Torres Off But Blues March On

Two goals either side of the half ensured Chelsea maintained their 100% record in the league at Stamford Bridge thanks to a double strike from the ever impressive Ramires, despite going down to ten men in the first half after Fernando Torres was shown the red.

After a lacklustre start, the game came to life in a crazy ten minute spell in the first half which included two goals and a sending off. Swansea gave it a go early in the second half, but the quality of Chelsea was too much for them in the end as Didier Drogba marked his return with a wonderfully taken goal.

Frank Lampard was again left on the bench with Raul Meireles and Ramires being preferred instead, with Obi Mikel completing the midfield three. Nicolas Anelka started the game as Daniel Sturridge missed out due to a leg injury.

It was a first return to Stamford Bridge for Brendan Rogers, another former José Mourinho assistant, and Scott Sinclair since their departure from Chelsea.

Chelsea’s start to the game was a very slow one which allowed Swansea to get bodies behind the ball and defend as a unit, with Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair providing the pace up front as they looked to counter.

With Swansea sitting back it restricted us from creating any clear cut chances in the early part and forced us to try our luck from distance as first Raul Meireles, and then Ramires and Branislav Ivanovic, gave it a go without troubling Michel Vorm in goal.

The Swansea resistance was soon to be broken though through a sublime combination between the two Spaniards in our team. Juan Mata saw Fernando Torres’s diagonal run into the box and found him with a brilliant chipped ball which Torres took on his chest before he swivelled and put it into the bottom corner.

And soon it was two with Ramires putting in the finishing touches to a nice move which was started by Fernando Torres on the left hand side as he released Ashley Cole into space from where the England international found Ramires in a quick flowing move.

The game was suddenly changed with Chelsea in control, but the two goal cushion wasn’t representative of the match so far which was to face its final twist to this hectic ten minutes spell.

Swansea’s Mark Gower took a bad first touch leaving the ball open for challenge, and Fernando Torres keeping in line with rash and desperate lunges this season, made a go at it with a two footed challenge, and although the player wasn’t hurt, it was rightfully deemed to be dangerous play and a red card was shown.

The red card gave Swansea a glimmer of hope and they tried their best early on in the second half and started on the front foot. But as one would imagine, the experience of the Chelsea players was visible in every sense as the match progressed and they slowed the game down to suit our play and get a control over the game.

Nicolas Anelka gave a master class on how to control the tempo up front and almost scored out of nothing as he ambled his way through four Swansea players before seeing his sweetly struck shot hit the bar.

The Frenchmen was then joined by Florent Malouda, who showed all his experience and composure as Chelsea firmly kept the game under its grasp.

With lots of time remaining it always felt like we needed another goal to avoid any last minute frenzy, and so it was a big relief when Ramires made it three as he was able to evade Ashley Williams’s weak challenge from a José Bosingwa’s pass and slot it past Vorm.

Didier Drogba then marked his return from injury with a nicely taken goal right at the end, but not before Ashley Williams got one back for Swansea as Brendan Roger’s team once again exploited the bad marking displayed by Chelsea players at set-pieces off-late.

The only disappointment to an otherwise good display was Fernando Torres’s red card just when he was showing improvements in his game. John Obi Mikel gave another wonderful performance in the middle of the park, while Ramires gets more and more followers with every performance.

André Villas-Boas seemed satisfied with his team performance after they had to endure consecutive matches with ten men on the pitch, he said; “It was a good team performance generally,’

‘We have to emphasise the team because it shows the nature and commitment of the players towards their objectives.

‘We were five points behind the leaders and we shortened the distance, so we wait and see what happens at Stoke. You expect Man United to win; we are five points behind and have to continue to get as many wins as possible.’

Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires, Mikel, Meireles (McEachran 82); Anelka (Drogba 78), Torres, Mata (Malouda 58).

Goals Torres 29, Ramires 35, 76, Drogba 90+3

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