Ten-man Chelsea FC began their title defence with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge, which saw goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off in the second half for a foul on Swans striker Baf timbi Gomis
The Blues began the defence of their Premier League crown in somewhat disappointing fashion, after twice losing a one-goal lead to draw 2-2 against an impressive Swansea City side on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
The match was not without its controversial moments, but Blues manager Jos Mourinho refused to comment on referee Michael Oliver’s controversial decision to show keeper Thibaut Courtois a straight red card after a ball over the top had left the Belgian one on one with Swansea striker Baf timbi Gomis.
Mourinho happy with first half ‘quality’ and second half ‘spirit’
Although Jos Mourinho’s side began the match impressively in an attacking sense, the defence looked unconvincing throughout, with new Swansea City signing Andr Ayew taking advantage to bring his side level following Oscar’s opener.
Right-back Branislav Ivanovi , in particular, endured a torrid time against winger Jefferson Montero, and the Ayew goal unsurprisingly resulted from a Montero cross from the left. Chelsea FC restored their advantage shortly after with a fortuitous goal, but the game took a dramatic turn in the second half when Swansea were awarded a penalty and Thibaut Courtois saw red for a challenge on Baf timbi Gomis.
Mourinho, however, preferred not to comment on the incident. He is quoted by the Chelsea FC official website as saying: “With the penalty, red card, one player less, 2-2 obviously it changes everything. If you have one player less but you are happy with the result, you have a certain approach and normally you can hide the fact you have one player less.
a BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 8, 2015
“When you have one player less and you want to try to win ita s different; you expose yourself more, the attacking players arrive at a moment where they are so tired they cannot keep the lines compact and ita s difficult to press. It changes a lot. The good thing for me was that it was a very good first half and in the second half we fought to get a result.”
Mourinho was, however, impressed that his side continued to try and win the game in difficult circumstances. “The players know ita s a bad result,” Mourinho admitted. “But they also know that one point is one point and playing with 10 men for such a long time is much more difficult.
“Fundamentally they know that Ia m happy with the quality they had in the first half and the spirit they had in the second half, so we are in peace but we are not happy with the result.”
Gary Monk delighted with his side’s performance
Swansea City manager Gary Monk was understandably delighted with his team’s impressive display at the home of the Premier League champions on the opening day, with the Englishman reserving special words of praise for new signing Andr Ayew.
“He’s come in and been incredible,” Monk told BBC Sport, speaking about the Ghanaian international. “He’s worked extremely hard with the group and the group have worked hard with him to make him feel settled and it’s always good when your a new player in a new league to get that first goal. It will give him great confidence.”
Monk also felt his side deserved the result they got, and rightly so. The Blues’ lack of pace in defence was exposed time and again, not only by Jefferson Montero, but also the likes of Gomis playing off the shoulder of the last man and being fed by former Liverpool FC midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.
“I thought we were excellent,” Monk said to BBC Sport. “I thought the best chances of the game fell to us – we had some very good chances – and we always looked dangerous and got the result we deserved.”
Despite the bad start to their title defence, it doesn’t get any easier for Chelsea FC next weekend as they take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday hoping to register their first three points of the new season.