Scroll to Photostream above left for match photos, click on the statistics tab for match stats. Manager reaction below.
First-half goals from Oscar and Frank Lampard were enough to secure a 2-0 win for Chelsea against Swansea in the Barclays Premier League. The Brazilian struck on 43 minutes while Lampard, a substitute, dispatched his penalty just before the half-time whistle, much to the delight of the home faithful.
Chelsea recalled defender Gary Cahill to the starting XI after a long injury lay-off while Demba Ba replaced Fernando Torres upfront. Rafael Benitez also chose to move David Luiz into midfield with Branislav Ivanovic dropping to the bench. For Swansea, Ki Sung-Yueng and Wayne Routledge returned with Nathan Dyer and Luke Moore starting on the bench as a result.
Both sides began brightly but chances were at a premium, with Eden Hazard's tame long-range effort the only talking point in the first 10 minutes. The action picked up on 15 minutes as Ba stung Michel Vorm's palms, while a better ball from Wayne Routledge half an hour in would have put Michu in with a good chance on goal.
As it was, the first half-hour was mostly one of frustration in the final third, with both sides largely limited to long-distance strikes. However, things improved in the two minutes before time, as a neat exchange between John Terry and Lampard, who arrived as a substitute for Ramires 20 minutes in, set up Oscar to strike coolly past Vorm into the far corner.
Chelsea subsequently piled on the pressure right up until half-time and got their reward when Juan Mata was upended in the area by Leon Britton on 46 minutes. Lampard stepped up and dispatched neatly to send his side in 2-0 up at the break.
Chelsea continued to apply pressure in the second half, with Hazard teeing up Ba to again test Vorm just before the hour mark. But Jonathan de Guzman could have brought his side back into the match when through on goal after Lampard had given the ball away.
Mata then should have made it three on 72 minutes but his first touch gave him too much to do as he tried to fire across Vorm, eventually seeing his effort roll just wide.
But Chelsea did not need a further cushion to earn a result which boosted their top-four aspirations while extending Swansea's winless run to six games.
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez: “Always to win is good. To score two goals and a clean sheet at this stage of the season with so many games and to play very good football in attack with our combinations, I am really pleased.
“We could have scored a third and finished the game but we didn't. You could see sometimes Swansea had a threat between the lines but to get three points and do it in this way we have to be really pleased.
“Frank is a great player. I'm really pleased because he scored another goal. Hopefully he can score five before the end of the season and he will be much happier. He was important for us; he is a good player and has quality when you control possession. I was talking with him before the game. He is a great professional and really focused. He would like to play more games but understands the main thing is the team.
“Ramires has a dead leg but I think he will be fine for [the UEFA Europa League tie against Basel on] Thursday.”
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup: "For the first 40 minutes there weren't too many chances. They are a great team, with great players, but five crazy minutes changed the game.
"We came back into it during the second half and we played well until the last third - that final pass just needed that extra bit of quality. Sometimes that's the difference, but when you play the top teams you have to be realistic. But in the end the last ball is so important and it's something we have to work on in the future."
"We still have the top two teams to play, so it won't be easy. It's always nice to end the season well, but the incredible thing is that we are still ninth in the table.”
|05 May 2013||v Man Utd (A)|
|08 May 2013||v Spurs (H)|
|11 May 2013||v Aston Villa (A)|
|19 May 2013||v Everton (H)|
|14 Dec 2013||v Chelsea (H)|
|23 Dec 2013||v Arsenal (A)|