West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Chelsea: Berahino’s brace sinks Blues

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Well, it’s a good thing Chelsea have already been crowned Premier League champions, right?

Monday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion would have completely undone the Blues’ plans to win the 2014-15 league title. Then again, Jose Mourinho wouldn’t have fielded a slightly weakened team for the game, and he’d certainly not have been caught smiling and palling it up so effusively with Tony Pulis before the game.

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Saido Berahino got the game off to a flying start. The 21-year-old English youth international opened the scoring with a brilliant, curling strike from outside the penalty area. Nine minutes on the clock, West Brom 1-0 The Champions.

Chelsea’s deficit was coupled with a man disadvantage 20 minutes later, after Cesc Fabregas was shown a straight red card for hitting the ball into a crowd of West Brom players and hitting one of them in the head. The Baggies were appealing for the referee to send Diego Costa off for violent conduct off the ball, which is when Fabregas diverted attention away from the Brazilian and got himself sent off instead.

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West Brom were awarded a penalty barely a minute into the second half after John Terry hacked down Berahino inside the 18-yard box. Berahino, who very well may leave the club in the summer, stepped up to the penalty spot and beat Thibaut Courtois, despite the big Belgian ‘keeper diving the right way and getting a hand to the ball.

West Brom’s lead grew to three in the 60th minute, when Chris Brunt dribbled through traffic following a short-played corner kick. The Northern Irishman unleashed a powerful shot through traffic from the edge of the area and beat Courtois inside his near post, despite the ‘keeper getting a hand to the ball once again.

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With the victory, West Brom move to within a point of Crystal Palace, who currently occupy 12th place in the league. Chelsea’s defeat keeps their league atop the league at eight points on second-placed Manchester City, meaning they may not win the league by double digits after all.

LINEUPS

West Bromwich Albion: Myhill, Lescott, Olsson, McAuley, Dawson, Morrison, Yacob, Fletcher, Brunt, Behaino (Ideye 79′), McManaman (Gardner 54′)

Goals: Berahino (9′, 47′), Brunt (60′)

Chelsea: Courtois, Luis, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Matic, Loftus-Cheek (Ake 73′), Hazard, Fabregas, Remy (Brown 79′), Costa (Cuadrado 64′)