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Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion, Premier League: Half-time report

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Scoreless at the half.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Well, I suppose it's gone just about as expected so far.  West Brom have set up camp just outside their own penalty area and have stood firm and compact to any and all Chelsea probing.  They have left one-man wrecking crew Salomón Rondón to fend for himself at top, looking to hit Chelsea on the counter or capitalize on any mistakes like poor clearances from David Luiz or Courtois.  Obvious plan is obvious and obviously it's working so far.

As far as Chelsea, everything's been a bit mildly crap.  A lot of that is down to West Brom's tactics (time-wasting from the first minute!), but part of it also comes from our inaccurate passing and semi-slow circulation of the ball.  The long diagonals haven't quite been there today and Chelsea are getting out-numbered even on opportunities that might look like breaks developing.  As important as it is to stay patient and not get frustrated, the tempo does need to pick up a bit.  Moving the ball slowly around makes it easy for the defense to readjust and shift.  Need a bit of pep in our step.

The game hasn't been completely devoid of scoring chances — Chris Brunt and Rondón came close with a couple hopeful shots early for the visitors while for Chelsea, Kanté almost got lucky with a deflection off Pedro and Costa whiffed on a header when he looked certain to score — but it's been a bit sluggish in general, as early kick-offs can often be.

Time for our usual second-half improvement.  COME ON, CHELSEA!