Premier League preview: Swansea v Chelsea
By Football News
The Blues' lead was pegged back to just a point to both Manchester sides but it could have, and probably should have, been very different if some of the decisions had fallen their way at Stamford Bridge in a 3-2 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Chelsea felt aggrieved with referee Mark Clattenburg's decision to send off both Branislav Ivanovic and striker Fernando Torres for a disputable dive before Javier Hernandez netted the winner for United from what looked to be an offside position.
After recovering from two goals down, unfortunate would be the best way to describe the sequence of events that led to Chelsea's first dropped points of the season.
Roberto Di Matteo's side earned their vengeance in a pulsating 5-4 extra-time win over Sir Alex Ferguson's side at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup on Wednesday but will be looking to reinstate their dominance at the top of the league against Swansea on Saturday.
Di Matteo went as far as to claim the win against United validated his side after the events that transpired on Sunday despite Ferguson claiming Chelsea were 'too much' for his young side.
"We wanted to show that Sunday's game was really heavily influenced by the officials," Di Matteo said.
Defender John Terry still has a match of his four-game ban to serve for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, meaning Gary Cahill will likely continue in the heart of defence.
Midfielder Frank Lampard is still another week away with a calf/shin injury while Swansea are reeling from the loss of star goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who tore a groin muscle and will miss up to six weeks.
Michael Laudrup's side's stoic defence drew a stuttering performance from City but the champions' goal eventually came through Carlos Tevez in the 61st minute, sending Swansea back to Wales with no points.
A sweet 3-1 victory over Liverpool under old manager Brendan Rodgers in the League Cup on Wednesday would have lifted Swansea's spirits and served as a reminder of the flashes of brilliance the side is capable.
Thumping back-to-back wins over QPR (5-0) and West Ham (3-0) to open the Premier League have been followed with a less-than-impressive run of one win in seven games but Laudrup's side know they are capable of troubling even the best sides in the Premier League on their day.