What we learned from Chelsea’s defeat to Swansea City – on Pato, Conte and defense

Antonio Conte

Chelsea’s faint hopes of clinching a spot in European football next season were diminished after Swansea City secured a three points following a 1-0 win over the Blues at the Liberty Stadium.

Chelsea, who went into the game with 44 points, were unable to secure at least a point after numerous failed attempts. And the results have gone ahead to destroy their already disastrous season.

And speaking after the match, Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink said: “Every defeat hurts but everyone knows the situation we are in, so there’s a positive side to bringing in youngsters and seeing what they can do. We defended poorly and gave Sigurdsson a very free chance. We were attacking, attacking, but in the final third we were not sharp enough.”

Although Chelsea tried to play well with several attacks, Swansea looked threatening with Jefferson Montero terrorizing the Chelsea back four for the second time this season. But a first half goal from midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson was enough to see off Hiddink’s side as the Welsh side went on the hunt of securing their Premier League safety.

So, what did we learn from Chelsea’s defeat to Swansea?

The Blues have a messy defense.

Throughout the first half, Chelsea were shaky at the back and it ultimately cost them as the Swans took the lead. Matt Miazga’s second Chelsea appearance didn’t go the way he had hoped and a combination of poor defending from himself and Cesar Azpilicueta gifted Swansea with their goal. And speaking of the sloppy defense, the Blues still need John Terry’s influence.

Pato is still struggling at the Stamford Bridge.

Alexandre Pato’s goalscoring debut last week at Aston Villa sparked some talk that perhaps he could prove his worth after spending months on the bench. He had a hand in all four goals at Villa Park and looked impressive.

However, that Villa team are one of the worst to ever play in the Premier League, relegated today, and Pato was given more of a chance to test himself in Wales. Swansea have struggled too this term but are a far more competitive side than Villa and Pato’s dismal effort on the stroke of half time showed both his rustiness and ineptitude.

It was a similar story after the restart has he somehow missed from close range, having just stuck the ball in the back of the net illegally using his hand. And as matter of fact, Pato may not get a glowing reference from outgoing Blues boss Guus Hiddink. The striker’s second missed sitter after he tried a clever back-heel bringing a gesture of disgust from the Dutchman.

Chelsea youngsters continue to shine.

This is evident as starlets are getting the game time. Well, it may be as a result of the injuries that have hit the Stamford bridge outfit, but it is obvious that these starlets are very much on form.  For example, taking a clear look at Ruben Loftus-Cheek who has shown great performance. But the greatest question remains: Why not give Kasey Palmer or Charlie Colkett the chance to improve, and give the fans a chance to see what the future holds.

Antonio Conte has a lot to do.

A problem that we didn’t really notice against Aston Villa, because of the sheer lack of quality in the Villa side. However, the Blues were run ragged by Swansea and will leave the Italian shaking his head. There is an expectation players may want to put in performances to impress a new manager that they know is watching.

Passing was poor and it felt like watching a team that wasn’t quite all on the same wavelength. All in all, there is still talent in the squad, but Conte will have to do some extra job to bring the Chelsea back