It’s three points. That’s exactly what Chelsea required going into their weekend match at West Brom. The Blues entered the match in search of their first 2015-2016 Premier League win, and they were able to accomplish that.
That being said, it wasn’t pretty. There is definitely signs of improvement, but it’s not quite there yet.
Chelsea opened the scoring through their newly signed man, Pedro. The Spaniard scored a good goal, using Hazard for a wall pass and finishing with a deflection off of a defender for his first Chelsea goal. The Blues will look for that type of contribution from the Spaniard every match.
However, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the Blues before the goal. They very easily could have went down a goal, due to a rare mistake from Matic. He made a poor challenge in his own 18-yard box and conceded a soft penalty. The attacker was dribbling away from goal, with both Azpilicueta and Matic in between him and the goal. Therefore, there was no need to dive in. Courtois made a good save on a poorly placed penalty and Chelsea were able to stay level.
After Chelsea broke the deadlock, West Brom became sloppy with their passing. The Blues were afforded the chance to get out in attack, and this allowed them to get their second goal of the match. Pedro found Diego Costa on the break, who opened his account for the season with a sliding effort that made it past the West Brom keeper.
West Brom pulled one back through a great effort. Chelsea were left flat footed and their lead cut in half.
However, they soon doubled their lead, with an unusual face getting on the scoresheet.
Azpilicueta hopped onto a loose ball set up by Costa. He calmly slotted the opportunity home, and Chelsea lead 3-1.
After half time, Chelsea had their captain sent off, with Terry not being able to cope with the speed of West Brom’s forward.
After half time, Chelsea had their captain sent off, with Terry not being able to cope with the speed of West Brom’s forward. The 34-year-old
grabbed Rondon’s arm, and the referee felt it was enough contact to justify a second yellow card, especially given his position on the pitch.
Chelsea conceded a second goal not long after. A cross was turned in by the head of West Brom’s James Morrison.
However, Chelsea were able to keep their cool and defend their lead. Jose Mourinho made his substitutions, bringing on Gary Cahill and John Obi Mikel to hold off the home side. Eden Hazard did his part to take time, beating defenders, and drawing fouls.
At the final whistle, Jose Mourinho showed his excitement, with Chelsea taking all three points from the match. This was the necessity. There were strong individual performances from several players.
Costa started to look his part up top. Hazard showed moments of brilliance in the second half. Pedro made a strong debut, picking up an assist and a goal. Kurt Zouma was the best Chelsea defender on the match, performing well and helping to sure up the Blues shaky backline. Courtois made a few strong saves as well.
However, John Terry still looks shaky, along with Cesc Fabregas.
Terry hasn’t done his part at the back, and it continues to draw questions about his age. However, I think he’s simply in a slump. I’m sure that the captain will bounce back from his poor start and continue to be a stalwart in the back.
Fabregas seems to be suffering from his poor form at the end of last season. He needs to get on the ball more often. Early last year, the Spaniard was demanding the ball and picking out strong passes. He’ll now have more options with Pedro in attack, and will look to be more influential going forward.
Hopefully, the Blues will use this win as momentum and continue to improve. There’s a lot of room to get better, but not too much room to fail. Chelsea will need to workout their kinks, while also winning matches. It’s vital.
It’ll be interesting to see how Mourinho approaches the remaining days of the transfer window. A few more incoming players will be huge for the West Londoners. They’ll be better for it and Mourinho will have the depth he’ll need to compete in so many different competitions.
Overall, it’s a start for Chelsea. If they can continue to win matches, they’ll put to bed all suggestions that they’ve all already conceded the title. They’ll need to improve, both individually and as a team. Judging by today’s performance, they look ready to do so. Chelsea will need a similar performance against Crystal Palace next weekend in order to continue to gain momentum.