Villas-Boas forced on the defensive

Swansea City 1(Sinclair, 39)Chelsea 1 (Taylor, og 90)

Liberty Stadium

Chelsea discovered what Arsenal, Tottenham and so many other Premier League teams already knew. Swansea City at home are a mighty proposition who are anything but coy in taking it to their affluent visitors. Andre Villas-Boas can thank a huge deflection in injury time for sparing him last night.

The points appeared lost when, in the 93rd minute, Jose Bosingwa's cross – "a nothing ball" as Brendan Rodgers called it – was turned into the net by the home defender Neil Taylor. Despite their outrageous luck, Chelsea may have been deserving of a point, but it must be suspected Roman Abramovich thinks his richly assembled squad should be worthy of rather more.

The XI which Rodgers fielded last night cost £7.5m. That's roughly a sixth of what Chelsea paid for one man. Fernando Torres was not the only multi-millionaire who played below his price tag here – Ashley Cole was having a bad night even before his late red card – but the Spaniard's latest round of blanks did highlight his continued inadequacy. The last Premier League team Torres scored against was Swansea – in September. It is now more than 1,000 minutes since he scored in any competition.

As if to ram home the point about value for money, Scott Sinclair was almost the home hero. Eighteen months ago, Chelsea happened to allow the 22-year-old to join Swansea for £1.5m. At least Sinclair had the good grace not to celebrate his fine volley. "It was great skill," said Rodgers, himself a former Stamford Bridge employee. "Scott is a terrific talent who just needed a platform. Like many Chelsea youngsters."

Arsenal and Newcastle can close the gap to three points tonight in what now appears a race for fourth place, although Villas-Boas refused to concede the title. But with 12 points separating them from Manchester City, the Portuguese's sights are set on Tottenham, in third. "Seven points is nothing," he said. It is if the Chelsea defence makes a habit of playing this poorly.

The absence of John Terry – the captain whose racism case goes to court this morning was missing with a knee injury – was keenly felt, but it was strange Villas-Boas opted not to play £7m capture Gary Cahill. Villas-Boas explained the England international was on the bench because of the "solidarity" his side had shown in their recent run. His loyalty was misplaced.

"We gave Swansea the initiative in the first half," he said, "but we were very confident in the second half." One could not argue with him on his initial claim. Swansea's reward for their exquisite movement and passing precision came in the 39th minute. Bosingwa tamely nodded out a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick and from the edge of the area Sinclair showed the balance of a gymnast to swivel before producing a wonderfully arched volley into the top corner.

Villas-Boas's analysis of Chelsea's response was true in the sense that they stopped Swansea's monopolisation of possession, but even though they were pressing forward they created very little, with Ashley Williams supreme leading the Swansea back four. "They defended very well," agreed Villas-Boas.

Michael Essien and Boswinga both came close with spectacular efforts and when Cole upended Nathan Dyer in the 84th minute and was dismissed for a second yellow – a transgression which means he misses the weekend confrontation with United – the Blues' gloom seemed set. Then Bosingwa let fly and poor Taylor unwittingly did the rest.

Match Facts

Substitutes: Swansea Agustien 6 (Sigurdsson, 67), Moore (Sinclair ,77). Chelsea Essien 6 (Romeu, 65), Lukaku (Malouda, 80).

Booked: Swansea Taylor, Rangel. Chelsea Cole , Malouda, Meireles. Sent off: Chelsea Cole (86).

Man of the match Williams. Match rating 7/10. Possession: Swansea 42% Chelsea 58%.

Attempts on target: Swansea 5 Chelsea 10.

Referee A Marriner (West Midlands). Attendance 20,526.

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
news
Life & Style
tech
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
News
news
Arts & Entertainment
film
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal