Swansea City 2-2 Chelsea: Costa bicycle kick rescues error-prone Blues

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  • Chelsea drops first points of the season
  • Swansea scored 2 goals in 3 minutes to take the lead
  • Costa struck acrobatic equalizer with 9 minutes to go

Some things change, some stay the same. Chelsea may have a new manager, but Diego Costa will always be in the spotlight.

The Brazilian striker hit twice at the Liberty Stadium, the second an acrobatic bicycle kick that drew Chelsea level and rescued an error-prone Blues defense after two goals in three minutes had put Swansea stunningly ahead.

Chelsea had a nervous start to the match, but claimed the first dangerous moment 10 minutes in as Willian delivered a low cross into the box that Lukas Fabianski had to lay out to smother. The Blues would build as the game progressed, and took their lead 18 minutes in. The home side failed to clear as the ball pinged around the air in Swansea’s penalty area, and Oscar cut the ball across the top of the box to Costa who buried the opener.

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The Swans had their best chance as Gylfi Sigurdsson whipped a long effort just wide. With the game lively only in little spurts, Swansea made a first-half change that appeared nothing more than tactical, bringing on Modou Barrow in favor of Neil Taylor. The Welsh international was visibly angry about being removed so early, rejecting a handshake from manager Francesco Guidolin in the bench and appearing quite heated.

Chelsea should have had a second but Costa registered a horrific miss. John Terry put in a beautiful flick across the face of goal, and Costa found himself unmarked on the far post for an easy tap-in, but somehow he missed the wide-open net, instead redirecting the ball back across the box.

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Into the second half, yellow cards began to accumulate and the game started to boil over, forcing referee Anthony Taylor to have a chat with a number of players. Following a few uneasy moments, Swansea completed a stunning charge to take the lead.

A long ball by Barrow over the top sprung Gylfi Sigurdsson, and with nobody back, Thibaut Courtois came off his line to contest. As the ball swung along the edge of the box, Courtois realized he couldn’t use his hands to prevent the chance, so he attempted a tackle and brought down the Iceland international. With the foul just inside the box, the referee pointed to the spot, and Sigurdsson buried the spot-kick.

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Just moments later, Swansea had the lead, although not without controversy. Gary Cahill sat on the ball just a few moments too long, and Leroy Fer charged him down and dispossed the defender. Fer then beat Courtois one-on-one, trickling the ball into the back of the net. On replay, it appeared Fer’s thievery of Cahill was nothing more than a clear foul, hacking at the defender’s calves without contact on the ball, but the referee was unmoved.

The game exploded from that moment. Chelsea charged down the other end looking to right the ship, and Fabianski brought down Costa at the edge of the box, but no call was made. The Brazilian then fired an ambitious effort from a fair distance away that nearly found the top corner, but weaved just high.

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The Blues continued to bomb forward, and they would earn an equalizer. Branislav Ivanovic weaved his way into the box, and his cross deflected high into the air, handing Costa the opportunity to bury a bicycle kick, which he did emphatically in the 81st minute. Both teams searched brightly for a winner in a wild end-to-end finish, but neither goalkeeper would relent. The draw marks the first dropped points of the season for Chelsea, but a point for Swansea doubles their season total thus far.