Chelsea 2-5 West Bromwich Albion: Blues crucified by the Baggies

Matheus Pereira pinned Chelsea to the cross as West Bromwich Albion crucified the Blues 5-2. 

The home side opened the scoring through Christian Pulisic before Thiago Silva was later dismissed after a late challenge of Okay Yokuslu. The Baggies smelt blood and later scored twice in quick succession just minutes before half time. 

After a turbulent first half, West Bromwich Albion extended their lead to two after a cultured side-foot volley by Callum Robinson. Mbaye Diagne later chipped in on the Easter festivities robbing a fourth Easter egg from Edouard Mendy’s basket. Mason Mount later pulled a goal back for the Blues reducing the deficit.

With just minutes to spare, the visitors put the nail the coffin, or more conveniently in the hands, as they scored a fifth through Robinson for his second.

Sam Allardyce has now extended his unbeaten streak against the West London side to four games as well as sealing the Baggies’ first win in the capital since 2016.

His side have now also won their first league game at Stamford Bridge since 1978.

Story of the game

Thiago Silva's nightmare return

Embed from Getty Images

The visitors began in the ascendancy with the first effort on goal as Diagne’s curled effort was comfortably gathered by Mendy. Allardyce’s side hounded Chelsea down to every loose ball as slowly but surely looked to pin down the giant.

Silva made his first appearance for the Blues since February having nursed a thigh injury picked up against Tottenham Hotspur. The veteran defender slotted in between Cesar Azpilicueta and Kurt Zouma hoping to pick up from where Andreas Christensen had flourished.

However, after a loose pass by Jorginho in the heart of midfielder, the Brazilian was forced to make a challenge against the run of play.

‘VAR check in progress for a possible red card’, rang around the eerie Stamford Bridge. But, the Brazilian’s blushes were spared as he walked away with his tail between his legs and a yellow card.

As the opening quarter of an hour came to a close, Chelsea began to bite back pressing high up pitch. However, the Blues found little joy when forced into the wider channels and seemed to lack a cutting edge.

It was not quite the hero’s return Branislav Ivanovic would have dreamt of, however the Serbian was brought into play for Dara O’Shea due to injury. It was Ivanovic’s first return to Stamford Bridge since 2017; he would soon be taken off moments later. 

The Blues pushed on as they looked to pierce the Baggies defence. Marcos Alonso floated a deliciously weighted free kick goal-bound, that thundered against the post leaving Sam Johnstone flailing. 

Pulisic reacted quickest, following in the rebound to slot home the opener for Chelsea. 

Just moments later, Silva’s return became one to forget after being shown his second yellow card. Reminiscent of the 36-year-old’s earlier yellow card, he dived into a late tackle on Yokuslu just outside the Blues box.

With his head down and in the depths of despair, Silva dragged his feet as he walked down the tunnel.

Blues hanging on

Chelsea were insistent that the dismissal would not define their afternoon as they catapulted themselves up the pitch. It was a quick and fluid transition which saw Tuchel’s side click like clockwork before Timo Werner was played in behind.

The German was then brought down in the box before an ensemble of screams bellowed from either technical box pleading their case. The judges slammed the hammer at Stockley Park as they ruled no penalty.

Just minutes before the half time interval, the visitors levelled proceedings as Pereira hooked a fantastic chip over the helpless Mendy.

Johnstone zipped a lofted ball from his own half in behind the Chelsea defence, perfectly into the Brazilian’s path as Zouma was left sprawling.

Chelsea were dazed. Their ears ringing. The Blues were on the ropes and their heads were already in the dressing room. The bell could not come quicker but Tuchel would not throw in the towel.

Alladryce and Sammy Lee nervously patrolled their technical area as they anticipated the referee's whistle. But they could smell a second. 

Pereira found a pocket of space in the Chelsea box before drilling the Baggies ahead with a neat effort into the bottom corner.

A blue afternoon that went from bad to worse

Chelsea leaped out of the dressing room, firing on all cylinders as their pusuit for a leveller intensified. 

Antonio Rudiger roared in support from the substitutes bench as the Blues struck the woodwork. Alonso picked up a stray ball, resultant of mere parry by Johnstone, and bounced the ball onto the visitors’ post. 

Allardyce’s side weathered the storm before striking back in incredible fashion; Robinson caressed a delicious side foot volley, that flew past Mendy, into the top corner. 

West Brom were on cloud nine as the visitors soon netted a fourth through Diagne who nestled the ball into net.

Having been brought on at half time to reinvigorate the Blues, Mount clawed back a second for Tuchel’s side. Alonso’s driven ball into the box found Werner; the German cut inside the on-rushing Johnstone before teeing up Mount. A slight incentive late on for the Blues.

Chelsea pushed on led by Mount’s tenacious bulldog like pressing, optimising the youngsters attitude and drive. However, that was not enough as the visitors soon scored a fifth.

With just minutes to spare, Robinson netted his second of the game and the Baggies' fifth, leaving Chelsea pinned to the cross and left out to dry...

VAVEL Man of the Match

Matheus Periera

The Brazilian midfielder was electric for the Baggies scoring two crucial goals in addition to two classy assists.

Line-ups

Chelsea 

Edouard Menday; Cesar Azpilicueta ©, Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma; Reece James, Jorginho (72’ Kai Havertz), Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Alonso; Christian Pulisic (45’ Mason Mount), Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech (33’ Andreas Christensen).

West Bromwich Albion 

Sam Johnstone; Dara O’Shea (23’ Branislav Ivanovic (37’ Callum Robinson)), Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley ©, Darnell Furlong; Okay Yokusli; Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Andros Townsend, Matt Phillips, Matheus Pereira; Mbaye Diagne.

VAVEL Logo