It was an action-packed affair as Chelsea traveled to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. The Blues managed to grab a 3-2 win but it was far from easy for Jose Mourinho and his men, as captain John Terry got sent off early in the second half.
This game had a little bit of everything. Chelsea were determined to get off to a good start and grab the first three-pointer of the season after drawing 2-2 in the opening game of the season against Swansea and losing 3-0 to Manchester City.
WBA got a great opportunity to go ahead as they were awarded a penalty in the 13th minute. James Morrison stepped up for WBA but Thibaut Courtois made the save. Courtois was back in net after serving a one-game suspension for his sending off in the game against Swansea. Morrison’s penalty was pretty poor as he hit it in the middle off the net, letting the trailing leg of Courtois make contact and steer it over the bar.
New signing Pedro was in the starting lineup for Chelsea and the speedy Spaniard had a phenomenal debut. He broke the deadlock in the 20th minute and provided the assist on Diego Costa’s 2-0 goal 10 minutes later. Pedro fit right in and was the Man of the Match for Chelsea.
He will be a huge boost for this Chelsea side and with a debut like this, he has most likely cemented himself into the starting lineup.
Morrison would get on the scoresheet in the 35th minute when he made it 2-1. New signing Salomon Rondon made a great play in the penalty box to keep the play alive with an overhead kick to Morrison who blasted the ball in behind Courtois. Morrison and Callum McManaman kept the Chelsea defense busy, and Rondon had a good showing as well.
Cesar Azpilicueta completed the Spanish hat trick for Chelsea, as he made it 3-1 shortly before halftime. Diego Costa won an aerial challenge on the edge of the box and chested the ball down and Azpilicueta came storming in and meet it with his right foot and placed into the left corner.
John Terry got himself sent off in the 54th minute after bringing down Rondon who was on a breakaway. It looked a bit soft on the replay, but referee Mark Clattenburg had made up his mind.
Terry was subbed off at halftime in the loss against Man City last week and now he got sent off. Not the best start for the 34-year-old veteran. Chelsea are still interested in Everton’s young starlet John Stones, and that won’t change as Terry has had a slow start to the season.
Morrison got his second goal of the game in the 59th minute after a great header. Morrison had his back facing the goal, but was able to deflect the cross by McManaman into the far corner. WBA kept pushing forward being a man up and brought on a second striker in Rickie Lambert, but Chelsea managed to see the game out and grab the three points.
Mourinho was pleased with the performance of his side today as the Chelsea manager spoke to the media after the game.
“I’m happy we controlled the game well, and I’m happy with the spirit because the players really wanted to win,” Mourinho told the club’s website.
Chelsea looked good in the first half, and had more speed and determination in their play, but Terry’s sending off changed the game completely and put the Blues in defensive mode. They did go up every once in a while, but it was clear that it was more about protecting the lead than trying to add a fourth goal.
With the three points in hand, the reigning champions gets some breathing room as they prepare for next week’s derby clash against Crystal Palace.