Chelsea held to leave Man City top of the Premier League
Antonio Conte sees the Blues 100 per cent record disappear after jittery showing against Swansea
Swansea 2 Chelsea 2
Two goals in three minutes ensured Swansea a shared the spoils at the end of a pulsating match at the Liberty Stadium, and the results leaves Manchester City the only side in the Premier League to have collected maximum points from their first four games. Their 2-1 win away at Manchester United on Saturday puts them top of the table, two points clear of Chelsea with United in third with nine points.
Chelsea got off to a flier on Sunday with Willian, Oscar and Eden Hazard bossing the midfield and looking likely to make it four wins from four. That outcome grew stronger on 18 minutes when the visitors opened their account after a blunder by Federico Fernandez. His header fell to Oscar, whose pass found Costa and the Spaniard drove a low shot into the Swansea net.
Costa also got Chelsea's second with an acrobatic overhead finish, but not until nine minutes from the end, by which time Swansea were in the lead thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty on the hour mark and Leroy Fer's scrappy goal two minutes later.
There was little doubt about the spot-kick decision with Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois upending Sigurdsson after being caught out of position. In the old days the Belgian would likely have been shown a red card but the rule change this season, which states it's no longer an automatic red for preventing a goalscoring opportunity, saved Courtois.
"We know today we lost two points," reflected Antonio Conte, who failed in his bid to become the fourth Chelsea manager to win his first four Premier League games in charge, a feat achieved by Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti. "We were dominating the game and leading 1-0 and created a lot of chances to score the second and third goals. It's a pity because when you have the possibility to kill the game you must kill the game."
Conte claimed Fer fouled Gary Cahill in the lead-up to the second Swansea goal - calling the decision to allow the goal to stand a "bad" one - and Cahill later uploaded onto Twitter a photo of himself being tackled from behind by Fer with the comment 'Incredible'. The post was later deleted, reports The Sun.
But Chelsea would be better advised to examine their defensive frailties that allowed Fer to poke the ball home. Surely the unused substitute David Luiz, recently returned to Stamford Bridge after two years at Paris Saint-Germain, will feature on Friday when Chelsea host Liverpool.
"We came back strongly with two good goals, it's a good point for us," said Fer, whose side climb to 13th in the table. "Chelsea were better in the first half. It's a massive point and we have to get confidence from this game."