Jose Mourinho said his team was out of the title race, but after a 1-0 win over Swansea who played with 10 men for most of the match, it seems like his players are very much in the hunt for the championship, mostly thanks to a goal from Demba Ba in the second half.
Chico Flores was sent off in the 16th minute with a second yellow card on a controversial call that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the match. In those remaining 75 minutes, Swansea were able to create only one more chance late in the match which Petr Cech handled well. The rest of it was total Chelsea dominance, with plenty of inaccuracy from both Samuel Eto’o and Mohamed Salah, getting a rare start.
Putting Oscar and Samuel Eto’o on at the beginning of the second half gave Chelsea a much more energetic and aggressive look after looking slightly sluggish and sometimes looking for ideas against Swansea’s defensive stance during the first 45 minutes. In the end it was a long ball from Nemanja Matic to Demba Ba which decided the match. Some nice control from Ba left him in a one on one with Michael Vorm, and the Dutchman was able to touch the ball but not save the goal as Chelsea went past Manchester City in the table.
Swansea are in deep trouble, only three points above the place that leads to relegation, although their goal difference is favorable compared to the rest of the teams that are trying to stay in the Premier League for another season. Chelsea are now second, two points behind Liverpool, and five points above Manchester City who still have two matches in need of completion. The championship for the Blues goes through Anfield, where they’ll play Liverpool soon enough.
Chelsea did play well, despite looking slightly troubled in the front. Mourinho has talked about his striker problems all season, this time not throwing Fernando Torres into the fray. Eto’o made the wrong decision or put in the wrong touch with almost every opportunity he had in the Swansea box, but it’s incredible to think that maybe it’ll be Demba Ba that makes the biggest difference once this season is over and we’ll look back at it.