Date: 30th November 2017 at 8:47am
Written by:

Having made the trip down to Stamford Bridge to watch the game last night, I was interested to see a couple of things. Sitting just 5 rows back adjacent to the Swansea dugout, I had a pretty good view of proceedings.

I was interested to see how two of our players actually performed, Gary Cahill and Willian. The captain, to me, had a good game. You could argue that the opposition was not up to much, it wasn`t, but Cahill won every dual with Wilfried Bony, particularly in the air.

As for Willian, who I`ve defended on here, he had an average game at best. The part of his game that seems to be missing, was when he had time to think what he was doing at corners and free kicks. At the moment, he`s more about spontaneity. He was making runs, but passes did go astray, he cut a frustrated figure at times.

I was also interested to see how Antonio Conte operates at close hand. He is one passionate Italian. Whilst he was on the pitch he stood directing play continuously. I completely understood his frustration with Fabianski in the Swansea goal.

His goal kicking methodology was to slowly place the ball down, before going back to one of the posts and tapping both boots against it. Then it was a matter of staring down the pitch for 20 seconds or so before hoofing the ball upfield. Interestingly, it was a method that Tibo adopted in the second half.

For Conte, though, Fabianski`s antic`s happened once too often, and he quite literally exploded at the fourth official. He was incandescent with rage. He was in the fourth officials face shouting very loudly. For about two minutes, he without doubt lost it.

Neil Swarbrick came over and Conte didn`t let up, he was gesticulating wildly at both officials, his sending off was inevitable.

At half time, ex Blues striker, Paul Canoville, who has been quite ill recently, was introduced for the pitch walk. It was his first time back at Stamford Bridge, since spending two months in hospital. That was good to see.

The second half and Swansea defended deeper, but eventually a slice of luck gained Chelsea the crucial three points. A deflected ball into the box found Rudiger in space and with Fabianski stranded for once, the German was able to fire header into the goal.

During the game Rudiger was a bundle of energy, he has plenty of raw pace, but not quite the calmness on the ball that Cesar Azpilicueta has. Expect Dave to be back on Saturday.

Alvaro Morata had a frustrating game, he had a few efforts on goal, but Fabianski always kept them out. One clever flick that the Pole tipped over in the first half particularly stood out.

At the end of the game, as the players trudged off, Gary Cahill gave his shirt to someone standing next to the tunnel, which was a nice gesture, and with that it was out of the stadium for the trip home.

If you`ve ever been at a game and want to write a ‘View From The Stands` article please email it to Merlin. With Vital Chelsea`s fan base spread far and wide, it would be great to get a more personal view of the game than the media are able deliver.