Paul Clement: Swansea City not damaged by Chelsea defeat

25th February 2017

Paul Clement insists no damage has been done to Swansea City's survival push despite their 3-1 defeat at Chelsea.
The Swans may not have taken any points at Stamford Bridge, but there was no shame either as they put up a good fight against the Premier League leaders.
Chelsea controlled possession for long spells, but the Swans were disciplined and tenacious and for a long time looked capable of claiming a point.
After Fernando Llorente's header in first-half stoppage time cancelled out Cesc Fabregas's opener, the visitors saw a big appeal for a penalty turned down when Cesar Azpilicueta appeared to handle in the 69th minute.
Three minutes later, Pedro's shot squirmed under Lukasz Fabianski to restore Chelsea's advantage before Diego Costa wrapped up the win late on.



"They had a lot more chances than us and a lot more of the ball so they probably deserved the victory," Clement said.
"But we defended resolutely for long periods of the game and we made it difficult for them.
"At half-time it was game on, and we were solid with our defending again in the second half.
"The big moment was the penalty appeal at 1-1. I thought it was a penalty at the time and it was. Somebody asked if there should have been a penalty at the other end immediately afterwards, but that doesn't matter.
"We should have been given a penalty and a good chance to go 2-1 up. I haven't spoken to the referee - I don't think there's any point - but I thought he had a good view of it.
"Not long after that, they scored what was a soft second goal and the third came thanks to a lot of quality from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa."



This was the Swans' third defeat since Clement was appointed at the beginning of January.
Arsenal and Manchester City are the only other sides who have beaten Clement's team, who have chalked up wins against Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Southampton and Leicester.
And as the Swans turn their attention to what could be a pivotal run of fixtures in March, Clement reckons his players are full of belief.
"I don't think this performance will damage our confidence," he added.
"We have had some really difficult games away from home but we have also had plenty of good results.
"Now we go into a vital period for us. We play Burnley at home next which is a big game for us, then we have to play Hull, Bournemouth and Middlesbrough.



"They are all teams who are around us in the table. We didn't get a result today, but the other results were pretty good for us so now we look ahead."
Clement paid tribute to Llorente after his ninth strike of the season.
The Spanish international was linked with a move to Chelsea in the January transfer window.
"I wasn't always confident that we would keep him, but I am certainly glad that we did," Clement said.
"He is very motivated at the club. He is pleased to still be with us and I am pleased to have him.
"He is a key player for us and he will be key for us in the run-in."