Jose Mourinho suffered one of his biggest defeats as Chelsea boss as West Bromwich Albion managed a famous 3-0 win over the Blues at the Hawthorns on Monday night.
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It’s fair to say the west Londoners were in full holiday mode when they rocked up in Birmingham as they committed a number of mistakes and errors you just don’t associate with a Mourinho club, but that’s not to take any credit away from the rampant Baggies.
A fast-paced start saw West Brom rush the Blues defence on a number of occasions, and Callum McManaman forced Thibaut Courtois into a stunning stop early on.
However, Tony Pulis’s side took a deserved lead as Saido Berahinho unleashed a delicious, curling effort from the edge of the 18-yard box. And, as has been the case for the majority of the season, it’s taken something special to get the best of the Belgian in Chelsea’s goal.
It was the England international’s 19th goal of a sensational season that has seen him linked with a summer move to Manchester United.
A goal sealed with a kiss…
After a bizarre altercation inside the West Brom penalty box saw Diego Costa cautioned for a confrontation with Gareth McAuley, Cesc Fabregas was sent off for an incredibly – almost unbelievably – accurate strike that smacked Chris Brunt in the side of the head.
While the referee was trying to control Costa’s melee in the penalty area, the former Arsenal captain inexplicably hit the ball towards the confrontation and whacked the Baggies man square in front of referee Mike Jones, who then marched over to the Spaniard and brandished the red card.
Fabregas will now be unable to overtake ex-teammate Thierry Henry’s assist record this season, as he will now certainly miss the final game of the campaign, with a suspension.
It only took one second-half minute for West Brom to extend their lead. A rash challenge from John Terry on Berahino as he was put clear on goal somehow evaded any type of punishment – not even a yellow card.
The England call-up picked himself up and dispatched the spot-kick himself, burying the penalty into the bottom left corner despite Courtois going the right way and getting his hand to it.
On an uninspired night for the Blues, they would need something special to get back into the game and Remy almost conjured it with a snap, left-foot shot just outside the area that cannoned off Boaz Myhill’s post.
However, it just didn’t look like it’d be Chelsea’s night – they already looked like they were on their jollies.
Brunt finished the match as a contest when he smashed a near-post shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box that caught Courtois by surprise.
After such a brilliant season, the Belgian perhaps made one of his biggest errors of the campaign by letting Brunt’s shot creep in despite getting a hand to it.
Myhill pulled off a sensational stop late on to deny the Blues and preserve West Brom’s clean sheet, and a great day for the Baggies remained intact.
Mourinho used the opportunity to bring on a number of Chelsea youngsters to at least give them a sniff of action and a chance to impress before the season comes to an end.
As the clock wound down, both sides seemed comfortable to just see the game out. It finished West Brom 3-0 Chelsea – but Fabregas’s red card will surely be the talking point in the days to come.