Chelsea vs Swansea match report: Bafetimbi Gomis converts after Thibaut Courtois red to help Swans earn point against 10-man Blues

Chelsea 2 Swansea City 2

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The Independent Online

For Jose Mourinho this was far from the perfect start to Chelsea’s title defence, nor the ideal preparation for next Sunday’s trip to Manchester City. His team were outplayed by Swansea City, who held them to a 2‑2 draw which flattered the champions. Thibaut Courtois was sent off, ruling him out of next Sunday’s game, meaning Asmir Begovic will make his first Chelsea start at the Etihad Stadium.

Begovic will be facing a City side who must surely fancy their chances given how Chelsea played here, with – despite their well-earned status – as little authority as they showed against Arsenal in the Community Shield last weekend. The curious lack of midfield reinforcements this summer may have to be addressed before the transfer window closes.

For Swansea City, though, and for neutrals, this was a very enjoyable start to the Premier League season. They played with more courage and ambition than most sides show at this ground. Andre Ayew, Jefferson Montero and Bafe Gomis were all excellent, as Swansea created enough chances to record an unlikely victory. They did not quite manage it, despite playing most of the second half with a one-man advantage. If they play like this every week, though, they will have a good season.

Many Premier League teams will come to Stamford Bridge this year and sit back, cowed by the champions, hoping to escape with minimal damage. That is not the Garry Monk way, though, and he put out a team that was far more ambitious or expansive than many would have chosen. Andre Ayew made his Swansea City debut, wide on the right, supporting Bafe Gomis.

Swansea began assertively and, even before all the fun started, Gomis had two chances to put them ahead. He headed one Jonjo Shelvey corner just wide before racing away from John Terry, only for the Chelsea captain to catch him up just in time.

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Oscar's whipped free-kick went all the way into the far corner

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New signing Andre Ayew produced a lovely bit of skill to equalise

Chelsea knew they were in a real game and responded with quick, incisive attacking football of their own, even if their first goal – like their second – owed something to good fortune. Oscar had a free-kick wide on the left, which he whipped low towards goal. Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic tried to touch it but missed. Lukasz Fabianski, anticipating a touch, stayed central as the ball flew into the far corner.

Unperturbed, Swansea continued to play, and found a deserved equaliser from Ayew. When Courtois saved another Gomis header, Ayew got one shot away before collecting the rebound, dragging the ball into a shooting position and scoring.

For all Swansea’s courage, though, they did not have luck on their side, and went in at the break 2-1 down. Willian had the ball on the left and tried to curl in a right-footed cross. The ball hit Federico Fernandez and looped high into the air, over Fabianski and into the far top corner.

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Chelsea celebrate after Willian's cross took a huge deflection and went in

Swansea started the second half as positively as they had started the first. This time, though, they got their reward. Shelvey played another quick through ball to Gomis, who had escaped behind Chelsea’s defence. Courtois ran out to tackle Gomis but could only foul him. Courtois was sent off, Begovic came on, but Gomis sent him the wrong way from the spot.

Equal in goals but one man up, Swansea sensed their chance. Jefferson Montero was making life very difficult for Ivanovic and forced two saves from Begovic, the first from distance, the second from close range. When Gomis converted Taylor’s cross at the far post, only the offside flag stopped Swansea from taking the lead.

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Gomis dusted himself off to convert the penalty

While Swansea continued to push for a winner there was no question of Chelsea settling for a point. Mourinho stuck to an open 4-3-2 system, with Kurt Zouma on in midfield, which even became 4-2-3 for the last six minutes when he introduced Falcao. He fired one shot low at Fabianski, but that was it.

Chelsea: (4-2-3-1) Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Fabregas (Zouma, 76), Matic; Willian (Falcao, 84), Oscar (Begovic, 54), Hazard; Costa.

Swansea: (4-2-3-1) Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Shelvey, Ki (Cork, 41); Ayew, Sigurdsson, Montero (Routledge, 71); Gomis (Eder, 79).

Referee: Michael Oliver

Man of the match: Ayew (Swansea)

Match rating: 9/10

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