Swansea City 0-1 Chelsea: 3 things Chelsea did right
#2 Building from the back
With Swansea having Jordan Ayew as their most advanced player on the pitch, Chelsea knew that they could risk playing high up the pitch and involve their centre-backs in possession without the threat of a counter-attack. Neither was there the pace of Tammy Abraham to beat them on the offside trap, nor the strength of Wilfried Bony to challenge the defence physically.
The FA Cup finalists thus played a patient build-up game – controlled, of course, by N’Golo Kante, who hardly got a foot wrong in midfield. One out of Antonio Rudiger or Cesar Azpilicueta were occasionally seen taking the ball into the midfield in the hope of finding a good pass themselves.
Swansea, though shading the possession stats, were unable to do anything productive with it. They did not have a sniff at goal until very late in the game and were outnumbered by Chelsea’s three-strong midfield. The high-line tactic won’t work against sides with pacey forwards, but with no established number nine in Swansea’s ranks, it was a risk worth taking for Conte’s men.