- match commentary
- English Capital One Cup
- 9 January 2013, 7:45pm
- Stamford Bridge
- Attendance: 40,172
FULL TIME: Swansea are halfway to Wembley! Despite Chelsea's overwhelming possession, they could not break throught that red wall, led superbly by the unflappable Ashley Williams. As the game wore on, the European champions' threat wilted and they have a massive task now to overturn a two-goal lead in south Wales in two weeks' time.
90+3 mins: Ba goal disallowed! Amazing late scenes here. Lampard brings the ball down brilliantly and in doing so sets up Ba to crack the ball past Tremmel, who gets a glove on it but can't stop the net bursting. Hang about though, the flag is up for offside! Chelsea's night really can't get any worse.
90+2 mins: GRAHAM DOUBLES SWANSEA'S LEAD!! Erm, wow. Swansea are in dreamland, but Ivanovic is having an utter shocker. He's completely to blame for the second time tonight. He fails to look before delivering what he thought to be a safe backpass to his 'keeper, but Graham is lurking. The former Watford man rounds the goalkeeper and with two defenders hurtling back he keeps his cool to bury the ball into the net and celebrate in front of the delirious travelling Welsh fans. Amazing.
90+1 mins: Oooh, there's still time for some late controversy. Ba and Tremmel race for a throughball inside the area. Ba gets a toe on it first and goes down, but there's not much contact from the 'keeper. The whistle goes, but not for a penalty, it's a booking for Ba! I don't think he was really looking for that. Bizarre decision for me.
90 mins: Azpilicueta's wild effort from distance is enough for some Chelsea fans. The unmistakable sound of seats tipping up is heard all around the ground.
87 mins: Another chance for Ba, set up by Ivanovic's cross from the right, but again despite winning the aerial duel, the Senegalese hitman can't get his header on target.
86 mins: Hang on, Chelsea have thought of a new idea. Float the ball up towards Ba, Alan Pardew style, and hope he gets on the end of it. It almost works here as a chip into the box sees Ba climb above Williams and re-direct his header goalwards, but Tremmel is well positioned.
85 mins: Chelsea have simply run out of ideas. Luiz cracks a shot from 30 yards that brings an 'eeeurrgh' from the crowd as it sails high over the bar.
83 mins: Another change by Benitez - Marko Marin coming on for Oscar. Laudrup makes a sub too, goalscorer Michu making way for Danny Graham.
82 mins: Lampard unleashes a snapshot from distance but it's straight at Tremmel. Chelsea simply can't get in behind Swansea's last line at all.
80 mins: Here's Demba Ba, on for the ineffective Torres. How long will the Spaniard be able to keep his starting place, one wonders? "Any chance of swapping Torres for Michu?" asks Sparky in London. I'm not sure I'd even swap Torres for Guly Do Prado at Saints, and that's saying something.
76 mins: Tiendalli brings the ball for clear for Swansea and sets up a very tidy counter-attack. Space opens up in front of Ki, and he slips it through to Michu, who nicks the ball past Turnbull. I think he already knew, as the 'keeper did, that the flag was up.
74 mins: And on it goes, Chelsea possession leading to a poor final pass or ultra-efficient defensive header.
71 mins: The attention is inevitably focusing on Chelsea's failings here, but Swansea's defending has been superb. Williams, in particular, has been solid as a rock.
70 mins: The home faithful have their wish. Frank Lampard is up off the bench to replace Ramires.
68 mins: Rubbish. Davies' foul gives Mata the chance to swing in a free kick, but he curls it over everyone's head and out for a goal kick. Plenty of time left in this semi-final, of course, but the natives are getting restless here.
65 mins: Chelsea feel aggrieved as Hazard is pushed off the ball by Rangel, but the ref sees nothing untoward. Frustration grows ever more acute for the hosts. "If Chelski lose, taxi for Benitez.." says Ian Lilley in Manchester. Even by Abramovich's standards, that would be pretty hasty.
62 mins: Michael Laudrup takes off Routledge in favour of Dwight Tiendalli.
61 mins: Azpilicueta gets to the byline but his cross is smuggled out for a corner by Williams. Tremmel flaps at the resulting corner, but it falls just far enough away form Ivanovic to prevent the Serb capitalising. There's now an intruder on the pitch who causes the crowd much amusement, but the cameras, as usual, pan away from the man in question so we're unable to share in the source of the crowd's giggling. Spoil sports.
58 mins: Super save by Tremmel! Hazard raids down the left side of the Swansea area, squares for Mata and his loose touch inadvertently sets up Luiz from only 12 yards. He whacks it with his left peg but the Swansea 'keeper not only stops, but holds on to it too.
56 mins: Luiz doesn't give his team-mates much of a look-in at free kicks. Again he clears any would-be takers out of the way before lining up a crack at goal from 30 yards. The big-haired midfielder clears the wall, but the ball flashes just wide. Tremmel had it covered I think.
54 mins: Michu lurks beyond the far post and is picked out by a long, floaty cross. He tries a bicycle kick but can't keep it down. "Super, Super Frank..." sing the Blues fans. They want their hero off the bench PDQ.
52 mins: Hazard takes aim from the edge of the box, but his strike takes a nick off Mata, sending it wide of the near post. Chelsea needed to start the second half with a high tempo and a head full of steam. But they haven't.
48 mins: ... Luiz takes it, and... oh dear. Over the bar. Tremmel boots the goal kick down field, Torres picks it up, but plays what should have been a simple pass straight out of play.
47 mins: Chico leaves a foot dangling, Torres tumbles over it and the Swansea defender is booked. It's a Chelsea free kick just outside the area on the left...
46 mins: Off we go again. No ch-ch-ch-changes, for either side. Topical music reference for you there (kids - Google it.).
HALF TIME:Classic smash 'n' grab from Swansea thus far. Chelsea totally dominated possession, spurned chances, then one split-second loss of concentration at the back and they concede a killer goal to Michu, who is nailing down the 'signing of the season' tag more firmly with every goal. Stay tuned for the second half, why don'tcha?
44 mins: Ramires bursts into the area and is denied by Williams' intervention. The ball comes quickly at Azpilicueta but his instinctive hit flies wide of the near post. It's gone awfully quiet at the Bridge.
43 mins: Ivanovic, desperate to atone for his cock-up, smacks a shot towards the corner of the net from just outside the box, but Tremmel throws himself to his right to palm it away.
41 mins: Hernandez is booked for wiping out Oscar.
38 mins: MICHU GIVES SWANSEA THE LEAD!!This is an utter horror show from Branislav Ivanovic. Given the ball by his 'keeper just outside the area, he casually turns and - to his horror - is confronted by De Guzman, who robs him. The ball is slipped left to Michu who rasps the ball just inside Turnbull's near post from just inside the area. A devastating finish. A calamity for Chelsea, who have totally dominated thus far.
36 mins: Chelsea's pressure is unrelenting. Oscar skins Davies down the right, but his dinked cross is repelled, so he tries again. Same result. The ball comes back to Luiz 30 yards out, but his attempted low curler is powderpuff.
33 mins: Luiz's little chip over the top looks promising for Oscar, who's beaten Swansea's offside trap, but his first touch lets him down. If he'd brought that down a little more silkily (is that a word? If not, it should be) a glorious chance beckoned.
32 mins: Torres, out on the right, has Mata in acres in the centre. He stretches to feed the cross towards his compatriot, but an alert Tremmel is off his line to smother just before Mata can poke his toe in.
31 mins: Oscar's neat little touch sends Mata flying into the box. A little skip, a step-over then a blast towards the far corner, but the ball zips just wide.
29 mins: Dreadful pass from De Guzman, missing his target Hernandez by five yards. Swansea look very inhibited, but if they've come for a 0-0, they've achived it so far. "Stuffy 1-0 to Chelsea, hazard score it. Stuck a fiver on it at 35-1!!" says Scott in Stoke. Not looking a bad shout at the moment, Scotty boy!
26 mins: Big chance for Mata! Hazard slices through the Swansea defence and sets it up on a plate for the Spaniard, unmarked in the centre of the area and only 15 yards out. His finish is dreadfully tame, side-footing it straight at a very relieved Tremmel.
25 mins: Mata swings in a cross from the left and Davies makes a panicky clearance for a corner. From it, Cahill rises just in front of the penalty spot but slaps his header over the bar. Chelsea gently moving up the gears.
23 mins: Hazard's mazy run and clever backheel sets up a shooting chance for Mata, but his attempted curler cannons against Davies. It rebounds back for Azpilicueta, whose low skimmer just beats the far post. Fine effort.
21 mins: A little bit better from Swansea as they keep possession at the business end of the pitch and Michu's low stinger from 25 yards is saved pretty comfortably by Turnbull. He barely had to move.
19 mins: Swansea, belying their reputation, cannot keep the ball at the moment. In fact, Chelsea are playing like Swansea usually do - plenty of short, sharp, accurate passing and patient build-up.
17 mins: Chelsea are content to ping pretty but innocuous passes around in midfield and wait for their chance. Mata's cross towards Hazard is headed away by Williams.
14 mins: Possession stats show Swansea have yet to threaten Chelsea's final third. As I type, they do break forward but Hernandez is flagged offside down the right wing.
11 mins: Almost a dreamy goal by Chelsea! Luiz prompts the move which also involves Hazard in a rapid exchange of passes. It ends up giving Ramires a shooting chance. He stutters, dinking inside one defender, then another, but he can only toe-poke the ball low at Tremmel when a first-time strike might have proved more fruitful.
9 mins: Torres turns inside his marker outside the penalty area, blasts at goal but it's a seven iron that possibly spills someone's coffee in row Z.
7 mins: Finally, the ball is actually put into a penalty area. Oscar's low cross is hacked away for a corner. When it comes in, Ki is grappling with Luiz but the ref ignores it as play goes on. Torres whips the ball back in from the far side, but Oscar's flick header is far too high.
6 mins: Britton belies his reputation as a calm short passer of the ball by whacking it out of play with unnecessary haste. It really has been a cagey start,
4 mins: De Guzman wins the ball in determined fashion in midfield and scuttles forward before buying a cheap free kick. It's taken quickly and curled into the box, but Michu is offside.
2 mins: A pretty quiet opening. Amazingly, this is Ashley Cole's first start in this competition for five years.
0 mins: It's the Swans, clad in their red away shirts, with white shorts and green socks, who get us off and running at a dry and noisy Stamford Bridge.
1935: How are we all this evening then? Perhaps it's because I've just wolfed down three Bakewell tarts in quick succession, but I've got a little feeling in my belly for a minor upset tonight. I think Chelsea will get through over two legs, but Swansea have got steel to go with their style and won't make it easy. Here's a smattering of your pre-match views: "2-2 draw with michu and graham scoring for swans. Would be content with a 1 goal defeat mind for an interesting 2nd leg," says Andy Ronan. "I hope ur rite with ur prediction mike as iv had a few quid myself on the swans." says Phil in Warrington. Wolter in Wrexham adds: "Chelsea to win 3-0, two goals for torres and a pen from mata." Milfred in Pune, India reckons: "Chelsea will come from behind to win 2-1." We'll soon find out, won't we?
Team news: Chelsea make two changes to the side that walloped Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday. Despite his debut brace, Demba Ba drops to the bench and Fernando Torres returns. Victor Moses is off to the African Cup of Nations, so he's replaced by Oscar. Petr Cech (groin) and John Terry (knee) remain out.
For Swansea, Gerhard Tremmel starts in goal in one of five changes from the FA Cup draw with Arsenal. Angel Rangel returns after a calf problem, while Pablo Hernandez, Ashley Williams and Michu all return to the starting line-up.
Orange commentator and Bakewell tart lover Mike Dale will be your point of contact for tonight's clash. You can send him your predictions, bets and little pearls of wisdom by using the 'text the commentator' box on your right. Simple, innit?