The curse of The Hawthorns combined with the dreaded black kits proved enough to cause Jose Mourniho's little horse to stumble on Tuesday. The damage wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been though, as Chelsea still walked away from West Bromwich with a point that could prove very valuable down the line.
The first 45 minutes produced some of the most boring football we've seen since the 19th century, with Pepe Mel's side seemingly content to sit back and absorb pressure. As is often the case, Chelsea weren't moving the ball fast enough to create opportunities, but went on top anyway from a corner in stoppage time.
The second half saw West Brom begin to venture out of their own end a bit, with the home side needing a goal in order to have any hopes of securing a vital point in their battle to stay up. After looking more and more dangerous as the second half wore on, West Brom finally made Chelsea pay in the 87th minute.
- This may well have been the strongest starting eleven we've seen Chelsea run out this season. The best part about that is that it can only get better with the return of John Terry from injury.
- Sometimes I think the biggest thing David Luiz needs to learn is a little patience against a tough defense. I like his willingness to try to bypass the midfield from time to time, but he really needs to pick his spots to do so a little more wisely.
- I love the idea of a Ramires/Matic midfield, but against deep lying defenses like we faced on Tuesday, Ramires may not be the best choice. Frank Lampard's precision and intelligent movement are both far more useful than boundless energy when there's very little open space to attack.
- I'm not sure how we weren't awarded a penalty just a minute before the Branislav Ivanovic opener. Gary Cahill got flattened in the box, and clearly would have gotten a head on the ball if the defender hadn't gone through him. That said, I suppose we owed West Brom one after the last game.
- I love games without Tony Gale in the booth.
- I hate dropping stupid points late.
- Branislav Ivanovic is a scary man when he's angry. Then again, Branislav Ivanovic is an angry man when he's happy.
- The second half of today's game was just dreadful. The lack of energy we saw on display during the first half was just exaggerated once West Brom began to press.