Chelsea continued their recent upturn in form with a narrow win, against Swansea, at the Liberty Stadium, courtesy of a very early goal from Cesc Fabregas.
The win keeps Chelsea’s slim hopes alive of qualifying for the Champions League next season, although we still need other sides to do us a massive favour and take some points of Tottenham Hotspur who currently occupy that fourth place in the table.
For the fixture, Antonio Conte made two changes to the starting eleven from the previous game with Courtois returning between the posts and Bakayoko drafted in to boost the midfield.
Chelsea couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, taking the lead in the fourth minute with a clinically executed goal. Kante did what Kante does best by winning the ball in midfield, a pass to Hazard saw the Belgian surge forward, before a delightful ball to Fabregas saw the Spaniard curl the ball into the top corner.
The Blues continued, as the game progressed, to look the more likely team to score and midway through the half the lead was almost doubled when Fabregas delivered a ball into the middle and the Swansea defender, Alfie Mawson, misjudged his clearance seeing it go just over the bar.
Just before the half-hour mark, Chelsea created another opportunity when Moses slid a lovely ball into the box but Giroud just couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
Leading 1-0 at half-time, Chelsea had to survive something of a Swansea fightback in the second forty-five minutes.
Desperate to get something from the game, to ease their relegation fears, the Swans created several chances, one of which in the 52nd minute, saw Rudiger produce some great defensive work to deny Andre Ayew as he looked set to meet a cross, into the danger area, from Olsson.
With sixteen minutes of normal time to go, Chelsea could have put the game to bed. Hazard and Fabregas combined to set up a golden chance for Moses but the wing-back, who only needed to stab the ball home, contrived to screw it wide of the post.
That miss saw Swansea gain heart and in the 77th minute they should have been level but Andre Ayew, put through by Carroll, saw his effort go just wide of the post. Two minutes later Swansea thought they deserved a penalty after a tackle on Dyer by Cahill but the referee, Jon Moss, was, quite rightly, of the opinion Cahill had got the ball first.
With the clock ticking down and as the game entered the 89th minute, Swansea had a glorious chance to equalise when Carroll drove a shot just wide of the post, much to the relief of Courtois.
Three minutes of added time were navigated, and it was to be Chelsea that claimed the three points on offer.