Guus Hiddink has suffered his first Premier League loss in charge of Chelsea over two different spells after a 1-0 defeat to Swansea City. Gylfi Sigurdsson was the man who condemned the blues after the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder hit a shot first time into the bottom corner after young defender Matt Miazga could only clear the ball directly into the Swansea man’s path.
The defeat leave Chelsea in 10th position, one point behind Liverpool who have two games in hand. Whereas Swansea are now only four behind Chelsea and the Welsh side currently sit comfortably in 13th position.
A lot of this season’s plaudits may be given to Hiddink for his remarkable turnaround of a struggling Chelsea after the champions could have been facing a shocking relegation battle.
Yet Francesco Guidolin should be given a lot of credit for the way he has dragged Swansea away from the relegation battle after earlier in the season Garry Monk’s side look destined to be in contention for the drop.
With 13 points separating themselves and Sunderland in 18th position, Swansea look like they can thank their Italian boss for keeping them in the Premier League.
Chelsea were notably lack lustre today, despite dominating the possession for large spells of the game but were undone by the talents of Sigurdsson and Jefferson Montero.
The Ecuadorian terrorised the Chelsea defence all game, swinging in a team high of 10 crosses in the game. Using his pace and ability to run down the wing, creating their first chance of the night combining with Sigurdsson. A combination that helped to create the only goal of the game.
Alexandre Pato started his first game in Chelsea colours but the striker was unable to make much of an impact since despite the away side holding much of the possession, Hiddink’s men were unable to create many chances and only having two shots on target.
Things to take away
Sigurdsson is now third on the list of top scorers for 2016 having scored nine goals. Only Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero have more.
Liberty Stadium has become somewhat of a fortress. The Welsh club have only conceded two goals in their last six games. Guidolin has brought with him a very strong defensive policy.
Chelsea miss Diego Costa when the Spanish international is not in the squad. Costa is Chelsea’s leading scorer and his side produce much more chances with his presence in the match. Pato has ability but he just seemed out of his depth in this game.
What’s next for both sides?
The Blues will have to improve significantly to manage to defeat Manuel Pellegrini’s side, both teams have traded large victories against each other already in the season. With Jose Mourinho seeing his Chelsea side suffer a 3-0 defeat earlier in the season, then Hiddink seeing his side claim a 5-1 victory of Manchester City in the FA Cup.
Swansea will travel to relegation troubled Newcastle United who have just been given a huge bump in their road to safety by Southampton after suffering a 3-1 defeat.
If Montero can repeat his performance against Rafael Benitez’s side it would be difficult to see Swansea losing this one. Newcastle are having a serious problem defending this season and Montero could be just the next person on the list to have dominated a very weak defence.