29 April, 2018
Cesc Fabregas boosted Chelsea's bid to qualify for the Champions League as his superb strike clinched a 1-0 win at Swansea, while West Brom kept alive their slender hopes of avoiding Premier League relegation with a 1-0 victory against Newcastle on Saturday (Apr 28).
And Fabregas, 30, has warned Chelsea FC's top four rivals that they will be fighting until the end of the season for their spot in the Champions League places. It won't be easy. They will play Watford on Monday and football is not simple, especially in this league.
The Belgium worldwide was Chelsea's standout performer in last weekend's FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton, and was every bit as instrumental here.
Fabregas scored the only goal of the game after just four minutes when Eden Hazard capitalised on a mistake from Andy King and fed the ball to the Spaniard.
On their performance against the Swans, the midfielder explained: "I think we played well, we started well".
"Our top scorer has scored only 12 goals, and if your best scorer has scored only 12 goals it means it is very hard to fight for something this season", said Conte.
With an nearly flawless finish to their league campaign needed to overtake either Tottenham or Liverpool, Chelsea will need the former Footballer of the Year to remain as dependable and decisive as he was here.
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Chelsea - who had skimmed the top of the bar after Alfie Mawson cleared a Olivier Giroud header - did not see goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois really tested until the final 15 minutes, when Andre Ayew fizzed in a shot.
Suddenly, Chelsea looked more vulnerable, but Swansea have struggled to score goals all season. Conte spotlighted this fact in his post match news conference, and with good reason, as the Blues failed to kill off a game they should have dominated against a team that is still in serious danger of being relegated.
There was urgency and desperation enough in Swansea's game, but little quality in front of goal and the biggest mark left by top scorer Jordan Ayew was on the neck of Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill when he arrived with a late elbow - an incident which referee Jon Moss somehow missed.
Interim boss Darren Moore said: "We can't control other results".
On a rainy day with players slipping and the ball was sliding, Swansea just couldn't get the ball to bound the right way against the favored and visiting Blues.
- Chelsea have won three consecutive away league games for the first time since September (a run of five).
"But it's in our hands and now we must look at the games we have left and try to achieve the necessary points to stay in the division".