FULL-TIME: Chelsea run the clock down. And the final whistle goes. Bit of handbags after Jordan Ayew levels Cahill from behind, but tempers eventually calm. Chelsea win!
90min: Courtois with another solid save. 3 minutes added-on. Morata actually gets a call and wins a foul.
89min: Carroll shoots just wide as Cahill’s clearing header is taller than longer.
88min: Another counter goes begging as Morata caught offside on a Willian pass. Solid save from Courtois at the other end on a Mawson blast from range.
85min: Morata on for Giroud in Chelsea’s final change. Still 1-0, good guys.
80min: Hazard scuffs his shot after Cahill tackles brilliantly to prevent a great chance for Swansea. Willian comes on for Hazard, Pedro on for Fabregas as Chelsea add fresh legs. Routlege on for Olsson for Swansea as they throw even more attacking players on.
77min: Andre Ayew just misses. Chelsea getting worked.
73min: Somehow Chelsea don’t make it two as the ball spins wide of the near post after some terrific work from Hazard and Fàbregas.
68min: Bakayoko takes aim after a spell of possession from the Blues. Wide.
65min: Swans make second change, Carroll on for Roberts. Pattern of game remains the same, with Chelsea sitting back and countering.
61min: The hosts continue to press for their equalizer, fired by Premier League survival. Chelsea looking a bit beleaguered.
58min: Swans make first change, Dyer on for King adding to their attacking options.
55min: Another counter wasted as Moses’s cross is easily cut out. Swansea break the other way, but Azpi coolly chests it back to Courtois and the danger is gone.
53min: Half-chances at either end as Swansea start to press for equalizer and Chelsea look to counter with purpose.
50min: Conditions continue to worsen as the rain teams down and players slip & slide all over the place. Hazard leads a good counter but Giroud’s return ball not the best and Fabianski collects.
46min: And back underway. Chelsea 45 minutes away from temporarily closing the gap to just 2 points on Tottenham in 4th.
HALF-TIME: Moss brings the first-half to a close after one added minute as the Chelsea fans launch into Antonioooooooo, Antonioooooo. Chelsea good value for the 1-0 lead thus far and could easily have more.
44min: Chelsea finally manage to hold on to the ball for a sequence.
40min: Swansea with a spell of possession as the conditions continue to worsen. Emerson with a couple crucial headers away. Chelsea unable to get out or hold on to the ball suddenly.
35min: Rain in Wales. News at 10.
30min: Moses earns Chelsea’s first yellow (another harsh one, like the first card from Moss); Courtois saves easily from Ki’s ultimately harmless cross.
28min: A bit more even in the last few minutes, with Swansea threatening but Chelsea holding steady despite a few midfield turnovers. Kanté gets away with a foul in a similar position to Bakayoko earlier. Moses then works a cross that somehow misses everyone; just needed a touch!
21min: Swansea hit their own crossbar (Mawson), after some tremendous combination play from Chelsea creates a couple half-chances for Fàbregas & Co. Giroud then just misses another header on the corner, possibly because he was put off by his own teammate (Rüdiger).
19min: Cahill gives the ball away, recovers to head the cross away. Kanté mops up for a throw.
17min: Moses bullies his way into the box but his goal-bound effort is blocked by a Swansea shoulder. Giroud and Rüdiger both come close then on the subsequent corner.
14min: Good defending by Emerson at the far post, then draws a foul from Andre Ayew who earns the game’s first booking.
12min: Great chance goes begging for Chelsea as Hazard slips at the crucial moment when it looked like he’d slot home Moses’s low cross.
10min: Intensity picking up a bit now; Bakayoko gets away with a foul at the top of the Chelsea box, then Hazard wins a couple wins in Swansea’s half.
3min: Easy as you like, Chelsea moving at half speed and still taking the lead, Hazard with the turn and dribble and layoff to Cesc Fàbregas, who curls it in with his weaker foot past Fabianski. Lovely finish for his 50th Premier League goal in his career!
KICK-OFF: Jon Moss gets us underway, and some low-key passing ensues.
We’re trying something slightly different with gamethreads: instead of just an open thread, it will be updated regularly (while you comment away below) with highlights, stats, and anything else worthwhile for a live blog sort of thing. Let’s see how it goes.
COME ON, CHELSEA!
Swansea City starting XI:
Fabianski | Roberts, Naughton, Van der Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson, Ki Sung-Yueng, King, Clucas, A.Ayew (c), J.Ayew
Substitutes from: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Britton, Carroll, Routledge, Dyer, Sanches
Chelsea starting lineup (3-5-2):
Courtois | Rüdiger, Cahill (c), Azpilicueta | Emerson, Fàbregas, Kanté, Bakayoko, Moses | Hazard, Giroud
Substitutes from: Caballero, Christensen, Zappacosta, Barkley, Pedro, Willian, Morata
So it’s back to the 3-5-2 from Antonio Conte, but not the two-striker variant. Instead it’s the one with Hazard as a shadow striker, in support of Giroud this time. This didn’t really work too well (outside of a couple games) with Morata as the lead, so we’ll see how it works out this time.
Date / Time: Saturday, April 28th, 2018, 17:30 BST; 12:30pm EDT; 10:00pm IST
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales
Referee: Jonathan Moss
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBC [the main network], Telemundo Deportes (USA); Star Sports Select 2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); NBC Sports Live, UNIVERSO NOW (USA); Hotstar (India)
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