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Andre Ayew scores on Swansea debut against Chelsea

Chelsea had Thibaut Courtois sent off as they started their Premier League title defence with a draw against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge.

Oscar’s free-kick put the Blues ahead before Andre Ayew stabbed a close-range equaliser after keeper Courtois had kept out Bafetimbi Gomis’s header.

Federico Fernandez put Willian’s cross past his own keeper before Courtois was sent off after bringing down Gomis.

New signing Asmir Begovic came on but failed to stop Gomis’s spot-kick.

Swansea played with an extra man for more than half an hour but could not make the most of the advantage.

The dangerous Gomis had the ball in the net but was ruled offside while Jefferson Montero, who was excellent throughout, forced a fine save from Begovic.

Much has been made of Chelsea’s failure to attract a box-office name from outside the Premier League this summer.

Even Jose Mourinho has warned of the danger of standing still yet neither of Chelsea’s two main close-season buys started.

The Chelsea boss started with Diego Costa, despite claiming in the build-up that the forward was a major doubt, but the Spain international rarely looked like scoring, let alone repeating his hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last season.

The champions contributed to a high-tempo, entertaining game but did not look like a side that won the league by eight points last season.

Even before Courtois’s dismissal, Swansea had more shots than the hosts and were lively throughout, full of enterprise and in Montero had one of the best players on the pitch.

It does not get any easier for Chelsea, with last season’s nearest challengers Manchester City next up.

It is no secret that the champions have been trying to strengthen their defence, with Everton’s John Stones a target.

There’s still another three weeks before the 1 September deadline. But if Chelsea’s current defence was trying to persuade Mourinho not to strengthen the back four, they failed.

Ayew, Swansea’s new signing from Marseille, took his goal well but the opposition defence were slow to react after Courtois had done well to keep out Gomis’s powerful header.

There was a scare when Swansea rattled Chelsea’s post straight from a corner shortly before Courtois’s dismissal. Television replays showed referee Michael Oliver was right to produce a red card despite strong protests from John Terry.

Source: BBC

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