Well it definitely didn’t go according to plan. That’s the biggest takeaway from Saturday’s match against Swansea. There were several parts of the match that no one could have predicted.
However, in a game that Chelsea should have expected to win, there are a few positives to take from the match.
First and foremost, was Oscar’s start to the season. The Brazilian was tantalizingly brilliant for the Blues. He was pushing forward the entire match, applying pressure to Swansea’s defense, and looking to go forward whenever he received the ball.
Diego Costa also completed the entire match. That is huge for Chelsea. Hopefully as the season continues, he will build up his match fitness and this will become a more regular occurrence.
Willian also looked extremely good. He was probably one of the best players for the Blues. He often pushed forward and applied pressure. He was able to combine his usual ability to track back and defend with his attacking high pressured style. He helped to create the second goal of the match, along with the help of Swansea’s Fernandez, who deflected the ball into the back of Fabianski’s net.
Now for the negatives.
Branislav Ivanovic was a negative for the Blues. Jefferson Montero was great for Swansea. He was ran circles around Ivanovic and the Serbian struggled to keep with his pace. He also got caught forward too often.
And now we have to discuss the red card. I don’t think it was enough of an injustice to argue that the call should have been reversed. The red card was close enough to the correct call. While Gary Cahill looked as though he would recover, the red card still made sense. Courtois was left hanging, and Begovic, despite a strong performance on the day, could not save the penalty.
Chelsea played decently after going down to 10 men. They played hard, pushed forward, but couldn’t find a winner.
The Blues received 1 point for their efforts and will now face Manchester City without Courtois. Begovic will make his second Blues appearance in two matches.
The match highlighted Chelsea’s lack of depth. That is the major takeaway from the game. Ivanovic was being burned on the wing time and time again, and Mourinho had no options on the bench to turn to. The Blues only have five defenders, leaving no options for the Portuguese tactician to make his typical impactful substitutions.
The Blues also have no direct wingers that can help impact the game. Juan Cuadrado was signed to do so, but he can’t even make the match squad. Chelsea need depth. They need signings, and they need them soon. It’s the only way that they will survive the long campaign made up of several different competitions.
Therefore, Chelsea’s loss at home to Swansea should be a warning for Mourinho and Chelsea’s board. They must act as quickly as possible. Time is running out for Chelsea, because if they don’t make a few signings, the rest of the teams could pass them by.