A game Chelsea controlled for over 70 minutes got away at the end, with Victor Anichebe’s 87th minute header giving West Bromwich Albion a surprise 1-1 draw with the visiting Premier League leaders. Rather than rest on this team’s dominance of the ball (60 percent possession) or having held the Baggies to one shot on target, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho conceded his team may have been too lax in failing to find a second goal.
“We were comfortable in the game,” Mourinho conceded, “maybe too comfortable. We didn’t kill the game when we had the chance.”
Those chances came in the second half, with a late counter attack the most prominent of his team’s opportunities. That chance ended with attacking midfielder Willian firing into Ben Foster’s chest from distance, one of a number of shots from beyond the penalty area Chelsea contented themselves with in the second half.
“I was feeling that the only thing we could do is defend well,” Mourinho said of his team’s second half. “We were not strong enough to get out in the last 10 minutes.
“The game doesn’t end until the last whistle, and the defensive mistake led to a goal.”
That mistake saw Anichebe cut across David Luiz to beat the Chelsea center back to Saido Berahino’s late cross, with the West Brom attacker’s glancing blow sending the equalizer inside Petr Cech’s left post.
Now two points ahead of second place Arsenal, the Blues could find themselves in second place should the Gunners beat Manchester United on Wednesday. They would dip as low as third if a Manchester City win (over Sunderland) accompanies an Arsenal triumph.
“In this moment we have one more point than before,” Mourinho explained. “If Arsenal and City win tomorrow, they go above us, but that is their job.
“Every game is difficult, and every team needs points.”