Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Chelsea 2 West Brom 2

At the very last history was snatched away from West Bromwich Albion. In the fourth minute of injury time, Ramires went down under a soft challenge and Eden Hazard scored from the spot.

How cruel. Until then, it seemed that for the first time since 1978, back in the days when the Three Degrees were making sweet music for the Baggies, West Bromwich Albion were about to win a league game at Stamford Bridge. Leading through goals from Shane Long and Stephane Sessignon they appeared on course to inflict the first home defeat on Jose Mourinho in 65 home Premier League games.

Not that it seemed we were to be witnesses to history when it started: the last ten seconds delivering more drama than the entire first half. Marking Remembrance Day, both teams were led out by the Chelsea Pensioners. Or Frank Lampard and John Terry as they are more usually known. The former colleagues Steve Clarke and Jose Mourinho embraced warmly, their relative approaches summed up by the tailoring: Mourinho in a handsome full length overcoat, Clarke in a sponsored anorak.

Not that there was much in Chelsea’s first half that could be described as elegant. Prosaic, pedestrian, plodding maybe. But not smart. This was the sort of 45 minutes so dull and insipid, you find yourself seeking distraction, like following the lead of the WBA sponsors to check on the price of your neighbour’s house on Zoopla. Mired in midfield, with the visitors banking five in front of their defence and Chelsea failing to find the spark to undo them, the first action of note came after 20 minutes, when Lampard’s freekick pole-axed Youssouf Malumbu, standing in the wall.

It was indicative of the play: with whatever part of the body was required, West Brom simply repelled everything Chelsea threw at them. Not that it was much. Inspiration was limited. The beautiful game entirely absent.

Then, just as West Brom’s defence looked as though they might make half time unbreached, Chelsea snatched the lead. Eden Hazard had a sharp cross shot well saved by Boaz Myhill. The ball span out to Liam Ridgewell who appeared, like much of the crowd, to have been lulled into sleep by the lack of drama. As he dawdled on the ball, Samuel Eto’o nipped in and scored.

But if it might be thought that would precipitate a landslide, it failed to materialise. First, West Brom demonstrated their intent when Shane Long outjumped Gary Cahill to head Morgan Amalfitano’s cross against the post. Then, on the hour, Petr Cech made a brilliant save from Gareth McAuley’s header from a corner. As the ball spun in the air, Lampard and Terry were both outjumped by Long, to equalise.

Mourinho responded by sending on Ba for Lampard. But then Ridgewell dispossessed Branislav Ivanovic, and, with the Chelsea manager furious that he’d done so by illegal means, galloped up the left. He passed to Stephane Sessignon on the edge of the area, whose soft shot crept under Cech. Had Geoff Boycott been commentating, he’d have suggested his mum could have saved the effort.

Chelsea came back strongly. Myhill saved brilliantly from Ivanovic, Ramires shot just wide, Willian headed over when it might have been easier to score. But West Brom appeared to be clinging on to give Clarke the most notable return to his former stomping ground.

Source: Telegraph

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