Antonio Conte lost it. Thankfully for the Chelsea manager, his players didn’t.
The thought of injustice was too much for Conte, who was sent off for an incensed tirade at fourth official Lee Mason after his team weren’t awarded a corner.
But the real injustice would have occurred if Chelsea had left Stamford Bridge last night with anything other than victory.
Chelsea earned a fourth straight home win on Wednesday evening as Swansea City were beaten 1-0 at Stamford Bridge
German defender Antonio Rudiger scored his first goal for Chelsea to send them on their way to three Premier League points
Rudiger broke the deadlock by heading past Lukasz Fabianski on 55 minutes after N’Golo Kante’s shot had been deflected
Centre back Rudiger pointed to the sky as he reeled away after finding the net for the first time in his Stamford Bridge career
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was sent off by referee Neil Swarbrick during the first half for remonstrating too vigorously
PLAYER RATINGS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
CHELSEA (3-4-3): Courtois 6; Cahill 6.5, Christensen 6.5, Rudiger 7; Zappacosta 6.5 (Moses 75), Kante 7, Fabregas 8, Alonso 7.5; Willian 7 (Drinkwater 81), Morata 6.5, Pedro 7 (Hazard 80)
Subs not used: Caballero, Bakayoko, Azpilicueta, Ampadu
Manager: Conte 4
Goal: Rudiger 55′
SWANSEA (4-3-1-2): Fabianski 8.5; Naughton 6.5, Hoorn 7.5, Mawson 8, Olsson 6.5; Ki 6, Mesa 5 (McBurnie 65, 5.5), Carroll 6; Sanches 4 (Fer 46, 5); Bony 5, Ayew 5 (Routledge 85).
Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Dyer, Clucas, Rangel
Manager: Clement 5.5
Ref: Neil Swarbrick 4
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Cesc Fabregas took a corner short to Willian. He teed up N’Golo Kante, whose shot rebounded off Wilfried Bony to Antonio Rudiger for his first Chelsea goal
Kante covered a lot of ground as illustrated by the Chelsea midfielder’s heat map
For more stats and maps visit Sportsmail’s brilliant Match Zone.
In the end, Anthony Rudiger’s first Premier League goal for the club was enough to secure a deserved victory against Swansea.
The narrow scoreline doesn’t paint an accurate picture of this encounter; Chelsea could easily have scored seven or eight on the night.
Conte will wince when he sees replays of his diatribe at Mason. It was unnecessary.
At least his players – during a largely frustrating night – kept their cool as they continue to hunt down Manchester City.
Conte, following Saturday’s draw at Liverpool, rang the changes.
Four in total: Anthony Rudiger, Pedro, Willian and Cesc Fabregas coming in with Eden Hazard the biggest omission as the Chelsea manager shuffled his pack following last week’s testing schedule that took in a 5000-mile round trip to Azerbaijan.
On his return to Stamford Bridge, former Blues assistant manager Clement selected an unchanged side with Tammy Abraham unavailable under the terms of his loan agreement from Chelsea.
Though, there would have been little sentiment from Clement going into the encounter; his team’s sorry run of one win in their previous 10 Premier League games leaving question marks over his position.
Conte was furious after a Swansea goal kick was awarded rather than a corner, despite the ball seeming to hit Alfie Mawson
The Chelsea boss appeared a little surprised when referee Swarbrick dismissed him from the dugout shortly before half time
After being sent from the dugout, Conte looked far from impressed as he took his seat in the East Stand at Stamford Bridge
But Conte’s mood will have lifted when he witnessed his £31million summer signing break the deadlock in the second half
The moments before kick-off thoughts, however, were all about another former Chelsea coach; Dermot Drummy, who passed away earlier this week – a rapturous minute’s applause accompanied by an emotional video montage of the ex-Crawley Town manager’s time with the Blues.
Chelsea managed 11 shots in the first-half. Swansea nil. Yet, somehow, it was goalless at break.
You could sense the anxiety levels increase with every squandered opportunity. In contrast you saw Swansea’s confidence grow with every missed chance.
In the 42nd minute the frustration all got too much for Conte, who was ordered to exit his technical area after a furious tirade at fourth official Lee Mason.
The Chelsea boss was incensed his team had not been awarded a corner after Willian’s low cross looked to have ricocheted off Alfie Mawson.
Indeed, video replays verify Conte’s fury, the ball touching Mawson before going out of play.
Not that should excuse Conte’s actions; howling in the face of Mason, who promptly called Neil Swarbrick over.
The referee immediately dismissed the irate Italian, who took up a position behind the home dug-out.
You’d imagine Conte’s reaction wouldn’t have been so enraged if his team had taken just one of the hatful of chances they created.
Willian set the tone with a wicked inswinging free kick that flew inches wide of Lukasz Fabianski’s far post in the 10th minute.
Pedro and Alvaro Morata were both denied by the Polish keeper before Marcos Alonso cannoned a free header narrowly wide in the 35th minute.
Boos rang round Stamford Bridge at half-time; officials Swarbrick and Mason the target of home supporters’ angst.
Yet, the Chelsea faithful would have been far from impressed with their team’s finishing during the opening 45 minutes.
The champions should have been home and hosed by half-time.
But if you think Conte was having a bad day, spare a though for Swansea midfielder Renato Sanches, who was substituted at half-time following a torrid first half that saw him complete just 65 percent of his passes. Leroy For replaced the Portuguese midfielder.
Chelsea assistant coach Angelo Alessio occupied the technical area for the second half, Conte vacating his position behind the dug out for the second half.
Chelsea continuing to dominate in search of an opener – Pedro blazing over from 10 yards after brilliant wing play from Willian.
Finally, though, Chelsea broke the deadlock. The way the game was panning out it was going to take an absolute worldy or a slice of luck for Chelsea to make the breakthrough.
They got the latter: N’Golo Kante’s drive from the edge of the area taking a wicked deflection of Wilfried Bony into Rudiger’s path – the Germany international completing the simplest of tasks of nodding home.
Relief. Somewhere in Stamford Bridge, their manager was puffing out his cheeks.
He may have even cracked a smile three minutes lated had Mawson not produced a brilliant block to deny Alonso as Chelsea set about putting the game to bed.
Morata then missed two more golden chances, one thanks to a brilliant save from Podolski, the other a result of some woeful finishing.
Victor Moses was introduced in the 75th minute for his first appearance since October after recovering from a hamstring.
Hazard and Danny Drinkwater were also brought on late on as Chelsea held on for a victory that should never have been so slender.