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West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Chelsea (Albion Fan's Perspective)

Monday 5th March 2012
Before this game, the Albion had never beaten Chelsea in the Premier League, but yet again we broke another record in emphatic style like so many other games this season. The score line may have only been 1-0, but West Brom completely dominated this Chelsea team, ultimately costing Andre Villas-Boas his job. Second manager sacked in three games after a loss to the Albion; we're making a habit of this!

Before the game, many Albion fans were confident of a draw with a few brave souls predicting a win. To be fair, if we were to beat Chelsea, this game would be the one. We went into the game in blistering form following thrashings of Wolves and Sunderland and the pre match mood was full of confidence.

Both teams had unchanged sides; however the Albion bench saw the return of Chris Brunt and Gabriel Tamas, in place of Somen Tchoyi and Craig Dawson respectively.

The Albion started the game off the more threatening side with two chances in the opening ten minutes with Jonas Olsson seeing a header blocked by Drogba and Morrison forcing Cech to make a save after a 25-yard shot.

Chelsea had a few chances following this, but didn't look like burying of them. Daniel Sturridge, who recovered from an injury against Holland at Wembley, looked a constant threat. Chelsea could have taken the lead when Michael Essien saw a shot blocked by the ever impressive Steven Reid. Soon after, the Baggies were back on the attack again and Marc Antoine-Fortune shot wide after Gary Cahill had sent Liam Ridgewell's cross straight to the Baggie's number 32. Peter Odemwingie was next with a shot, which went just wide.

Before the half hour mark, Chelsea had another chance when Cahill, fresh from scoring for England in midweek, struck the ball towards goal, only for it to be headed clear by James Morrison. Keith Andrews was next with a chance whose header went just wide following a Morrison free kick.

Chelsea would have one more chance before the end of the half with Foster having to pull off a fantastic save when he dived to his left and sent Essien's shot to the ground, only for Foster to pounce on the ball before Branislav Ivanovic could get to the ball.

Andrews soon had another chance at the Chelsea goal but Cahill and Luiz worked well together in defence to deny him a header.

Then Chelsea had a chance which they really should have buried. Didier Drogba found Sturridge in the clear, but after taking the ball round Reid, he shot wide of the beaten Foster from 12 yards, which was a massive let-off for the home fans. The Albion were to have the last chance of the half when Mulumbu sent a shot wide.

The second half started a bit slower than the first, but yet again it was the Albion who had the first chance when Odemwingie, still on blistering form following his Player of the Month award, had a shot blocked, however the Albion soon had an injury blow when Steven Reid crashed down near the halfway line, with him having to be helped off by medical staff. Reid had thus far been the man of the match, and was replaced by Gabriel Tamas. From Reid's injury, Mata had managed to take the ball and put Sturrisdge clean through, only for Foster to come running out, managing to dispossess the England striker.

Fortune had the next chance and sent the ball straight at Cech who parried it away. Soon after, the baggies were forced to make another change when Jerome Thomas was replaced by Chris Brunt, making his first appearance since New Year's Day following a fractured ankle.

The Albion carried on pushing for a goal and had a cracking chance when Mulumbu volleyed from 25-yards out only for the volley to be tipped over by the Czech stopper. Cech was called into action shortly again when Fortune shot towards the bottom of the goal.

Brunt was next to try and put the Baggies in front when he was denied a diving header by Ashley Cole's outstretched boot. Brunt soon had a 30-yard effort go just wide, showing exactly how important he is to the Albion team.

The eight minutes from time, we finally took the lead. A Chris Brunt corner found Andrews at the far post who sent it into the box, for Ridgewell to volley it and McAuley to direct it into the back of the net, sending the home fans into delirium. Eight minutes t go, and my word they seemed to last like the previous 82.

The Albion had another chance when Andrews volleyed from 18 yards which was sent wide by Cech. Chelsea had two chances before the end with Lampard firing wide and Mata firing over the bar. The final whistle finally blew and our third win in three games was secured.

This win was particularly sweet for all the Albion faithful as back in August, we should have got a point against them. This result also shows just how far we have moved on as a team since August 2010 when Chelsea thrashed us 6-0 and dominated us. Both teams have since changed managers since that game, and the way the Albion are performing shows just how much we have changed and what a great recruit Roy Hodgson was. As a footballing fan, it is sad to see Villas Boas get sacked, as I believe with time he would have solved Chelsea's problems.

Enough of Chelsea's problems, instead let's pay respect where it's due and praise the Albion team for a fantastic performance.

Next game? Manchester United away, now don't bet against it!

Boing Boing !

Man of the Match: James Morrison. I would have gone for Steven Reid before his untimely injury, but yet again Morrison looked a class act in the team, dictating play and having a few decent chances.
Alex Horton

Total articles: 18

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