Swansea vs. Chelsea: Post-Match Reaction from Garry Monk and Steve Holland

Danny Collins@@dannycollins89Featured ColumnistApril 13, 2014

SWANSEA, WALES - APRIL 13:  Demba Ba #19 of Chelsea is congratulated by teammates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

SWANSEA, WALES - APRIL 13:  Willian of Chelsea is closed down by Ashley Williams of Swansea during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty I
Michael Steele/Getty Images

In the absence of Jose Mourinho, Chelsea's first team coach, Steve Holland, gave his reaction to a vital 1-0 win for the west London side over Swansea City.   

Holland explained that he was unsure why Mourinho did not wish to speak to reporters, but explained that it was not the first time the Portuguese had asked him to take on the post-match press duties, as per BBC Sport.

I've been here three times with Chelsea without winning before today. Swansea can frustrate you. They're good at retaining possession.

With the game at 0-0, they've got everybody behind the ball every minute of the game. You've got four defenders, four midfielders and one attacker to get through. We had total control of the game, but still had to find a way through. When you do that, the spaces are there.

We played in the Champions League in the week, and it was a physically and emotionally draining game. It was difficult to go again, but we stuck to it and came through.

The title is still in Manchester City's hands if they win all their games. We've still got a Champions League semi-final to look forward to as well. That's what Chelsea are all about, playing in the big games.

The contrast in emotions for Swansea boss Garry Monk could not have been more apparent as he bemoaned the decision the send off Chico Flores, a decision on which the match eventually turned. Monk remained optimistic that he can guide his Swans side to safety with just four matches remaining. 

Monk spoke to BBC Sport.

We didn't get the result, which is the bottom line. I can't complain about the performance, after going down to 10 so early against a good Chelsea side. My players were brilliant today, and the crowd were magnificent too.

On the sending off, I was more disappointed by the fact that it took so long for the referee to show a second yellow. He initially signalled no, then their bench get in the fourth official's ear, and their players surround the referee.

I was surprised it took so long for the decision to be made. I'm sure the referee's got a legitimate reason for doing it the way he did.

It's very tough for us. We're not safe. But if we show that application in our final four games we'll be fine. Two more wins will probably do it for us.

Swansea was doomed by Demba Ba, who notched his second vital strike this week as he scored the only goal in the 1-0 victory. 

Ba slotted past Michel Vorm in the Swans' goal to keep Chelsea in a title race that was blown wide open today with Liverpool's 3-2 victory over Manchester City. 

It was the second goal of the week for the Senegalese frontman, and in a season where he has had limited opportunities to shine, they may prove to be the two most important goals of Chelsea's season so far. It was Ba's late finish that sent Chelsea past Paris St-Germain into a Champions League semi-final tie with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Chelsea's profligacy in front of goal had been the theme of a frustrating afternoon in south Wales. The Blues had more than 20 attempts on Vorm's goal, as per BBC Sport, but it was only a fortuitous strike from Ba after a fumbled Vorm save that allowed Chelsea to take the three points. 

That task should have been made all the more easy, especially given Chico Flores' dismissal for a second yellow card in the 16th minute. 

Swansea frustrated the London side for large swatches of this fixture, as tweeted by the Premier League, but title winners are made on afternoons like this, and Mourinho's men now sit two points off Liverpool at the summit with a visit to Anfield still to come.

Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City side now sit five points adrift of Chelsea, albeit with two games in hand. Should they prevail in those two games, the top three would be separated by a meagre two points with only four games remaining. 

Swansea have struggled to build any semblance of fluency since the departure of Michael Laudrup in February and now sit only three points clear of Fulham in the relegation zone. They may be an outside bet for the drop, but in a season of unpredictability, Swansea will need at least another four points if they are ensure another season of top-flight football.