Match report: Chelsea v West Brom


Chelsea claimed a 3-0 victory over basement club West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening at Stamford Bridge to ease the pressure on manager Antonio Conte.

A double from Eden Hazard and a second half Victor Moses effort saw Antonio Conte guide his side back to winning ways after two consecutive defeats.

West Brom started the game the better of the sides despite losing January loan signing from Liverpool Daniel Sturridge due to injury after just three minutes.

Alan Pardew’s side could have been ahead a minute later when Jay Rodriguez was slipped in by Saloman Rondon but he fired his effort wide of the target.

It was Rondon’s turn a minute later to put his side ahead after Matt Phillips picked him out with a superb cross, but he thumped his header over the crossbar from close range.

The visitors were then very lucky not to be down to ten men on eight minutes as Craig Dawson’s wild lunge on Davide Zappacosta but referee Lee Mason waved away the Blues protests.

Albion should have been ahead on 11 minutes when Moses mistimed a header resulting in the ball falling to the feet of former Burnley and Southampton Rodriquez, but he rushed his effort resulting in the ball sailing wide of the target.

This then gave Chelsea the lift that they needed and if not for a wonderful Ben Foster save they would have been ahead after Cesar Azpilicueta played in a defence splitting cross to Zappacosta however his effort from two yards out was somehow kept out by the sprawling Foster.

Foster then made another terrific save as Hazard linked up well with Oliver Giroud but the Frenchman was denied his first goal for Chelsea thanks to a superb reaction save from the feet of Foster.

However, Conte’s side did have the lead on 25 minutes after fine link up play between Giroud and Hazard the Belgian international finished it with a lovely finish into the bottom corner of net leaving Foster only a spectator.

It could have been two on 33 minutes as once again that man Giroud had another excellent chance as his attempted overhead kick from an Andreas Christensen knockdown.

Giroud was impressing the Stamford Bridge crowd and on the stroke of half-time he had yet another good opportunity he met a Pedro cross perfectly but flicked his header just wide of the upright.

It was West Brom who came out of the blocks the quicker in the second half as Oliver Burke’s low cross was well cleared by Azpilecueta just when it looked like Rondon would equalise.

Pardew would have been happy from his sides start to the second half and they should have been level when Rondon powered through the home sides defence only for his low effort to be tipped away by the fingertips of Thibaut Courtois.

Conte then made his first change on the hour bringing off Giroud and replacing him with the returning Alvaro Morata the Frenchman putting in a good shift on his home debut.

It was then two for the Blues on 63 minutes as Cesc Fabergas played a delightful pass into Moses and the Nigerian slotted the ball low into the net past the despairing dive of Foster.

Moses could have doubled his goal tally several minutes later as he was denied by yet another fine save from West Brom’s man of the match Foster as he was played through on goal by Morata but the former England international made a splendid save with his foot.

Two then became three with twenty minutes to go as Hazard skipped his way past the West Brom defence before he lashed his effort beyond Foster who was rooted to the spot.

As Chelsea began to control the tempo in the final stages they could have had a fourth as Foster made yet another tremendous save to keep out Morata as he tried his luck from long range in the final talking point of the match.

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