By Derrick Kiplagat
Chelsea’s hopes of starting off the new campaign with a win as it was the case last campaign were broken by Swansea City as the swans claimed a deserved 2-2 draw at the Stamford Bridge, a game which saw the Blues’ first choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off.
Courtois was given his marching orders after 53 minutes of play for a foul on Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis, as the striker was preparing to put the equalizer to the empty net after Courtois came off his line. Gomis converted the resultant penalty past second choice and former Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, for the equalizer after Oscar’s free-kick and Federico Fernandez own goal in the first half.
Summer signing Andre Ayew had equalized for the away side initially, just 90 seconds before the blues edged back in front. It was only a ninth time in 24 opening day fixtures that Chelsea had failed to register a win as the host continued with their unstable pre-season form.
Swansea on the other hand showed their tough face once again, showing no signs of fear in the face of what seemed a daunting away trip in their season opener, as they had done to Manchester United 12 months ago at Old Trafford.
Earlier in the game, Gomis had flashed a fierce header wide off the target, then had his shot blocked by John Terry. Ki Sung-Yeung unleashed a 20 yard shot immediately after only to see it go wide but the hosts kept their cool which resulted to a goal that kept them ahead in the first quarter.
Chelsea left-back Cesar Azpilicueta intelligently drew a foul from Gomis on the edge of the box and Oscar drove a free-kick, confusing Swansea goal keeper Lukasz Fabianski with a cross cum-shot that curled all the way to the bottom left corner. Coincidentally, this was Oscar’s first goal for the Blues since his double against the Swans in a 5-0 win in January.
Swansea were not intimidated and were back on level terms six minutes later after brilliant skills on the left wing by Ecuadorian Winger Jefferson Montero who beat Branislav Ivanovic and threaded in a sublime cross to find Gomis who met it with a power header, but the brilliance of Thibaut Courtois denied him, before the resultant rebound found Ayew, whose first shot was also blocked then he regained his composure to register his debut goal.
Chelsea’s response was however immediate as Willian’s shot deflected off the boot of Fernandez to beat Fabianski for Chelsea’s second. Swansea’s second came in the 53rd minute when Gomis stood up on the penalty spot to beat substitute goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.