Callum McManaman

West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Chelsea: Pedro bags a goal, assist on his Premier League debut

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  • Pedro Rodriguez notched a goal and an assist on his Chelsea debut
  • West Brom scored their first goal of the 2015-16 Premier League season
  • With their victory, Chelsea climb nine places in the league table, now up to 9th
  • With the defeat, West Brom slip from 19th to 20th

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

West Brom were on cloud nine early on, if only momentarily, when Nemanja Matic took down Callum McManaman inside the Chelsea penalty area in the 13th minute. Up stepped James Morrison for the Baggies, but the Scottish international hit his penalty straight down the middle and knee-high, which allowed Thibaut Courtois to make the save with his trailing leg.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Morrison and West Brom were made to pay for squandering their early chance not even seven minutes later, when Pedro Rodriguez scored his first Chelsea goal to put the Blues into the lead. The former Barcelona winger combined brilliantly through the right attacking channel with Eden Hazard, which led to a quick shot that snuck inside Boaz Myhill’s left-hand post from the edge of the penalty area.

Chelsea doubled their lead in the 30th minute, when Diego Costa turned home Pedro’s wayward shot at the back post. After a quick counter attack that flowed through Willian and Pedro, the Spaniard unleashed a shot from a tough angle on the left. With that effort going well wide of the far post, Costa snuck in, cleaned up the scraps and nabbed his first goal of the 2015-16 season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Morrison redeemed his earlier miss from essentially the same spot on the field, only through open play, to cap off a free-flowing bit of attacking play by the Baggies. James McClean crossed from the left, to the back post where Salomon Rondon kept the play alive and centered the ball with an overhead kick. Morrison came rushing in near the penalty spot and this time hammered the ball hard, low and through a sea defenders in the 35th minute.

Cesar Azpilicueta restored Chelsea’s two-goal lead just before halftime (42nd minute) with a simple finish from the top of the penalty area. Cesc Fabregas played a ball over the top, Costa chested it down into the path of Azpilicueta and the Spaniard finished low into the left corner.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score

John Terry was sent off in the 54th minute for denying Rondon an obvious goalscoring opportunity, meaning the Blues were to finish the game with 10 men. Five minutes later, West Brom made good on their newfound advantage, when Morrison’s flicked-on header looped its way to the far post and snuck just under Courtois’s crossbar.

Watch Live: West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea (Lineups and Live Stream)

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West Bromwich Albion host Chelsea at the Hawthorns on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) as the Premier League champions head to the west Midlands.

The Baggies have a decent record against Chelsea of late (W2, D2, L2) and but lost to the Blues at Stamford Bridge earlier this season as Jose Mourinho’s side grabbed all three points after Claudio Yacob was sent off early in the game.

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Since that game Tony Pulis arrived as their new manager in January and has saved the Baggies from relegation as they sit comfortably in 13th place. Chelsea are chasing the 90-point title, which they will reach if they win their final two games. Only five other teams have secured 90 points or more in a single season since the league became a 38-game season.

In team news West Brom make three changes as Callum McManaman, James Morrison and Saido Berahino start. Chelsea start youngster Loftus-Cheek in midfield, with other academy products Christensen, Ake and Brown on the bench, and Diego Costa returns to the starting lineup after six weeks out.

LINEUPS

West Bromwich Albion: Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Lescott, Brunt, Fletcher, Yacob, Morrison, McManaman, Berahino. Subs: Rose, Wisdom, Baird, Mulumbu, Gardner, Anichebe, Ideye

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis; Loftus-Cheek, Matic; Remy, Fabregas, Hazard; Diego Costa. Subs: Blackman, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Ake, Mikel, Cuadrado, Brown

Premier League roundup: Tense Saturday, as relegation battle intensifies

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It was a busy, busy Saturday in the Premier League as eight games took place and plenty of drama ensued.

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Wins for Leicester City (four on the spin) and Hull City in and around the relegation zone were massive, while Manchester City won a stunner against Aston Villa to cement their top four hopes and Southampton played out an entertaining draw with Tottenham.

[ RELATED: Standings | videos | schedule ]

Just in case you missed anything, below are recaps, videos, analysis, reaction and more from all eight matches.

Southampton 2-2 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

A breahtaking game at St Mary’s as sixth-placed Spurs grabbed a point against seventh-placed Saints. Graziano Pelle twice gave Saints the lead but Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli equalizer to grab a point for Mauricio Pochettino on his return to Southampton.

Manchester City 3-2 Aston VillaRECAP

City survived a second half scare to cement their top four hopes. A horrendous blunder from Brad Guzan made it 1-0 as Sergio Aguero punished the USMNT man, then Aleksandar Kolarov made it 2-0 with a free kick in the second half. That sparked Villa into life as Tom Cleverely and Carlos Sanchez scored to make it 2-2 with five minutes left. But there was one more twist in the tale as Fernandinho scored in the 89th minute to make it 3-2. Huge win for the Citizens, while Villa are still struggling and just two points above the drop zone.

Newcastle United 2-3 Swansea CityRECAP

Seven defeats on the spin now for Newcastle. It started so well as Ayoze Perez gave them the lead but three goals from Oliveira, Sigurdsson and Cork gave Swansea a commanding lead. A late goal from Siem de Jong made it 3-2, but Newcastle is now just five points above the drop zone.

Stoke City 1-1 SunderlandRECAP

Sunderland went ahead through Connor Wickham but another beauty from Charlie Adam leveled things up in the first half and that was how things finished. Despite grabbing a point on the road, Sunderland dropped into the bottom three with four games to go. Panic stations for Dick Advocaat’s men.

Burnley 0-1 Leicester CityRECAP

This was a huge game in the relegation scrap and a minute of madness decided this one. Burnley missed a penalty kick as Matt Taylor hit the post and moments later Leicester went up the other end as Jamie Vardy was credited with the game-winning goal. Four wins on the spin for the Foxes now, as they climb out of the relegation zone on 31 points. Burnley is now bottom on 26 points and are five points from safety with four games to save themselves.

West Bromwich Albion 0-0 LiverpoolRECAP

Jordon Ibe hit the bar and Jordan Henderson came close for Liverpool but they couldn’t break down a stubborn West Brom outfit. The Baggies had good chances themselves as Callum McManaman went close late on and James Morrison had a header cleared off the line. Liverpool’s top four hopes are all but over.

QPR 0-0 West Ham UnitedRECAP

Charlie Austin, QPR’s leading scorer, had a penalty kick saved by Adrian in the first half. West Ham’s goalkeeper denied Matt Phillips late on and was fouled by Steven Caulker as Richard Dunne headed home a disallowed goal in the second half. The Hammers went close through Aaron Cresswell’s free kick which was tipped over superbly by Robert Green. QPR had the better chances but are four points from safety.

Crystal Palace 0-2 Hull CityRECAP

An end-to-end game in south London went Hull’s way as Dame N’Doye scored twice in the second half to give the Tigers their first win in seven matches. Steve Bruce looked like a relieved man afterwards as Hull now have breathing space but are still just one point clear of the bottom three.

West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Liverpool: Reds’ top four hopes diminishing

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Liverpool drew 0-0 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as the Reds failed to make up more ground in their race for fourth place.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Jordon Ibe hit the crossbar and Boaz Myhill made good saves from Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson in the second half to secure the shutout for the Baggies. Tony Pulis’ men had a few good chances too as James Morrison had a header cleared off the line, plus Simon Mignolet saved well from Callum McManaman.

With the draw West Brom stay in 13th place on 37 points, while Liverpool stays in fifth on 58 points with five games to go.

[ RELATED: Latest PL standings ]

A timid and tight opening 45 minutes saw few chances for either side as Liverpool had plenty of the ball but couldn’t break down a stubborn West Brom side.

Mario Balotelli, who has just one PL goal to his name this year, lead the line well for Liverpool but the goal threat came from elsewhere as Emre Can saw his low shot from distance tipped away and Steven Gerrard (who was making his 500th PL appearance) sent a free kick inches over the bar as the visitors had the better chances in the opening half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

After the break the game struggled to get going although Liverpool went close to going ahead as Raheem Sterling played in Balotelli in the box and the Italian saw his effort saved after a smart turn. The ball then dropped to Coutinho who had his low drive smothered by Boza Myhill and West Brom’s goalkeeper then denied Henderson from close range to seal a superb double save and keep the Reds at bay.

Liverpool kept knocking at the door and Ibe rattled the crossbar after a smart give-and-go with Balotelli in the 64th minute. Moments later West Brom almost scored as substitute McManaman sent in a cross which Morrison headed on goal by Dejan Lovren cleared the ball off the line.

Lovren missed a great chance at the other end late on as a corner flashed through everyone and caught the Croatian defender off guard. Late on McManaman was denied by Mignolet with a smart save at the near post as the game finished without a goal.

LINEUPS

West Brom: Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Brunt, Gardner, Fletcher, Yacob, Morrison (Baird, 81′), Berahino (Ideye, 75′), Anichebe (McManaman, 64′)

Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Can, Ibe (Lallana, 75′), Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Balotelli (Borini, 75′)

DONE DEAL: Arsenal, West Brom and Villarreal all got new players Wednesday

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So what went down on Wednesday, as the transfer window took another step toward slamming shut?

[ MORE: Chile 3-2 USMNT | Player ratings ]

Gabriel Paulista is officially a Gunner. The 24-year-old Brazilian center back is now in a stable of center backs which includes Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, and he’d love to make his move into the lineup sooner rather than later.

Here’s what he told Arsenal.com:

“I’m coming to a very big club and I know that I will play with great players. While respecting everyone, I want to play for my place in the team. I know that is not going to be easy, I must show my potential, I have to show that I can be in the group, that the manager can count on me. The same goes to all my team-mates. I will carry on the same way I have been since the beginning of my career. I have always respected everyone to get to where I am in my career, and I want even more.”

Tony Pulis has a new man at West Bromwich Albion, and he’s done some things in the Premier League. Callum McManaman has completed his move from Wigan Athletic to the Hawthorns, and should be a pretty decent boon for the Baggies’ boss.

It’s a loan move for Costa Rican star Joel Campbell, and the Arsenal man is going in the opposite direction of new Gunner defender Gabriel. The Submarines bill Campbell as, “a strong and skilled wingman whose qualities are his speed and dribbles. He can play both on the right wing and forward.” It’ll just be nice to see him on the pitch again.