SWANSEA, Wales – A last-gasp own goal by Neil Taylor gave Chelsea a 1-1 draw at Swansea on Tuesday, as the Welsh club was narrowly denied another impressive home victory in the Premier League.
Scott Sinclair had given Swansea the lead when the former Blues winger volleyed the ball over Petr Cech five minutes before halftime after a poor defensive header by Jose Bosingwa.
Swansea, which stunned Arsenal at Liberty Stadium two weeks ago with a 3-2 win, looked set to take another big scalp when Chelsea defender Ashley Cole was sent off for a second booking in the 86th. However, the visitors still levelled when Bosingwa’s shot was deflected into the net by Taylor in injury time.
Chelsea, without captain John Terry due to a knee injury and with new signing Gary Cahill on the bench, had Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz in central defence and the former saved the visitors twice during a sluggish opening from Andre Villas-Boas’ side.
Ivanovic first denied Danny Graham a simple finish after Steven Caulker’s header had rebounded to the striker.
Ivanovic was involved again when a long ball pumped toward Graham caused chaos in the visiting defence.
Cech could only clear the ball to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who skipped past the goalkeeper but saw Ivanovic block his goal-bound effort. Graham’s follow-up attempt was kept out by Luiz and Joe Allen was denied by the recovering goalkeeper.
Chelsea then gradually began to take a stranglehold on the game, dominating possession and pinning Swansea deep in their own half.
Ashley Williams made a terrific interception to cut out Fernando Torres’ intended pass to an unmarked Sturridge, while Juan Mata fired wastefully wide of either post after more patient buildup.
But after absorbing the pressure Swansea took the lead against the run of play as Sinclair netted against his former club.
Sigurdsson’s free kick was weakly headed away by Bosingwa, and a swing of Sinclair’s left foot saw the ball float over Cech into the far corner.
Stung by the concession of the goal so late in the first half, Chelsea completely dominated the opening exchanges of the second period.
The visitors initially created little in the way of clear-cut chances, although they would have levelled had any blue-shirted attackers made the effort to follow in Cole’s astute ball across the Swansea six-yard box.
Villas-Boas brought Michael Essien on for Romeu, and the move almost paid instant dividends as the Ghanaian blasted a fierce drive narrowly over Michel Vorm’s bar.
But Chelsea wasted several more chances and grew increasingly frustrated as Cole picked up a second booking for a rash tackle on Dyer and was dismissed.
But their pressure finally told as Bosingwa again tricked his way into the box and saw his driven effort strike Taylor to deceive Vorm and rescue a point.