London, Aug 9 (IANS) Champions Chelsea began their English Premier League title defence with a 2-2 draw against Swansea, after witnessing their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off during the game.
Courtois will now miss the crunch clash with Manchester City on August 16.
Chelsea could have gone behind early on Saturday when Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis was through on goal, but he badly failed to score.
But they went ahead soon after at their home Sramford Bridge ground through a free kick out from Brazilian star Oscar.
He curled the ball into the penalty area and it evaded everyone, including goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to land in the net on 23 minutes.
Swansea rallied and came back into the game. Andre Ayew controlled the ball after it was parried by Courtois and slotted home to draw level six minutes later.
The scores were level just for a few seconds as as Willian’s shot from a tight angle was deflected into his own net by Swansea defender Federico Fernandez. The ball looped over Fabianski and into the far corner to make it 2-1 at the break.
Ten minutes into the second half, the game turned upside down.
A long ball over the top saw Gomis onside inside the penalty box and Courtois rushed out of his goal to bring down the Frenchman. The referee awarded a penalty and showed the red card to the Belgian goalkeeper.
Gomis converted the spot kick to make it 2-2.
Chelsea, crippled by numerical inferiority, though tried to score again. But they had to remain cautious at the back as Swansea threatened at every given opportunity.