Christian Pulisic scored his first Chelsea goal since December, but he was as good as it gets against West Brom. MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Chelsea’s shocking 5-2 loss against West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge was not only a humiliating defeat at home, but also a missed opportunity to consolidate their position in the top four of the Premier League.
Christian Pulisic was able to score for the Blues in the 27th minute. The visitors took the lead in the 57th minute when a Marcos Alonso free kick hit the post, but things got more complicated moments later when Thiago Silva was sent off with two yellow cards.
That feeling was only reinforced when Mateus Pereira equalised for the Baggies, only to add a second goal a few minutes later. Callum Robinson was at it again against Chelsea, scoring his third goal of the campaign, before Mbaye Diagne added a fourth.
Mason Mount managed to reduce the deficit to 4-2, giving Chelsea a glimmer of hope, but Robinson managed to score five goals for West Brom to add to Chelsea’s misery. The defeat means fellow Londoners West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur could potentially overtake them in the standings this weekend.
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In the early stages of the match, Les Bleus had plenty of ball possession and were able to dictate the pace of the match at times. Picking up two points is an encouraging sign, considering Chelsea haven’t really picked up many points lately.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will be furious about the performance. Chelsea were so sloppy in the early stages of the game that many passes went unanswered, as well as questionable decisions on the ball. It certainly didn’t help that Silva had been sacked, but despite that, Chelsea’s defence was abysmal at times. Chelsea just didn’t offer enough and will be uncomfortable after this performance and result.
Manager’s score out of 10
4 — When Silva was released, Tuchel had to decide whether to keep the attacking players or try to create the game from the defense. He chose the second option and saw his side concede two goals before the break. The German’s decision to retain his three rugby players will raise questions, especially as the extra forces barely kept West Brom at bay.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Those coming in after 70 minutes do not get a rating)
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, 5 – Made a few good saves, but couldn’t do much to prevent most of West Brom’s five goals.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 5 — Was brought down by Diagne, after which the striker was shown a yellow card, and battled with West Brom’s forwards throughout the game, although he couldn’t always make the winning play.
DF Thiago Silva, 3 — drew a foul on Pereira early and used the second command to block an Okeye Yokuslu effort before the half-hour mark. There were obvious signs of rust and a few skips had been lost.
DF Kurt Zouma, 4 — Should have done more to attack the loose ball for the equalizer, showed a lack of awareness when Robinson ran onto the shoulder for the final goal of the game. Couldn’t make a dent in good chances in the penalty area.
Chelsea’s match was turned on its head by Thiago Silva’s early red card. John Walton/Pa Images via Getty Images
MF Reece James, 5 – Looked threatening in the build-up, but his silly pass got his teammates in trouble on the second play for Pereira.
MF Jorginho, 4 — Lost the ball in the interlude at Silva’s two yellow cards, when the Italian should have kept his head to the ball at Pereira’s second instead of trying to ram it in. His ball into the back of the defence opened the way for Chelsea’s second goal.
MF Mateo Kovacic, 5 — Had a few sloppy moments, but was always dangerous forward with the ball, even if those runs didn’t result in a goal. Reserved for Robinson.
MF Marcos Alonso, 6 — His attempted free kick against the post led to the opening goal, and it was his inside ball that led to Chelsea’s second goal. But the Spaniard made it too easy for Pereira to score his second goal.
FW Hakeem Zieh, 5 — The Moroccan showed a mixture of good technique and sloppy passing. He will have a hard time after his sacrifice following Silva’s dismissal.
AL Timo Werner, 6 — Made a good attempt to run through the channels, but had trouble making things happen for long stretches. Unselfish assist from Mount for Chelsea’s second goal.
FW Christian Pulisic, 6 — A good instinct opened the scoring with his first Chelsea goal under Tuchel and had some brilliant moments, but struggled to get into the game regularly before being substituted at half-time.
Andreas Christensen, 5 — Was picked up in the 33rd. Pereira came on for Ziyeh in the second minute to equalise.
Mason Mount, 6 — Replaced by Pulisic at half-time, he was one of Chelsea’s most creative players. He scored Chelsea’s second goal, but would have been better off following Robinson’s running action for the third.
Kai Havertz, N.A. — Sent off the field in the 73rd minute. He came on for Jorginho in the 57th minute and had several chances as he tried to break through the West Brom defence, but the opponents were strong.
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