Chelsea entertained Swansea City as the Blues’ looked to pick up form around the festive fixtures.
Jose Mourinho had seen Chelsea draw at the Emirates stadium before Christmas and took the opportunity to rotate his team ahead of the contest against Liverpool this Sunday.
Ashley Cole came back in at left back, whilst Juan Mata and Oscar returned, supporting Samuel Eto’o at the top of the park. David Luiz replaced Gary Cahill, after the Englishmen’s terrific game at Arsenal.
Swansea striker Michu was absent due to injury, as was Nathan Dyer, Gary Monk and goalkeeper Michael Vorm
Chelsea dominated the early stages, with Eden Hazard going close from a tight angle after being laid off by Samuel Eto’o.
In the 20th minute, following a string of successive corners, Mikel was inches away from bundling the ball into the back of the net, but his renowned ‘lack of an attacking instinct’ certainly let him down.
Swansea had only let in 9 goals on their travels this campaign, but that became 10 after half an hour in West London. Eden Hazard caught the ball wide before cutting inside and drilling a shot through Ashley Williams and Gerhard Tremmel.
The young Belgian almost doubled his tally before half time, linking up with Juan Mata and continuing his run into the box, only to sink a tame finish into Tremmel’s midriff.
Boxing day was looking very blue at Stamford Bridge. Oscar was winning tackles on the deck; Samuel Eto’o was bringing the midfield into the game and Juan Mata was pinging balls across the park
15 seconds in the second half and Chelsea picked up where they left off. Juan Mata crossing for Samuel Eto’o to hit Tremmel from point blank range.
The game tapered off after this. A lack of fluency resulted from Swansea dominating possession and Mourinho adjusting his attacking trio. The Welsh team themselves were not undone by Chelsea’s killer instinct, but by their own stubbornness and refusal to lump a ball forward and into the box.
Ramires picked up a soft yellow on the half way line as he blocked Wilfried Bony, meaning he will miss the visit of Liverpool this weekend.
A solid win from Chelsea and back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League. With the game however, will come more and more media speculation as the Blues’ forwards continue to misfire.
Peter Adams @easypeejy