Swansea 0-1 Chelsea: Cesc Fabregas strike sees off Swans
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 29/04/18 8:13am
Cesc Fabregas sealed a 1-0 win for Chelsea over Swansea to boost their top-four chances, while leaving the Swans one point above the Premier League relegation zone.
It took just four minutes for Chelsea to take the lead on Saturday, with Fabregas' superb curling effort his 50th Premier League goal.
While the remainder of the first half lacked chances, Swansea were improved in the second period and had a number of chances to equalise.
After Southampton beat Bournemouth earlier in the day, Carlos Carvalhal's side are now just one point ahead of the drop zone in 17th, while Chelsea have closed the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham to two points.
Swansea: Fabianski (7), Naughton (6), Van Der Hoorn (6), Mawson (7), Olsson (7), Roberts (7), Ki (6), Clucas (6), King (6), J Ayew (6), A Ayew (7).
Subs used: Dyer (6), Carroll (6), Routledge (4).
Chelsea: Courtois (7), Moses (7), Rudiger (7), Cahill (7), Azpilicueta (7), Emerson (7), Fabregas (8), Kante (7), Bakayoko (7), Hazard (7), Giroud (7).
Subs used: Pedro (4), Willian (4), Morata (4).
Man of the match: Cesc Fabregas.
Chelsea made a fast start as N'Golo Kante capitalised on Andy King's poor control to unleash Eden Hazard, who shook off the challenge of Sung-Yueng Ki before setting up Fabregas to score.
The visitors almost doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute as Olivier Giroud's header was sent agonisingly over the crossbar by Alfie Mawson, with the ball clipping the woodwork on the way through.
Swansea made two changes with Sam Clucas and Connor Roberts coming in for Tom Carroll and Federico Fernandez. Chelsea also made two changes with Thibaut Courtois and Tiemoue Bakayoko replacing Willy Caballero and Willian.
The remainder of the opening period saw few chances, but Swansea went close seven minutes into the second half as Andre Ayew's header from a Martin Olsson cross was marshalled wide by Antonio Rudiger.
Chelsea went close to doubling their lead once more in the 74th minute, as Fabregas picked out Victor Moses at the near post but the wing-back was unable to convert as the ball squeezed wide of the post.
Swansea had their best chances to equalise in the final 15 minutes, with Andre Ayew hammering a shot wide before Kyle Naughton fired straight into the hands of Thibaut Courtois.
Substitute Tom Carroll could have snatched a point for Swansea in the 89th minute with a powerful volley from just inside the area, but again it ran wide for the hosts as they suffered a second successive loss in the Premier League for the first time under Carvalhal.
Alfie Mawson could have cost Swansea with an own goal, but despite the nervy moment, he put in a solid performance for the remainder of the game. Gary Cahill also did well at the other end, helping Chelsea to keep a clean sheet and producing some vital blocks when needed.
- Antonio Conte has won 50 of his 73 Premier League games in charge - only Jose Mourinho (63) and Pep Guardiola (69) reached 50 wins as manager in the competition in fewer games.
- Swansea have failed to score in 16 different Premier League games this season; in no campaign have they failed to score in more in the competition (also 16 in 2012-13).
- Chelsea have won three consecutive away league games for the first time since September (a run of five).
- Olivier Giroud hasn't scored in any of his last six Premier League starts, with his last six goals in the competition all coming as a sub.
Man of the match - Cesc Fabregas
It was a moment of quality from Fabregas that decided a fairly quiet encounter at the Liberty Stadium, with his lovely curling effort bringing up his 50th Premier League goal - the third Spanish player to reach the milestone in the competition after former Blues Fernando Torres (85) and Diego Costa (52).
He also became only the fourth player to scored 50+ goals and register 100+ assists in the Premier League, and first non-British player to do so after Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard, showing how he continues to shine in England's top flight.
Swansea will travel to Bournemouth in the Premier League next Saturday, while Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge next Sunday live on Sky Sports.