Cesc Fabregas’ 50th Premier League goal proved the difference as Chelsea sealed a narrow victory over fourth-from-bottom Swansea City. The Blues midfielder opened the scoring in only the fourth minute, but his finish was enough to win all three points for the visitors. With three matches remaining, Antonio Conte’s team kept their hopes of breaking into the top four alive. Swansea sit only one point above Southampton in 17th position, and their fate could be decided on the final game of the campaign, when they host Mark Hughes and the Saints. Here, our professional coaches analyse the tactics and key moments from the Liberty Stadium.
Chelsea began with a 3-5-1-1 system, with Eden Hazard operating in more of a free role in front of the central midfield three and behind lone forward Olivier Giroud.
The Belgium international’s influence in this position was almost immediately felt, when his reverse pass to Fabregas led to the midfielder scoring in the fourth minute. It was clear that Antonio Conte had given Hazard the licence to drop and receive the ball with freedom. Away from this, he worked well with Giroud in making clever opposite movements when the striker came deep.
Chelsea were dangerous down the right flank when playing against a lower block, where Victor Moses was often joined by Cesc Fabregas. Cesar Azpilicueta took up a high position to offer support and help create overloads on that side, too. Giroud was the natural focal point for any resulting crosses.
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