Cleat Geeks

10-man Chelsea held to opening day draw

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off as Chelsea was held to a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City.ThibautCourtois

The reigning Premier League champions twice led thanks to a goal from Oscar and a Federico Fernandez own goal, but were pegged back by goals from Andre Ayew and a Bafetimbi Gomis penalty.

Courtois received a straight red card for fouling Gomis in the penalty area nine minutes into the second half.

After the game Jose Mourinho refused to comment on referee Michael Oliver’s performance as his side had to settle for a point as they begin the defence of their title.

French international Gomis might have opened the scoring for the Swans, after Jonjo Shelvey slid a pass that put him through on goal with just Courtois to beat. However, the 30 year-old took to long and John Terry and Gary Cahill were able to recover and help out their ‘keeper.

Instead it was the Blues who struck first through Oscar’s goal. The Brazilian whipped a free kick into the box from the left and the ball evaded everyone to nestle in the back of the net at the far post.DebutantAyew

Debutant Ayew pulled Swansea level just five minutes later, though. The impressive Jefferson Montero delivered a cross from the left that was met by the head of Gomis, forcing a save from Courtois. The rebound fell to the Ghana international who beat the Belgian ‘keeper from close range at the second attempt.

Parity lasted only a couple of minutes as Willian’s attempted cross deflected off Fernandez to loop up and over Lukasz Fabianski in the Swansea goal and restore the champions’ lead.

Things got worse for City just before the break when midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung was forced off the field with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

Michael Oliver referee 2014-15

Referee Michael Oliver.

But early in the second half came the game’s major talking point. A long ball forward from Shelvey was chased by Gomis, who nicked the ball past the onrushing Chelsea ‘keeper. Courtois stuck out his right leg to challenge for the ball but ended up bringing the striker down on the line of the penalty area. Referee Michael Oliver, with the advice of his linesman, eventually pointed to the spot and showed Courtois the red card.

Summer signing Asmir Begovic came on for Chelsea but was beaten by Gomis’ cooly taken spot kick that leveled the game up again.

Montero later forced a save from the Bosnia international while Hazard fired a shot at Fabianski in what were probably the best chances of the rest of the second half.

Radamel Falcao was brought on for the final eight minutes and Diego Costa played the full 90 minutes despite being an injury doubt before the game with a hamstring problem.

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