EPL: Chelsea beat Swansea, move 11 points clear

Chelsea have moved 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League table after recording a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Fernando Llorente cancelled out a Cesc Fabregas opener to leave the two teams level at the interval, but Pedro and Diego Costa struck in the second period to ensure that Chelsea returned to winning ways in the league.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte handed a rare starting role to experienced midfielder Fabregas, with the Spaniard, on his 300th Premier League appearance, chosen over Nemanja Matic alongside N’Golo Kante in central midfield. Pedro, meanwhile, was again given the nod over Willian on the right of the home side’s attack.

Fabregas was not to be denied, however, and sent the home side ahead in the 19th minute when he collected a low cross from Pedro before bundling the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

It did appear that the home side would take a one-goal lead into the interval after just one minute of additional time was signalled at the end of the first period, but Swansea had other ideas and a wonderful Llorente header from a Sigurdsson free kick saw the Welsh outfit level in the 47th minute of action.

Hazard had a super chance to send Chelsea back ahead in the early stages of the second period, but the Belgian international’s low strike brought a smart save from Fabianski, who palmed the ball away from the penalty area.

Moments later, Hazard set up Fabregas as the home side, who were very much on the front foot, had another shooting chance inside the Swansea box, but the midfielder’s effort rattled the top of the crossbar.

Swansea were always vulnerable on the counter-attack, however, and the home side made sure of all the points in the 84th minute when Costa volleyed a Hazard cross past Fabianski from close range.

Next up for Chelsea is a trip to West Ham United in the league on March 6, while Swansea will attempt to return to winning ways when they host Burnley on March 4.