pablo Hernández, Michu (Shechter 79), Routledge (Dyer 64)
Unused subs Cornell, Tate, Tiendalli, Agustien.
Scorer Hernandez 87.
Booked Britton 37, De Guzman 82, Ki Sung-Yueng 90+1, Shechter 90+4.
Referee Kevin Friend