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Chelsea 1 West Brom 0

Chelsea 1 West Brom 0

Chelsea took the honours at Stamford Bridge with a narrow win but once again it was a far from convincing display with too many chances missed and a requirement to hang on in there at the end.

Team News - After the midweek FA Cup trip to Middlesbrough, Rafa Benitez once again shuffled his pack with Ba, Lampard, Oscar, Cole and Luiz returning.

First Half - With the game getting underway to a background of several anti-Rafa banners, Chelsea were to enjoy by far the better of the half. In fact Chelsea could have gone ahead very early on when Demba Ba broke away down the right flank and put in a great cross that Oscar managed to mishit and allow Ben Foster, in the West Brom goal, to save.

Steve Clarke`s side were then deprived of the opening goal of the game when, having won a free kick some thirty-five yards out, Petr Cech was forced to tip over a fine strike from Steven Reid. As the play settled down, Chelsea appeared to be in control and, deservedly, took the lead with 28 minutes gone.

Chelsea had won a corner, it was taken short and when Oscar delivered a cross David Luiz headed smartly back across goal for Ba to smash the ball home.

The half ended with two further efforts from Cesar Azpilicueta and Oscar being blocked by Jonas Olsson and Liam Ridgwell respectively.

Second Half - The second half saw West Brom come more into things. Chelsea started well and thought they`d doubled their lead when Frank Lampard converted Mata`s pass but instead of celebrating his 200th Chelsea goal he was left to rue the raised offside flag.

Foster then denied Ba, saving from four yards out after the striker had gotten on the end of another Oscar cross but Steve Clarke made a good substitution, bringing on Peter Odemwingie and suddenly Chelsea were on the back foot.

Benitez withdrew Hazard, bring on Victor Moses when most thought Mata would be the one to be taken off and Torres replaced the goal-scorer Ba. But Odemwingie continued to be a threat and it took a great save from Cech before the Czech keeper pridced a stunning block to prevent an Azpilicueta header from flying into his own goal.

Chelsea - Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Hazard (Moses-80), Mata (Mikel-90), Oscar, Ba (Torres-87)

Unused Subs - Turnbull, Terry, Cahill, Bertrand, .

Chelsea Scorers - Ba (28)

Chelsea Yellow Cards - Hazard

Chelsea Red Cards - Nil

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Merlin
Date:Saturday March 2 2013
Time: 5:04PM

Comments

0
Great win! The fans were wonderful through out the game. Forget Benitez and keep supporting the team.
munich Glory
02/03/2013 17:15:00
0
Rafa Benitez is a terrible coach...the realization has down on me to new levels...when we dropped points against Nescastle, Soton, Reading..I believed him when he said the players were tired...now the afcon guys are back and my heart is still in my mouth against West brom...the timing of the subs was ''i cant find the word to describe how horrific it is''....West brom were unlucky not to equalize...yes our players appeared unmotivated and wasteful, but when Clarke changed from his initial defensive approach to a more expansive style bringing on Odemwinge first, then thomas and Rosenberg, I expected an immediate reaction from tubby...but he waited well until we were almosted boxed into a corner...the timing of the subs as well as the decisions behind them was very very bad...I now expect that we'll drop more points toward the end of matches until the end of the season...Whoever went to bring tubby from jobblessness to come and and coach this great of ours is clearly an imbecile....i will continue to pray and thank God we won.
layorh12
02/03/2013 17:16:00
0
A very welcome 3 points. Hope Spurs and Arsenal share the points tomorrow. well done to the fans.
jollyheart Torres
02/03/2013 17:19:00
0
Cech saved us a couple of times. Wish Oscar could convert SOME of his chances..he had 4 or 5 but I love watching him. Great positioning and header back to Ba by Luiz for the goal. Hazard was great! tested the nerves but solid win. And Benitez did put together a good starting 11. @layor12...come on...ease up a bit...savour the win, man.
Squig
02/03/2013 17:20:00
0
Lets hope we don't lose anymore games until the end of the season.
Tiraspol
02/03/2013 17:21:00
0
I hope we can be more decisive in front of the goal post in our next matches. Oscar,Cech, Hazard and mata were all good. Hope spurds lost to arse tomorrow.
munich Glory
02/03/2013 17:24:00
0
@squig...i sincerly apologize if my post depicted a rather gloomy feel after such an important match where we got a good result...but I have reasons to be worried....seriously....i am scared.
layorh12
02/03/2013 17:27:00
0
Never watched the game but i would like 2 hear some comments of game play by oscar-mata combo.
blue5
02/03/2013 17:29:00
0
This was a vital three points for us..we must now hope that Spurs dont beat the gunners tomorrow.
GabeU
02/03/2013 17:41:00
0
@layorh12...ya, me too...worried. After Sunderland we have 4 huge games and tough opponents...Spurs, Pool, Swansea and Man U. We/Oscar can't miss chances like we did today and Jesus, we DO let teams come back at us in the dying moments of the game like you say.
Squig
02/03/2013 17:41:00
0
Much needed win for us, glad we were able to get the 3 points... Once again, thank you to the boo boys for not disrupting the game or going too wayward... @blue5, Mata and Oscar combined well today, interchanging positions throughout the game and exchanging one - two passes... Oscar has to be more efficient in front of goal though, it could have been 4-0 today had Oscar been more efficient in goal... The whole team was generally wasteful today...
Latunvic
02/03/2013 17:51:00
0
@latunvic,thanks for your input.
blue5
02/03/2013 17:59:00
0
It is a good 3 points and I am a happy chelsea fan now, but I'll be happy if I wake up tommorow and see that rafa is fired, this team are not playing up to their talents, our play have dwindled and our balance is in tatters, how we'll win the coming games is beyond me as those teams got better qualities than west brom, oscar did a good job today but he needs to work on his finishing, hazard is dribbling but hasn't taken the next step in his game to know when to shoot and do so acccurately, mata is very creative and can score well thats all he's got, he can't do anything if he doesn't have space, he is not in the game if we play a high pressing team, next season under a new manager we need an enforcer a good blocking midfielder that can make the job easier for him, oscar would be a better no.10 under a better coach, moses haven't been too impressive since returning from afcon, the whole team is not set up well, we don't find Ba well and I think if not for the type of striker he is, we would have lost or settled for a draw. The only thing rafa did today to impress me was start ba ahead of torres
Desmondadonis
02/03/2013 18:01:00
0
Vital 3points in the bag,thumbs up to the team and thanks to the booboys for keepin it at just banners...oscar had a good game but he is really very wasteful
Ken4CFC
02/03/2013 18:07:00
0
Vital 3points in the bag,thumbs up the team and thanks to the booboys for keepin it at just banners...oscar had a good game but he is really very wasteful
Ken4CFC
02/03/2013 18:07:00
0
There is nothing wrong with a 1-0 win against a well-coached side, especially in light of all the drama we've had at the club. I've gotten to a point w Rafa in which I do my best to ignore him, to look past him when he's shown on the television. We must win in spite of him and keep the momentum going. Cech came up when we needed him, but I thought nearly everyone played well. Our three creative midfielders were excellent, though it would be nice to see Oscar convert every now and then! Ba was very good--it goes to show that you can't hesitate when you're a top striker. Torres hesitates and is his own worst enemy. Well done to the back four as well. They were all excellent. I'd give Rafa credit, but frankly it seems like such a no-brainer to start Azpi that I can't fathom why he doesn't do it more often. The inspired decision was, perhaps to play David Luiz w Iva, but in all fairness, WBA didn't create many problems for them. We'll know if that's a good CB pairing when they've got to contend with Man Utd. We'll learn plenty about this squad at that point.
RadioactiveD
02/03/2013 18:13:00
0
munich Glory, I really don't think we are in a position to hope Spurs lose to Arsenal. We need some daylight between 4th and 5th place. My preferred result would be a draw but if anyone is to win I'd rather it was Spurs. On the game today I felt we were well in control but we just could not convert the numerous chances and then in true Chelsea style this season, we were left biting our nails at the end. Torres appeared yet again to have a horrendous miss but I'll need to see it again to see how bad it really was.
CobhamBlue
02/03/2013 18:23:00
0
There is nothing wrong with a 1-0 win against a well-coached side, especially in light of all the drama we've had at the club. I've gotten to a point w Rafa in which I do my best to ignore him, to look past him when he's shown on the television. We must win in spite of him and keep the momentum going. Cech came up when we needed him, but I thought nearly everyone played well. Our three creative midfielders were excellent, though it would be nice to see Oscar convert every now and then! Ba was very good--it goes to show that you can't hesitate when you're a top striker. Torres hesitates and is his own worst enemy. Well done to the back four as well. They were all excellent. I'd give Rafa credit, but frankly it seems like such a no-brainer to start Azpi that I can't fathom why he doesn't do it more often. The inspired decision was, perhaps to play David Luiz w Iva, but in all fairness, WBA didn't create many problems for them. We'll know if that's a good CB pairing when they've got to contend with Man Utd. We'll learn plenty about this squad at that point.
RadioactiveD
02/03/2013 18:26:00
0
sorry about the double-post. No idea why that keeps happening.
RadioactiveD
02/03/2013 18:27:00
0
well, im happy with the win . and the atmosphere there sure has changed !!
JackSufre
02/03/2013 18:29:00
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