Chelsea taught Swansea a valuable lesson after comfortably defeating them in what proved to be another up-down day for Fernando Torres. Having scored one, just like last week, he ruined his afternoon by getting red-carded ten minutes later which again halted him on any progress he made. Torres will now miss matches against Bolton, Everton, and QPR, matches he could have excelled in, paving the way for his rival, Didier Drogba, to come back into the mix of things.
The match started off very openly, Chelsea and Swansea both demonstrating attacking football and wanting to go forward at every opportunity. Anelka and Ramires both had chances, but Chelsea had Ivanovic to thank for his block on former Chelsea man Scott Sinclair. But for all Swansea’s flair, it was Chelsea who showed it first, which led to a wonderful goal. Juan Mata went away from goal, fooling everyone (including actually the goal-scorer Torres) into thinking the attack broke down, but then having dragged a few defenders out, pirouetted around and lifted a delightful ball over to Torres. Having chested it down, he dispatched expertly, low into the corner in a shot on the turn.
That was soon followed by another goal in the 36th minute. Fernando Torres, deep within his own half, fed a lovely ball through to Ashley Cole, who in turn passed to the in-coming Ramires, who had all the time in the world to take a touch and rifle it into the net. It was a lovely start by Torres, but yet again, it was overshadowed by a rush of blood. Seeing a loose ball, Torres dived two-footed on Swansea’s Gower, and though the contact was minimal, the intent was there, and Mike Dean promptly showed the red card.
Chelsea changed formation after this; from the 4-3-3 they started with, they now played more of a 4-3-1-1, with Anelka moving in from right-wing and Mata supporting him from behind him.
Into the second half, and Swansea made a substitution: Routledge for Britton, but it was still Chelsea on the attack, with Mata and Anelka effectively linking up. However, Swansea had a couple of chances, first, Meireles accidentally diverting the ball goalwards for it to go out for a corner, before Mikel diverted a Dyer shot over onto the crossbar. Anelka had a chance to show how much of a classy performer he remains, firing in a shot from range onto the crossbar, with no team-mate near him for support. But it was Ramires who scored another. Bosingwa fed him in before he comfortably rolled the ball into the net past Vorm.
Swansea did, however, pull a goal back, Bosingwa lost him man from a set-piece for Williams to head home. The menacing Drogba soon came on, and the cherry on the top was sealed with a fine goal deep into injury-time.
Chelsea showed for the first time this season they are a real force. A very comfortable win, even if influential vice-captain Frank Lampard was omitted. Reports early today said Lampard stormed down the tunnel when he knew he could not come on, but Villas-Boas quickly hushed these claims. However, the midfielder who stole the show today was undoubtedly Ramires. Classed as light-weight last season, he had really come of it this season, scoring two goals and still having bags of energy. Mata continues to provide the flair Roman Abramovich craves, whilst Torres once again gets everyone’s hopes up – only to dash them moments later. His first red-card since 2006, we’ll let him off and call it a one-off. Drogba still provided he can do his bit, as did Anelka, but Chelsea should not get big-headed now – there will be stronger opposition to come against this season, starting with Valencia on Wednesday.