West Brom – Chelsea: Chelsea spotted the hosts three goals as West Brom scored thrice in the first 28 minutes but drew the Blues 3-3 after Tammy Abraham cleaned up a stoppage-time rebound to produce a point at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Callum Robinson bagged a brace and Kyle Bartley also scored as the Baggies built their big lead but only earned its first point of their fifth spell in the Premier League.
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Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi crafted beautiful goals in the second half to lead the comeback bid as Chelsea moved to 1-1-1 on the young season.
3 things we learned: West Brom – Chelsea
1. Bold Baggies: Slaven Bilic’s men took advantage of moments, as their 23 percent possession in the first half yielded a remarkable 3-0 lead thanks to Chelsea errors and a clinical bit of finishing from Robinson. The Bartley goal came off a set piece and West Brom would’ve targeted that from the start and embraced a 1-0 lead. That it was the third goal of the first half-hour had to have Bilic and his Baggies in a fit of amused laughter. Remember: This West Brom team lost 3-0 to Leicester and 5-2 against Everton.
2. Chelsea delivers on chances but laments defense: Chelsea fans have heard this before, again and again, but their 2019-20 Blues created more chances than any Premier League team outside of Manchester City. They scored 33 less goals than City and 16 fewer than Liverpool. Chelsea needed all of its 76 percent possession and 22 total shots to come back from an absurd first half at the Hawthorns. Ugly. A penny for Antonio Rudiger’s thoughts.
3. Impact subs: Lampard pushed two buttons at halftime. Taking off Marcos Alonso on a yellow for Cesar Azpilicueta was nothing risky considering the latter has been so good for such a long time, bu removing influential Mateo Kovacic for Hudson-Odoi deserves a high-five. It could’ve backfired — though what would that have really mattered given the 3-0 deficit? — but Hudson-Odoi combined for a wonderful second goal and Azpilicueta was steady on the left and assisted Mount’s marker. Would Olivier Giroud’s 73rd-minute move for Thiago Silva make a difference, too? No, but Mount’s rip rebounded to Abraham and credit to Lampard for not removing the otherwise wasteful center forward.
Man of the Match:
It’s difficult to look past Robinson and Mount but West Brom center back Bartley had the third goal to go with nine clearances and a perfect 5-of-5 success rate on long balls. He also made a brave stoppage time stop on Werner at the back post.
West Brom – Chelsea recap
Willy Caballero’s start between the pipes was under duress, as Robinson got a pass from Matheus Pereira and slashed a shot from the edge of the 18. It went through the legs of Reece James and Caballero couldn’t locate it.
The pink-clad Blues soon found possession and Kai Havertz forced a strong save out of Sam Johnstone with an obscured strike from distance.
James spotted Tammy Abraham in the 12th minute but the striker’s left-foot was inadequate to the back post task. Mason Mount then crossed hard for Werner in traffic, the German’s shot kissing the crossbar for a goal kick.
A poor touch from Thiago Silva gifted Robinson a 1v1 break on goal and the ex-Sheffield United man lashed past Caballero for 2-0.
Bartley made it 3-0 off a corner kick, Darnell Furlong heading the set piece to the back post for a cool finish.
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Mount gave Chelsea hope in the 55th, a terrific shot from distance that froze Johnstone and made it 3-1.
Johnstone then reacted well to slap away a deflected effort from Havertz.
Hudson-Odoi took some time to find his place in the match but his work to produce Chelsea’s second was good stuff. The 19-year-old worked with Timo Werner on his right and Kai Havertz on his left to work his way into the 18 and slot past Johnstone.
That was it, though, as Giroud’s introduction for Thiago Silva and five minutes stoppage time could not produce an equalizer.
Werner nearly lashed one in but Bartley dove headfirst into the path to turn a would-be goal into an equalizer.
That’s when the equalizer arrived at the Hawthorns, a handball on Havertz neither called in the buildup nor legislated by VAR.Follow @NicholasMendola