Chelsea left frustrated after 2-2 draw against West Brom

Chelsea Football Club

Match Summary

Chelsea were booed off the pitch after another dismal showing by the Blues in front of their home fans.

Cesar Azpilicueta opened the scoring but Craig Gardner replied in the first half, but it looked like McAuley’s own goal would seal Chelsea the points and continue this mini-revival under Guus Hiddink.

Instead, more sloppy play from players who continue to lack the drive to see out matches saw McLean score a late equaliser as more points continue to be dropped and Chelsea can still not record back-to-back league victories, such as been their inconsistency.

It means Chelsea are still in 14th position and 12 points off the Champions League places, with tricky ties to Everton and Arsenal coming up.

It really should not have been that hard. Costa set the motion running with early shots, as too did Willian as Chelsea looked to get going.

That effort was rewarded with 20 minutes on the clock with an excellent flowing goal. Fabregas played a long ball to Costa, who held up well and teed up Willian. His pass out wide to Ivanovic freed up space and the Serbian delivered one of his better balls whipped in across the penalty area. Diego Costa missed the return but following up close behind was Cesar Azpilicueta to tap in.

But when can Chelsea ever hold onto leads? Just 13 minutes later and West Brom were back in it. Pedro was shoved off the ball and Gardner drilled a shot from 25 yards.

The Spaniard would be hooked off at half-time for Kenedy, with the youngster eager to impress as much as Loftus-Cheek did in weekend’s outing against Scunthorpe.

One man who should not have been on the field of play was Claudio Yacob. The midfielder was cautioned in the first half for tripping Willian and he should have received his marching orders after tripping Costa when in a good counter-attacking position.

Still, it beggars belief that Chelsea literally need to hope for a one-man advantage to have any hope of winning. Kenedy looked to set that right when he drifted in an advanced position and when Willian crossed in, Kenedy put sufficient pressure on McAuley for the defender to inadvertently divert the ball into his own net past Myhill.

Could Chelsea hold on? Of course not, and it was a lead lasting only 13 minutes again, this time McClean drilling in a shot past Courtois from 20 yards.

The boos rang round and the chants for Mourinho returned in full view of Roman Abramovich.

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Man of the Match

WILLIAN: Chelsea’s only hope, it seems. The Brazilian put in another excellent shift and put in 10 crosses in the box, one of which gave Chelsea their second. His constant energy and quick turn of pace gives Chelsea their best chance of scoring something, plus he does have a tremendous shot on him even if he did waste a free-kick opportunity late in the game. 7/10

Manager Reaction

Hiddink was fair in his appraisal: “The unbeaten run goes on but we would have preferred the win. West Brom always bounce back, there is great character. It was an intense game. Tony Pulis made a wise decision when he took over the role of the referee and took off Claudio Yacob. The referee forgot to do it.”

Pulis also appreciated the challenge Chelsea presented: “We are pleased. It was a tough game, you have to ride your luck and work hard and we did that. We were disappointed with one or two of our players because they got wound up and kept the crowd going. You have to be sensible and you have to play with your head.”