Cesc Fabregas scores as Chelsea beat Swansea to boost UCL hopes
Swansea 0 - 1 Chelsea

Cesc Fabregas scores as Chelsea beat Swansea to boost UCL hopes

29/04/2018

Chelsea's chase for a top-four Premier League spot gathered pace as Cesc Fabregas scored a landmark goal to deepen Swansea's relegation concerns.

Fabregas struck in the fourth minute on a wet night in south Wales -- his 50th Premier League goal and 15th for Chelsea after scoring 35 for former club Arsenal.

Swansea had their opportunities, particularly in the second half, to claim something, but the 1-0 defeat means it is now six games without a win for Carlos Carvalhal's side.

There is also little breathing space for Swansea now in the fight for top-flight safety as Southampton's victory against Bournemouth reduces their advantage to the relegation zone to one point.

Blues boss Antonio Conte patrolled the technical area like a caged tiger throughout and it was easy to see why with so much at stake.

Liverpool's goalless draw at home to Stoke earlier in the day had slightly opened the door to Chelsea as far as qualifying for next season's Champions League was concerned.

A nine-point gap at kick-off was reduced to six, with Chelsea -- who are two points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham -- having a game in hand over their Merseyside rivals. Chelsea and Liverpool meet at Stamford Bridge next weekend, when the pressure could really be applied on Jurgen Klopp's side.

Swansea's defensive resources had been depleted by the loss of Federico Fernandez and Kyle Bartley to injury.

So Kyle Naughton, the regular right-back, became one of three central defenders and Connor Roberts came in for his first Premier League start.

But that unfamiliarity in the Swansea defence was exposed immediately as Eden Hazard found Fabregas unmarked in the penalty area and the Spaniard curled a delicious shot past Lukasz Fabianski.

With Hazard running the show, Chelsea were in complete command and Victor Moses saw his goal-bound effort blocked by Alfie Mawson before Olivier Giroud failed to divert a header goalwards.

Swansea's anxiety was reflected by Mawson skimming the top of his own crossbar after the ball had ballooned into the air and Giroud had won the header.

Moses joined Andre Ayew in the referee Jonathan Moss' book for scything down Martin Olsson and Swansea mustered their first goal-bound attempt when Ki Sung-yueng sent the resulting free-kick into Thibaut Courtois' midriff.

Swansea had to find a cutting edge after the break and there was optimism when Olsson crossed for Andre Ayew to head over under pressure from Antonio Rudiger.

But it was difficult to lay a glove on a Chelsea defence in which England defender Gary Cahill was given another pre-World Cup opportunity to impress and that was superbly protected by N'Golo Kante.

There was also the danger of a productive Chelsea counter and Fabianski went low to his left to deny wing-back Emerson after one such raid.

Swansea went close when Jordan Ayew headed over as Chelsea struggled to clear a corner and his brother Andre curled just wide as the hosts began to press in the final quarter.

Naughton's half-volley then forced Courtois into action and Cahill had to come to the rescue with a perfectly timed penalty-area challenge on Nathan Dyer.

Chelsea continued to drop deeper in the final minutes, but Swansea's hopes of a point finally evaporated when Tom Carroll fired wide and Courtois thwarted Wayne Routledge.

Related news

Everton snatch points with late goals after Crystal Palace penalty woe

Everton snatch points with late goals after Crystal Palace penalty woe

Two late goals in two minutes from substitutes Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenc Tosun saw Everton past Crystal Palace -- for whom Luka Milivojevic had a penalty saved -- 2-0 at Goodison Park.

Mohamed Salah strike enough to earn Liverpool victory at Huddersfield

Mohamed Salah strike enough to earn Liverpool victory at Huddersfield

Liverpool ground out a 1-0 win at Huddersfield as Mohamed Salah's goal took them back up to second place in the Premier League table.

Lamela goal edges Spurs to derby win at West Ham

Lamela goal edges Spurs to derby win at West Ham

Tottenham Hotspur secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over lowly London rivals West Ham United thanks to a deft first-half finish from Erik Lamela in their Premier League derby on Saturday.

City go top with 5-0 crushing of Burnley

City go top with 5-0 crushing of Burnley

Champions Manchester City took over sole control at the top of the Premier League table with an easy 5-0 win over Burnley, earning them a seventh win from their opening nine games.

Last-gasp Ross Barkley strike saves point for Chelsea against Manchester United

Last-gasp Ross Barkley strike saves point for Chelsea against Manchester United

Ross Barkley scored an injury-time equaliser as Chelsea salvaged a 2-2 draw with Manchester United on a dramatic afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool and Manchester City in stalemate as Riyad Mahrez skies late penalty

Liverpool and Manchester City in stalemate as Riyad Mahrez skies late penalty

Riyad Mahrez smashed a late penalty over the bar as Manchester City and Liverpool played out a dull 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Hazard, Barkley, Morata on target as Chelsea cruise to win at Southampton

Hazard, Barkley, Morata on target as Chelsea cruise to win at Southampton

Ross Barkley scored his first goal for Chelsea to help defeat Southampton 3-0 at St. Mary's on Sunday.

Arsenal hammer Fulham with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubles

Arsenal hammer Fulham with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubles

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey scored the goal of the game as Unai Emery's men made it nine consecutive wins in all competitions with this 5-1 victory over Fulham.

Alexis Sanchez the hero as Man United complete comeback vs. Newcastle

Alexis Sanchez the hero as Man United complete comeback vs. Newcastle

A 90th-minute goal by Alexis Sanchez helped Manchester United complete an unlikely comeback and claim a 3-2 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford on Saturday.

RELATED NEWS

Everton snatch points with late goals after Crystal Palace penalty woe
Everton 2 - 0 Crystal Palace

Everton snatch points with late goals after Crystal Palace penalty woe

Two late goals in two minutes from substitutes Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenc Tosun saw Everton past Crystal Palace -- for whom Luka Milivojevic had a penalty saved -- 2-0 at Goodison Park.

Mohamed Salah strike enough to earn Liverpool victory at Huddersfield
Huddersfield 0 - 1 Liverpool

Mohamed Salah strike enough to earn Liverpool victory at Huddersfield

Liverpool ground out a 1-0 win at Huddersfield as Mohamed Salah's goal took them back up to second place in the Premier League table.

Lamela goal edges Spurs to derby win at West Ham
West Ham 0 - 1 Tottenham

Lamela goal edges Spurs to derby win at West Ham

Tottenham Hotspur secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over lowly London rivals West Ham United thanks to a deft first-half finish from Erik Lamela in their Premier League derby on Saturday.

City go top with 5-0 crushing of Burnley
Man City 5-0 Burnley

City go top with 5-0 crushing of Burnley

Champions Manchester City took over sole control at the top of the Premier League table with an easy 5-0 win over Burnley, earning them a seventh win from their opening nine games.

Last-gasp Ross Barkley strike saves point for Chelsea against Manchester United
Chelsea 2 - 2 Manchester United

Last-gasp Ross Barkley strike saves point for Chelsea against Manchester United

Ross Barkley scored an injury-time equaliser as Chelsea salvaged a 2-2 draw with Manchester United on a dramatic afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool and Manchester City in stalemate as Riyad Mahrez skies late penalty
Liverpool 0 - 0 Manchester City

Liverpool and Manchester City in stalemate as Riyad Mahrez skies late penalty

Riyad Mahrez smashed a late penalty over the bar as Manchester City and Liverpool played out a dull 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Hazard, Barkley, Morata on target as Chelsea cruise to win at Southampton
Southampton 0 - 3 Chelsea

Hazard, Barkley, Morata on target as Chelsea cruise to win at Southampton

Ross Barkley scored his first goal for Chelsea to help defeat Southampton 3-0 at St. Mary's on Sunday.

Arsenal hammer Fulham with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubles
Fulham 1 - 5 Arsenal

Arsenal hammer Fulham with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubles

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey scored the goal of the game as Unai Emery's men made it nine consecutive wins in all competitions with this 5-1 victory over Fulham.

Alexis Sanchez the hero as Man United complete comeback vs. Newcastle
Man United 3 - 2 Newcastle

Alexis Sanchez the hero as Man United complete comeback vs. Newcastle

A 90th-minute goal by Alexis Sanchez helped Manchester United complete an unlikely comeback and claim a 3-2 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford on Saturday.

DERBY OF THE WEEK
Barcelona - Real Madrid
Derby of the week
20:45
28/10/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.00    
   W 3.20
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
12:00 21-10-2018 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores