Chelsea secured a workmanlike 1-0 win over lowly Swansea in the Premier League on Wednesday thanks to Antonio Rudiger’s second-half goal at Stamford Bridge.
Rudiger nodded home his first Premier League goal early in the second half after N’Golo Kante’s speculative shot deflected into his path off the head of Wilfried Bony.
The scoreline did not truly reflect Chelsea’s dominance as Antonio Conte, who was sent to the stands in the first half, took the opportunity to rest Eden Hazard and Cesar Azpilicueta.
The win keeps Chelsea in third while Swansea stay one off the bottom having never really looked likely to claim the three points that would have moved them out of the relegation zone.
Chelsea paid tribute to former coach Dermot Drummy before kick-off, following his passing at the age of 56 earlier in the week, and they were soon into their stride. Lukasz Fabianski was forced into six first-half saves while the away team failed to muster even an effort on goal.
The best of the Poland international’s stops came from Alvaro Morata midway through the half when he the goalkeeper tipped over the striker’s improvised volley.
That resulted in a Chelsea corner but it was the failure to award the home side another such decision just before the interval that saw Conte sent to the stands for his complaints.
He was celebrating soon after when Rudiger gave Chelsea the lead and the only surprise was that the Blues were unable to add to it with Morata spurning a number of chances.
The Spanish striker has scored eight Premier League goals to Swansea’s seven so far this season and it was he who went closer to adding to his tally on Wednesday.
His wastefulness made for some nervy moments late on as Paul Clement’s side searched for an equaliser but they could fashion no clear openings and Chelsea secured a deserved win.