Chelsea didn't lose to West Browich Albion on Tuesday, but after conceding an equalizer twice, and having to settle for a draw, it certainly felt like they did. That said, interim manager Guss Hiddink was at least entertained by the match, and felt it was a fair result, even if it wasn't ideal:
‘At the end I think it’s a fair result although in the first half, after going 1-0 up, we had a few chances to make it 2-0 which didn’t happen. Then we conceded an unfortunate goal, we let them penetrate too easily. They scored with two shots from outside the box, they were easy goals. The result is the result.'
‘The home crowd always want to win but it was a very entertaining game, high intensity, high speed and high tempo from both sides, but at the end we like to win. Especially with the week we have. We’re into the next round of the FA Cup and we have the Everton game on Saturday. It would have been the perfect week if we could have won all three, that was the target.’
Guus also made a little joke about the referee in tonight's match, who definitely gave West Brom several breaks but not sending Claudio Yacob off after multiple obvious yellow cards, with the player having already been booked:
Guus: "The manager made a wise decision when he took over the role off the referee and took of Claudio Yacob. The referee forgot to do it."— Michael Austin (@michaeljcaustin) January 13, 2016
It's hard to disagree with any of that, as the game was certainly both open and fun to watch, even if the two goals Chelsea conceded made me throw up in my mouth. The first, especially, was annoying, as it was yet another casual turnover in our own end by an attacking player that was quickly deposited in the back of our net, without giving our defensive players a real chance to snuff out the counter.
The giveaway on that first goal came down to a terrible pass from Pedro, who continues to disappoint during his first season with Chelsea. Here's what the boss had to say about the decision to replace the Spanish international with Kenedy, whose direct, physical approach seemed to make him far more effective on Wednesday:
‘We didn’t anticipate very well on the loss of the ball (for the first goal). We are now in a period where we want to give the youngsters some chances. Kenedy’s a young guy and was involved in our (second) goal. In the last game we brought on Loftus-Cheek and every now and then they must have this experience.’
Guus went on to mention again that Chelsea still hope to finish top four, but I think the vast majority here understand that the odds of that happening are now ridiculously slim, at best. With that in mind, I think everyone would hope to see the youngsters given regular shots from this point on, as frankly, watching these kids show what they've got (or don't have) is just far less depressing than watching some of last season's champions play like they belong in modern Arsenal squads.