Chelsea had keeper Thibaut Courtois sent off and had to settle for a point against Swansea. Here’s how we rated the Blues players in Saturday’s 2-2 draw.
Thibaut Courtois: 5
Made some stunning early saves and was very unlucky with the first equaliser after making a fine sprawling save from Bafetimbi Gomis. But the Belgian keeper made a serious error of judgement when racing out to challenge Gomis when he saw red and conceded a costly penalty.
Branislav Ivanovic: 5
Bustling and dangerous in attack but was consequently stretched in defence as he tried to cover large swathes of the turf when Chelsea chased a winner. Unable to cope with the excellent Jefferson Montero and maybe should have done better with a headed chance after the break.
John Terry: 6
Made one incredible sliding block before the interval and defended with fierce commitment and his usual poise on the ball.
Gary Cahill: 5
As with Terry, defended well with balls in to feet and the aerial threat, but did not look as happy dealing with Swansea’s pace and direct running as the game opened up following the Courtois dismissal.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Forced to backtrack more than he would have liked but reliable defensively and rarely troubled.
Nemanja Matic: 5
By no means the only player who lacked real sharpness and looked some way off his best. Was too regularly caught in possession and his touch deserted him on several occasions. Appeared cumbersome at times but finished strongly.
Cesc Fabregas: 6
Looks more comfortable in the deeper role but was still denied space and often crowded out by Swansea’s brave, high-tempo pressing. Showed some delightful touches in the final third but was not able to seize control of the midfield area as he so often did last season.
Busy but largely ineffective in the final third. Was caught out for the second equaliser when he sat too deep and although his workrate cannot be questioned and his persistence brought the second goal, his quality was lacking at crucial moments.
Bright and impressive and it was a shock when he was taken off to enable Asmir Begovic to come on. Scored with a smart free-kick, was lively in attack and also impressed when he dropped deep.
Eden Hazard: 8
The go-to man yet again. Received a few typically cynical challenges but was a real menace, particularly in the final 20 minutes when he spearheaded Chelsea’s impressive late surge.
Diego Costa: 5
A surprise inclusion having missed the final two pre-season fixtures because of his ongoing hamstring problem, so less of a surprise he looked some way off his best. Still as fiery as combative as ever and could have won a penalty in the first half.
Asmir Begovic: 8
Looked commanding and alert and made some excellent saves, notably from Jefferson Montero. Will now get the chance to prove that he can deputise for the suspended Courtois and offer a viable alternative.
Kurt Zouma: 6
His introduction when Chelsea looked like they needed legs in midfield seemed to mystify many Blues fans, but he was tidy enough and did present a serious threat from set-pieces.