The Blues dropped two points in a disappointing opening day draw against Swansea. A red card for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made the day worse, as the hosts once again looked far from full fitness. Oscar opened the scoring, before Andre Ayew equalised for the hosts. A Federico Fernandez own goal saw Chelsea ahead again, but Bafetimbi Gomis equalised from the spot after Courtois gave away a penalty.
Diego Costa made a welcome return to the champions’ line up for their first Premier League fixture of the new season. Oscar took his place in the team at the expensive of Ramires, as Mourinho went for a more attacking set-up for the visit of the Welsh side. There were no other shocks in terms of team selection, despite a few players looking jaded against Arsenal last week.
They made a good start to their league opener, as they looked in control for most of the first half here. The opening goal was a welcome surprise for Oscar, as his whipped free kick went across goal untouched, and landed in the bottom corner. It was a deserved lead, but it looked like the Brazilian didn’t even notice that he’d scored.
The Swans came back, ensuring that the scores were level again six minutes later, as debutant Ayew introduced himself in fine style. After Gomis’ header was saved, the Ghanaian saw his effort blocked, before he picked himself up and slotted home after shifting the ball into space. It was a tidy finish, but it was hardly the kind of defending that you’d associate with a Jose Mourinho side.
The hosts picked themselves up from that pretty soon after, as an own goal put them ahead just a minute later. Willian carried the ball down the left, as he tried to find space to whip in a cross. He attempted to put a ball across the box, but it deflected off Fernandez and landed in the Swansea net.
That was enough for a half time lead, but things took a huge turn for the worse after the break. A through ball from Jonjo Shelvey sent Gomis through, after Willian played him onside. Courtois rushed out to meet him, but his attempted clearance brought down the Frenchman, earning him a red card and gifting the visitors a penalty. He picked himself back up, and converted past debutant Asmir Begovic to level the scores.
The visitors were in the ascendancy from that point on, and they looked a better bet for the three points than the champions. Despite sending on Falcao to partner Costa, the Blues couldn’t crave out a chance to steal the three points. They looked far from match fitness, which is a major problem ahead of next weekend’s trip to Man City. That game will be even trickier now, of course, with Courtois facing a one game ban.
LCN Man of the Match: Oscar