Monk rues costly errors

17th January

Garry Monk felt his side paid the price for costly mistakes after the Swans suffered a 5-0 defeat to league leaders Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium.

First-half braces from Diego Costa and Oscar, plus a second-half strike from Andre Schurrle, helped Chelsea beat a thread-bare Swans side.

The Swans suffered the worst possible start when Oscar took advantage of a misplaced Gylfi Sigurdsson pass to fire Chelsea in front inside the first minute.

Blues top scorer Costa then doubled the visitors' lead when he finished coolly past Lukasz Fabianski before Oscar curled home his second in the 36th minute.

Before half-time Monk's men were punished for a second mistake when Costa picked off Federico Fernandez's back pass to put Jose Mourinho's side 4-0 in front.

After the break substitute Schurrle rounded off a convincing victory for the title favourites when he tapped home from close range.

And despite acknowledging Chelsea's obvious strengths, Monk felt his side were their own worst enemy in making costly errors.

"It was a horrible performance first half - way off our standard," said the Swans boss. "We made mistakes continuously against a team like Chelsea, who punished us heavily. And credit to them, their performance was devastating to take advantage of our mistakes.

"They were 4-0 up at half-time, then it was always going to be an uphill battle.

"We had to be perfect to stand a chance, and we were far from perfect. Everything we worked on, we didn't do. It's disappointing.

"We were marginally better in the second half, without any real chances. But the first half was the worst of our season. We didn't do ourselves justice at all. 

"But we've shown in the past we can react straight away. We have very good players. The big picture this season is that we've done very well, which is what makes performances like today harder to watch. We will learn from this."

Monk was also keen to pay tribute to the Swans supporters, who showed fantastic support for his players throughout the 90 minutes.

He added: "I want to say a big thanks to the fans; they were magnificent. They kept going and supported the team to the very end. 

"I'm just disappointed for them that we couldn't give them the performance that we were all looking forward to. The performance is my responsibility, and I can only say sorry for that."

Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho praised his for a very positive team performance.

"The team played very well, solid defensively and in attack we were aggressive and took our chances," said Mourinho. 

"It was a good performance. The team is playing with high quality, and we have a clear identity of playing. 

"It was difficult game for them to prepare without three players in one position - Shelvey, Ki and Britton. It's an important position for them. When you don't have these players, it's a problem. They will react because they are a very good team."