Chelsea 4-2 Swansea (Premier League) – 13th September 2014

A hat-trick from Diego Costa helped Chelsea maintain their 100% start to the season after coming from behind to beat Swansea at Stamford Bridge. The Blues trailed for much of the first half after a John Terry own goal, but Costa got the Blues back on level terms.

Costa scored his second in the second half to put Chelsea ahead for the first time, then he grabbed the third to complete his first Chelsea hat-trick. Loic Remy then came on for the three-goal hero to make his debut, and he grabbed Chelsea’s fourth to wrap up the win. Jonjo Shelvey pulled a goal back for the visitors late on.

Swansea came in to the game level on points with Chelsea in the table, having also won their first three Premier League games. Blues frontman Diego Costa was passed fit despite having to pull out of the Spain squad with in injury last week. The Swans had opened the scoring in every game they’ve played this season, and this one was no different. Ki Sueng-Yeung somehow shrugged Nemanja Matic off the ball before giving it to Neil Taylor, and the left back’s cross was turned in by John Terry.

Chelsea struggled after that goal, and Swansea went hunting for another. The Blues backline looked to be sleeping on a few occasions, and they were lucky that Swansea didn’t go 2-0 up. Chelsea composed themselves later in the half, and played some good passing moves around the Swans defence. The goal, however, came from a Fabregas corner, which was turned in by Costa.

The home side started the second half well as they went in search of a second goal. Once again the combination of Costa and Fabregas delivered for Chelsea, with the latter cutting the ball back to Costa who put the Blues in front. Ten minutes later Costa doubled the lead, anticipating well before hammering home after Ramires scuffed a shot towards goal.

Costa then came off to a standing ovation from the Chelsea faithful, with Remy coming on. After just nine minutes in a Chelsea shirt, the French forward grabbed his first goal for the club to put the result beyond doubt. Swansea got a second when Shelvey struck from the edge of the area, but it was little more than a consolation.

After the game Jose Mourinho heaped praise on Costa, and even said that the Spaniard might be plying too well! “Seven goals in four Premier League matches is maybe too much,” he said. “We cannot expect that after eight matches he has 14 goals. I think it’s asking too much.

“But the way he is playing, if he keeps scoring a few goals, a few goals give points, and points help the team to be in the top part of the table. Seven goals in four matches has surprised me because it is something that is not normal.”

LCN Man of the Match: Diego Costa

Chelsea v Swansea Preview (Premier League) – 13th September 2014

Chelsea return from the international break on Saturday when they face Swansea at Stamford Bridge. The Blues and the Swans are the only two teams with a 100% record so far in the Premier League so something must give.

Chelsea come in to this game on the back of a 6-3 win over Everton, their third straight win this season, although that momentum has been dampened somewhat because of the international break. Swansea will feel the same, after they won 3-0 against West Brom in their last game. They’ve already been to Old Trafford and won, so they’ll come to the Bridge full of confidence and certainly without fear.

Chelsea once again have a fully fit squad available, but we could see some changes from the side that took on Everton. Jose Mourinho will likely drop one of the three central midfielders that started at Goodison Park, in favour of a more attacking line up. Andre Schurrle was unlucky to miss out at Everton, and he’ll be in pole position to come back in to the side.

Also, with Brazil in action early on Wednesday morning GMT, the four Brazilians in the squad may have to sit out. That would make Ramires the favourite to drop out of the team for Schurrle. Filipe Luis will probably continue his spell on the bench, although one of Willian or Oscar will likely start.

Despite conceding three goals in their last game, Mourinho will probably keep with the same back four. Cesar Azpilicueta has been good at left back, while Branislav Ivanovic has been in outstanding form so far this season. The Serbian has scored in two of the three games and he’s been a vital part of the team to date.

Diego Costa could have a hamstring problem, after withdrawing from the Spanish squad last week, but he should be ok in time to play against Swansea. Costa played in Spain’s friendly against France, before withdrawing from the squad the day after. He returned to Chelsea for tests and he should be able to feature. If not, then we’ll see a debut for Loic Remy after his switch from QPR. He played for France against Costa and Spain in that game, and scored the winner so is sure to be full of confidence.

As for Swansea, they have a mostly fit squad, with Leon Britton their only injury worry. Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge have been their main danger men this season from the wings, while Chelsea will also have to deal with striker Wilfred Bony and the influential Gylfi Sigurdsson. Bony, a former international team mate of Didier Drogba, was linked with a move to the Blues in the transfer window, only for the club to sign Remy instead. The Swans attack shouldn’t be too much trouble for the Pensioners’ defence though – they’ve kept a clean sheet against the Welsh side in their last four meetings.

LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-0

Chelsea Transfer Player Profiles (Summer 2014)

Following our review of Chelsea’s fantastic transfer business earlier in the week, here is a more in depth look at the five incoming players. We know that Chelsea near enough broke even in their transfer moves, but they still spent well over £80million. So just what have the Blues got for that outlay?

Cesc Fabregas – £27m

Chelsea’s first summer signing, the former Arsenal captain looked set to return to his previous club when Barcelona put him up for sale. But, when the Gunners turned down the chance to sign the midfielder Chelsea emerged as favourites and landed the Spaniard for the knockdown price of £27million. Fabregas can play a range of positions, from defensive midfield all the way up to a false nine role.

For his price and versatility he’s a great signing, but Chelsea weren’t looking for a false nine or another holding player, they wanted a midfield playmaker. Fabregas fits that role and then some. He’s proved that in the opening few games. With Nemanja Matic, Ramires and John Obi Mikel, Chelsea had a strong, pacey midfield but they needed guile. Fabregas is the man who can thread passes through for Chelsea’s forwards, and he’s part of the reason that Diego Costa has adapted so easily after his switch from Atletico. While Costa gets the headlines, Fabregas is arguably the signing of the summer.

Diego Costa – £32m

A move for Costa was in the works since the start of 2014, when Jose Mourinho elected to wait to sign him in the summer, instead of signing a new forward in January. Chelsea met Costa’s £32million release clause early in the window but the transfer was drawn out, and Costa was eventually confirmed in the middle of July.

Costa’s arrival has brought Chelsea the thing they lacked last season, a reliable goalscorer, a world class number nine. Many asked if the Brazil-born Spaniard was up to it, given Chelsea’s track record at buying strikers, but he’s shown that he’s more than capable of leading the line in the Premier League. He’s started off with four goals in three games, and you can bet there’s more to come.

Filipe Luis – £15.8m

Chelsea’s third signing also came from Atletico, with Filipe Luis coming in to fill the void left by Ashley Cole. Cole lost his place to Cesar Azpilicueta last season, and then left the club after eight years on a free transfer. With just Azpilicueta, a right back by trade, to fill the left back slot, reinforcements were needed. Luis came in at £15.8million, and added quality in a position where Chelsea looked light.

Luis still hasn’t got his chance in the Chelsea team as yet, but that’s not really his fault. The impressive form of Azpilicueta and the exceptional performances of Branislav Ivanovic mean they are the first choice full backs at the minute, and Mourinho isn’t likely to change them unless he has good reason to. Given how he played for Atletico last season, he should fit in well when he’s given the chance and again, his signing was a highly targeted one in a position where the Pensioners were lacking.

Didier Drogba – £0

After the departures of Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba, and with Romelu Lukaku looking for a move, Mourinho brought back club legend Didier Drogba on a free from Galatasaray. Bringing him back divided many fans, with some wanting to preserve his final act in a Chelsea shirt, the winning penalty in Munich in 2012. That being said, the welcoming he got on his return against Leicester shows that many are happy he’s back.

Drogba is a fantastic addition to the Blues new look front line. While he isn’t the same player that lit up the Bridge in his glory days, he’s still a quality striker. He will add a lot to the side when called upon and as a third choice striker he’s a fantastic option. On top of that, he’ll be a great influence in the dressing room, especially since Cole and Frank Lampard have left. Drogba can be a leader, and an experienced head for Costa both to lean on and learn from

Loic Remy – £10.5m

After finishing their transfer business in July, August looked like it was going to be a quiet month for the Blues. That was until Fernando Torres secured a move to AC Milan on loan for the last two years of his contract, and left the Blues with just Costa and Drogba up front. They quickly dipped back in the market and replaced him with Loic Remy, who cost £10.5million from QPR.

Remy is a different kind of striker from Costa and Drogba, given that he’s pacey and a great finisher. He’s a more technical footballer than the other two, and he looks like good value at that price. Given that he has scored goals in the Premier League, both for QPR and Newcastle on loan last season, he should fit in right away. He’s likely to come in as second choice ahead of Drogba, and he’s a big improvement on Torres. Given Costa’s record of hamstring injuries, Remy will likely be called upon quite a few times this season and he’s a welcome addition to the squad.

After addressing their problems, sorting their business early and buying in proven, reliable players, Chelsea have done fantastically in the market this summer. The players have had time to bed in during pre-season, and that has shown in the early games. It’s early days, but the Blues look to have handled the transfer market masterfully, not least because their net outlay was minimal, largely thanks to the sale of David Luiz.

Chelsea Transfer Review (Summer 2014): Which Players Are In, Out & On Loan

The transfer window slammed shut on Monday evening with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho taking up nothing more than a spectator’s role after his side finalised their summer dealings with plenty of time to spare. The big signings were tied up early, with the only business at the end of August being shipping unwanted players out, and finding a replacement for Fernando Torres.

If you’re struggling to remember all of the Blues’ business in the last few months, this is your guide to Chelsea’s ins, outs and loans over the summer. Here you’ll find all the moves, and a look at just how well this window went for Mourinho and Chelsea.

Players Coming Into Chelsea in the Summer of 2014

Total: £85.3 million

While Chelsea had a considerable outlay of over £85 million, they did manage to strengthen in key areas. Three new forwards were brought in, a completely new forward line, to address the goalscoring problems of last season. Diego Costa, Didier Drogba and Loic Remy are far better options than the blunt strikers from last season, Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o, all of whom have been moved on.

Cesc Fabregas has also added another dimension to Chelsea’s attack, and his vision and range of passing has been one of the main factors in Costa’s great start. Fabregas has been fantastic since signing, and he looks a real bargain at £27 million. Even better, he recently claimed to have just returned to full fitness, so we should expect even more from him in the future.

  • For a more detailed look at the various signing who have joined Chelsea this summer, check out our player transfer profiles article.

Players Leaving Chelsea in the Summer of 2014

  • David Luiz, PSG – £50 million
  • Samuel Eto’o – Everton, free
  • Henrique Hilario – retired
  • Sam Hutchinson – Sheffield Wednesday, free
  • Ashley Cole – Roma, free
  • Frank Lampard – New York City, Free
  • Demba Ba – Besiktas, £4.7 million
  • Patrick Van Aanholt – Sunderland, £1.5 million
  • Romelu Lukaku – Everton, £28 million
  • Isak Sswewankambo – NAC Breda, free
  • Daniel Pappoe – Brighton, free
  • George Cole – Brighton, free
  • Bill Clifford – Walsall, free
  • George Saville – Wolves, £1 million

Total: £85.2million

What has made Chelsea’s transfer business even better, is the fact that they’ve almost broken even. With a net spend of just £100,000 the Blues have managed to improve their squad, and that’s happened by selling on players at inflated prices. David Luiz is the obvious example. While the defender had a great rapport with the fans, he also had too many mistakes in his game. Getting £50 million for your third choice centre half is great business, especially when you can replace him in-house.

Romelu Lukaku went for £28 million, another good fee considering he didn’t seem to be part of the manager’s plans. With the strikeforce that Chelsea have now assembled, it is unlikely Lukaku will be missed too much.

The main departures of the summer, however, were club legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole. They both left after their contracts expired, as Chelsea begin to build a new team in a different style. Their exit will likely have lifted a load off the wage bill as Chelsea look to cut costs for the Financial Fair Play rules.

Players Chelsea Have Loaned Out in the Summer of 2014

  • Tomas Kalas, FC Koln
  • Wallace, Vitesse
  • Thorgan Hazard, Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Bertrand Traore, Vitesse
  • Mario Pasalic, Elche
  • Lucas Piazon, Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Ryan Bertrand, Southampton
  • Gael Kakuta, Rayo Vallecano
  • John Swift, Rotherham
  • Oriol Romeu, Stuttgart
  • Joao Rodriquez, Bastia
  • Kenneth Omeruo, Middlesbrough
  • Christian Atsu, Everton
  • Stipe Perica, NAC Breda
  • Victor Moses, Stoke City
  • Josh McEachran, Vitesse
  • Marko Marin, Fiorentina
  • Patrick Bamford, Middlesbrough
  • Fernando Torres, AC Milan
  • Marco Van Ginkel, AC Milan
  • Islam Feruz, OFI Crete
  • Nathaniel Chalobah, Burnley
  • Matej Delac, Arles-Avignon
  • Ulises Davila, Tenerife
  • Jamal Blackman, Middlesbrough

One again, Chelsea have a basically a whole squad of players out on loan. A total of 26 have made temporary moves away from the club, and it remains to be seen just how many actually have a future at Stamford Bridge. Macro Van Ginkel should come back from his spell at AC Milan ready for the first team, but one who has no future is Fernando Torres. While he’s only on loan, his contract expires in 2016, so it is doubtful that he’ll ever come back to Chelsea.

Middlesbrough have picked up a few young talents of Chelsea, due to their manager having connections with Mourinho from their time at Real Madrid. Patrick Bamford and Kenneth Omero seem to be rated by Mourinho, so it will be interesting to see how they do in the Championship.

Given all of the summer business so far, it is hard to see Chelsea doing much in the winter transfer window. It may be a similar situation to last season, that they’ll only move if they get a great offer for a player who asks to leave. Even still, they should be more then equipped for the next few months after an excellent, and prudent, summer window.