Champions Chelsea open with Swansea draw

Published Saturday, August 8, 2015 3:10 PM by Shane Barrow
Champions Chelsea open with Swansea draw

Well this was not quite how it was supposed to go as the 2015-2016 EPL season opened on Saturday.  Defending champions Chelsea looked to open their title defense with three points at Stamford Bridge and set the pace once again.  Instead things took a bad turn after halftime and Chelsea escaped with a 2-2 tie.

Swansea showed right from the opening whistle that had no plans to roll over and allow the powers to open with a win.  Instead the Swans gave as good as they got in the opening 45 minutes.  A superbly placed Oscar free kick set Chelsea on their way as it evaded traffic and found the back corner of the net.  Swansea would equalize when Andre Ayew finished after a Courtois save.

The tie was shortlived though.  Chelsea quickly retook the lead as a fortunate deflection looped over Fabianski and into the visitors goal.  The entertaining game would go to the break 2-1 to Chelsea, but major drama awaited.

Only ten minutes into the second half the game would turn on its head. A long ball over the top saw Gomis onside and racing away in on goal.  Courtois rushed out to meet him  arriving late missing the tackle and bringing down the Frenchman. The referee adjudged the foul had taken place narrowly in the box.  The Chelsea goalkeeper was sent off and a penalty awarded.  Gomis put the spot kick past substitute Asmir Begovic and it was 2-2 with Chelsea to finish on ten men.

The shorthanded champs held strong for most of the remainder until a late Swansea flurry near won it for the visitors.  Gomis looked to have scored the winner, but was rightfully ruled offside before Wayne Routledge forced Begovic into a smart save late on.  

The two sides leave woth a 2-2 draw. Swansea look to be ever a stronger side than last year while Chelsea limp away with only a point and a suspended Courtois.  They'll travel to Manchester City next weekend with the prospects of starting the new year down the table.  Swansea will look to build on the road result by returning home as clear favorites against last year strugglers Newcastle.

Mourinho was unphased after the match saying "I think we played very well [in the] first half. The team was confident, even when they equalised. The red card changed everything. When you try to win with one player less, you expose yourself more."