[Player Ratings] WBA 1-1 Chelsea: Big Vic Leaves It Late As Blues Drop Vital Points
Chelsea dropped precious points in their 1-1 draw with West Brom as Victor Anichebe scored a dramatic late equaliser from the bench. Here are player ratings
Chelsea dropped precious points in their 1-1 draw with West Bromich Albion as Victor Anichebe scored a dramatic late equaliser from the bench.
Chelsea took the lead at the Hawthorns moments before half-time, Branislav Ivanovic turning in from close range after David Luiz had helped on Willian’s corner.
The Blues had chances to put the game beyond doubt through Samuel Eto’o and Willian but Baggies’ keeper Ben Foster kept the duo at bay. But West Brom were better in the second half and their pressure paid off when substitute Anichebe met a Saido Berahino cross with a glancing header to draw level in the 87th minute.
Three points for Jose Mourinho’s men would have seen them go four points clear of second placed Arsenal, but the draw will offer hope to Chelsea’s London title rival who can reclaim top spot if they beat Manchester United on Wednesday. Similarly, third placed Manchester City will leapfrog the Blues on goal difference should they emerge victorious in their home clash with Sunderland.
Cech- 6- looked to be Chelsea’s saviour in the second half as West Brom piled on the pressure but there was not much he could do about Anichebe’s header
Azpilicueta- 6- not his best game but generally fine. Comfortable on the ball and helped build attacks from the back.
Cahill- 7- outshone his defensive partner and struggled on to the very end despite looking like taking a knock after a collision with Anichebe,
Luiz- 5- comfortable in possession but far too prone to lapses in concentration. Allowed Anichebe to beat him to the ball from which the Nigerian equalised.
Ivanovic- 7- picked up his 16th Premier League goal in a Chelsea shirt (the only defenders to have scored more are Leighton Baines, John Terry and Gary Cahill). Good instinctive finish.
Matic- 6- looked a little jaded- perhaps he needs a bit more time to adapt to the intensity of the league?- but kept things nice and tidy
Ramires- 7- some strong running from the Brazilian. Was Chelsea’s engine in midfield.
Hazard- 7- a much quieter performance from the Belgian but he was still a threat, committing defenders with his direct and positive dribbles.
Oscar- 6- an unusually quiet evening for the play-maker. Never looked interested. Subbed with 11 minutes to go.
Willian- 8- one of Chelsea’s best performers and their only consistent attacking threat. Brought excitement to what was a flat performance at times. The Blues scored from his corner and he nearly netted himself but for some excellent goalkeeping. Man of the Match.
Eto’o- 7- had a good game. Was lively and should have scored but for Foster’s intervention.
Torres- 5- came on for Eto’o with 20 minutes to play but failed to make an impact. Useless.
Mikel- 6- replaced the ineffective Oscar on 79 minutes, and while it was a tactical move from Mourinho to ‘shut-up-shop’, the move invited more pressure on and ultimately back-fired.
Salah- 5- came on for Ramires with just a minute of normal time to play. Not enough time to make an impression.
So Chelsea pass up a glorious chance to strike a blow to their title rivals…will Arsenal and Man City be even more pumped up to win on Wednesday?…What do you feel went wrong in the second half at the Hawthorns?…Was it a case of missed opportunities?…Or were Mourinho’s tactics too negative?…please leave your comments below…
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