Chelsea lost their first league match under Guus Hiddink with a limp 1-0 defeat at Swansea.
The Swans, who with this win have hit the 40-point mark, looked in very good control of the match and have opportunities for more but for Begovic, as the visitors’ sloppy passing had a distinct end-of-term feel to it.
It leaves the visitors actually only two positions, and four points, higher than their hosts as the season can not end quickly enough for the Blues, with the incoming Conte having much to do to arrest this dramatic decline in ability from the current Premier League champions.
With nothing to play for, Hiddink did suggest he wanted rotate some youngsters, and though Miazga and Loftus-Cheek both started, it was still a side possessing plenty of experience in Ivanovic, Fabregas, Pedro and Oscar.
You would not have known it.
Paloschi and Montero kept Begovic busy from the off, whilst Pato was not nearly having the same sort of influence at the other end.
Miazga was far too cool with his clearance which made its way to Sigurdsson who drilled at Begovic, before moments later Rangel having another drive which beat Begovic but also the far post. It was really tame defending by the Blues who afforded both players far too much room for their chances.
Chelsea could not heed on those warning signs and minutes later Sigurdsson did get on the scoresheet.
Montero’s left-wing cross was a simple header away for Miazga but the American did not get desire length on it and Sigurdsson, free on the penalty spot, swung a left boot at it to volley home.
There was no respite for Begovic, who had to be alert from Swansea’s next chances which came through Williams and Ayew.
Chelsea meanwhile had no player capable of penetrating the Swansea back-line. Oscar made a neat run through but his shot was charged down. Pato should have done much better from the rebound but missed hopelessly.
The forwards were spared their blushes for their first-half incompetence as Miazga was made the scapegoat, hauled off at half-time with no recognised central defender on the bench. Mikel filled in that role.
Pato could have made amends for his miss and indeed did have the ball in the back of the net, but he was adjudged to have used the upper arm in controlling the ball.
Cork tried a long-distance shot which would have no doubt stung the hands of Begovic, whilst Montero headed over an empty net as the Chelsea defence was again torn apart.
Falcao made his first appearance since October and had a shot saved but the defeat ends Chelsea’s unbeaten run at 15 matches.
What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!
Man of the Match
ASMIR BEGOVIC: Been a periperhal figure since Courtois returned from injury, rightly or wrongly given how shaky the Belgian has looked over recent weeks. The Serbian put in a good showing to hopefully give him a prolonged run for the rest of the season as Swansea certainlty kept him busy, but there was very little he could have done with the goal. 7/10
Hiddink managed to find some positives: “Every defeat hurts but everyone knows the situation we are in, so there’s a positive side to bringing in youngsters and seeing what they can do. We defended poorly and gave Sigurdsson a very free chance. We were attacking, attacking, but in the final third we were not sharp enough.”
Guidolin was proud of his players: “This is the first victory in the Premier League for Swansea against Chelsea and I am happy and proud. We played very well in the first half, we deserved to score other goals.”
Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.
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