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Chelsea earn crucial win over 10-man Swansea

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It wasn't pretty, but has Jose Mourinho ever bothered to care about the way in which  three points were acquired?

Chelsea travelled to the Liberty Stadium on Sunday to take on Swansea City in a must-win match-up for the Blues in their quest for the Premier League title, snatching up all three points with a 1-0 victory.

Chelsea were without Eden Hazard due to a calf-strain sustained in their mid-week Champions League match with Paris Saint-Germain and his absence from the side was overwhelmingly evident as they failed to score from multiple chances created within the first hour.

Swansea came out of the gate with aggression and a level-headed approach in their offensive scheme. Jonjo Shelvey controlled possession through the middle of the pitch for the first 10 minutes of the game and was supported with numbers on the wings by Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge and, for a minute, it seemed like the home side were destined to open the scoring. 

Arguably the best chance of the first half for Chelsea came just five minutes in, when Branislav Ivanovic found Mohammed Salah 10 yards out in front of goal, but the Egyptian international pushed his shot wide of the post.

14 minutes into the match was where things started to get interesting. 

Swansea centre-back Chico Flores took down a streaking Willian on the Chelsea counter-attack, leaving referee Phil Dowd no choice but to reach for his chest pocket to produce a yellow card.

Just two minutes later, Chico took down Andre Schurrle just outside the left-hand side of the penalty area with a mistimed challenge.

He was awarded his second card in as many minutes and shown red for the tackle, leaving Swansea manager Garry Monk with just 10 men for the remaining 74 minutes.

Swansea did well not to concede before heading into the dressing rooms at halftime and Chelsea were fortunate to have the reliable hands of Petr Cech in between the posts for some key saves throughout the first 45 minutes.

Mourinho brought on Oscar and Samuel Eto'o for the second half to add some offensive firepower to his side and Oscar's influence on the match was immediately noticeable as he controlled the tempo and flow of the Chelsea attack.

For the second time this week, the forgotten Demba Ba was the hero for the Blues, this time coming off a wonderful downfield find from Nemanja Matic, which Ba calmly collected at the edge of the area and slotted home past Michel Vorm for what would be the game's opening and only goal in the 67th minute.

The ball took a slight deflection off of Ashley Williams' attempted block - making it tricky to deal with for the Swansea keeper - but it was Ba's goal nonetheless. 

Then Chelsea did what they do best: park the bus and let their air-tight defence do the rest. Gary Cahill and John Terry (again) played a crucial role in the shutout, keeping their league best goals against tally at 24.

It was a spirited effort from 10-man Swansea, but in the end, Mourinho's Chelsea overwhelmed the home side with their power in numbers and their consistent pace in the pockets of space on the wings.

With table-topping Liverpool picking up all three points at Anfield with a dramatic 3-2 win against fellow front-runners Manchester City just hours before Chelsea's match, it was pivotal that the Blues recorded the win in South Wales on Sunday as the "three-dog" Premier League title race continues to keep us on the edge of our sofas and screaming at our television sets.

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Topics:
Chelsea
Football
Swansea City
Premier League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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