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Swansea smashed by five-star Blues


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Chelsea moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League after a 5-0 thrashing of Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

The Blues were ahead after just 50 seconds as Oscar capitalised on some lacklustre Swansea defending to stroke home, before Diego Costa - who netted a hat-trick in the reverse fixture earlier in the season - added two well-taken goals in the space of fifteen minutes.

Oscar, just moments later, then scored his second of the game with a glorious clipped finish to cap a flowing team move to see the Blues into a 4-0 interval lead, only for Andre Schurrle, a second-half substitute, to add a fifth with a close-range finish.

With Manchester City not in action until tomorrow when they host Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, the Blues open up a temporary five-point advantage at the top of the Premier League, and now head into Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool on the back of three straight wins since that debacle at White Hart Lane.

Whilst Chelsea were quite simply stunning in a first half that best displayed their at times quite exquisite football, this was an abhorrent defensive showing from Swansea, and in the wake of Wilfried Bony's sale to City, the hosts were not even able to muster a shot on target for Petr Cech to save.

Cech, again deputising for the not quite fit Thibaut Courtois, who is still recovering from a broken thumb, is now nearing 600 minutes without conceding a goal in league football after yet another clean sheet - his sixth in ten starts this campaign.

zHrpT72.jpgGylfi Sigurdsson played centre stage in the opening exchanges. After being robbed in the middle of the park by Cesc Fabregas, the Icelandic international could only watch, hands on head, as Oscar stole in to put Chelsea up inside a minute.

The former Tottenham midfielder almost made immediate amends with a speculative shot that clipped the outside of the post after evading the dive of Cech - that would be the only time the Chelsea 'keeper would be at all troubled in this match.

From that point onwards it was all Chelsea, albeit only after weathering a sound response from the hosts, who managed to maintain long spells of possession though without any obvious threat to Cech's goal.

The much-maligned Oscar was enjoying another fine performance and soon warmed the hands of Lukasz Fabianski with a shot the Pole failed to hold on to, but Willian was unable to convert the rebound on the half-volley from twelve yards.

That was an escape for Swansea, though the writing was on the wall when, after Oscar went close again with a drive that dribbled wide and Eden Hazard drew a full-length save from Fabianski, Diego Costa imposed himself upon the match in trademark fashion to net his sixteenth goal of a productive campaign.

Capping another glorious team goal with deadly composure, there was nothing the former Arsenal goalkeeper could do as Fabregas exchanged passes with Willian and Oscar before perfectly teeing up his international colleague to double Chelsea's lead.

Costa almost made it three when he dribbled unopposed from the half-way line before sending a curling effort just high of the target. Moments later, Willian's poor fortune in front of goal continued as he picked up a loose ball and smashed an angled drive against the inside of the post.

For all of Chelsea's brilliance, they were certainly being helped by their gracious hosts, and just after the half-hour centre-back Federico Fernandez played an inexplicable pass-back that Costa read, before threading beyond Fabianski with terrifying ease for the Blues' third.

Only a minute afterwards Costa turned provider, and the Blues all but put the game to bed when he was able to pounce on a loose ball. Passing inside to Oscar, the Brazilian gleefully accepted the opportunity - his shot was smashed high and handsome beyond the helpless Swansea goalkeeper.

The Blues were denied a fifth goal either side of half-time: on the verge of the interval, Willian hit the woodwork for a second time, whilst Fabianski saved comfortably from Fabregas minutes after the restart.

The second half was played at a walking pace with the Blues clearly leaving plenty in the tank for Tuesday's trip to Anfield, but they suddenly exploded back into life fifteen minutes from time as Hazard drew a sprawling stop from the goalkeeper with an angled effort.

And Schurrle capped off the Blues' biggest away win in the Premier League since a 6-0 hammering of Wigan Athletic in 2010 when he touched in from close range after Branislav Ivanovic's pull back.

Over to you, City.

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It was a poor, poor season, wasn't it? How United won the league with that squad is solely down to us being so abysmally shit.

The biggest of jokes is that they attended the CL final that year after beating Schalke in the semis, which tells us that it was a year to forget for European football.

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The biggest of jokes is that they attended the CL final that year after beating Schalke in the semis, which tells us that it was a year to forget for European football.

Barcelona winning it in the end offered some credence, but it was a year to forget, as you say. A low in terms of quality, to be sure. Compare it to the 2011/12 semis - Chelsea, Barca, Bayern and Real - and you can see the difference.

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