West Bromwich Albion beat English Premier League champions Chelsea 3-0 at the Hawthorns on Monday, with two goals coming from Saido Berahino and a solitary goal from Chris Brunt. The Blues were dealt a huge blow in the 25th minute, when Cesc Fabregas received a red card for kicking the ball against the head of Brunt. The result sees the Blues suffer their 3rd defeat of the season and the Baggies consolidated 13th position on the log.
The game had a slow and relaxed start with both teams looking like they had nothing to play for but the pace and intensity of the match would soon increase. Callum McManaman had the first opportunity on goal in the 5th minute, when he fired in a shot from a tight angle but Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois diverted the ball out for a corner. Chelsea’s first chance came when Fabregas beat two players in the box but his shot was directed straight at Baggies keeper Boaz Myhill. The game would light up in the 8th minute, when Berahino took the lead with a beautiful shot from range. Some good interplay by West Brom, saw the ball being played to Berahino just outside the box and the striker hit a first time shot into the bottom corner of the net. Brunt then almost beat Courtois from a corner kick in the 24th minute but the keeper saved and started a Chelsea counter attack which saw Eden Hazard almost grab the equaliser at the other end.
The game would turn on its head in the 27th minute, when Diego Costa got into an altercation with a West Brom defender and then Fabregas inexplicably kicked the ball against the head of Brunt. The referee gave Fabregas a straight red card and Chelsea were down to 10-men. Although West Brom were the better side before the red card was shown, the game was now well and truly shifted in the Baggies favour. But Chelsea were still in the game and in the 38th minute Felipe Luis took a free-kick which stung the palms of Myhill. Brunt forced a saved from Courtois but West Brom would go into the half-time break with only a 1-0 lead.
West Brom won an early penalty in the 2nd half, when Berahino was fouled by John Terry. The striker converted the penalty and brought up his 20th goal of the season. Chelsea’s performance on the night was uninspiring to say the least and in the 60th minute, Brunt would extend West Brom’s lead. The midfielder received the ball from a short corner and struck a shot that beat Courtois on his near post. The Baggies held onto to their lead and recorded a memorable 3-0 victory over the Premier League champions.