A stunning display of attacking football earned West Brom a stunning 5-2 win at 10-man Chelsea, as Thomas Tuchel tasted defeat for the first time as Blues boss.
A remarkable first half of drama got under way as Christian Pulisic’s first goal since early December put Chelsea in front, somewhat against the run of play in the 27th minute, before a moment of madness from an experienced head turned the match on its head.
On his return to the side, Thiago Silva earned himself two yellow cards inside half an hour at Stamford Bridge to see the Brazilian sent off, before two goals in first-half stoppage time from Matheus Pereira shocked the hosts and gave Baggies the lead at the break – the first goals Chelsea have conceded at home under Tuchel.
It was like watching Brazil in the second half as West Brom scored a trio of free-flowing, fantastic goals through Callum Robinson and Mbaye Diagne, before Mason Mount gave Chelsea hope, only for Robinson - who has now scored all five of his Premier League goals against Chelsea - to add a stoppage-time fifth for good measure as the Baggies got resumption of Premier League football off to a dramatic start.
West Bromwich Albion's Senegalese striker Mbaye Diagne celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3, 2021
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Silva was back in the Chelsea side for the first time since early February, but looked off the pace, just as he did against the Baggies in the reverse fixture early in the season. A sloppy Chelsea could easily have fallen behind early on, but edged in front after Marcos Alonso’s free-kick came out of the post and Pulisic was alert to prod home the rebound.
Having already been booked, the lunge from Silva on the edge of the box on Okay Yokuslu was foolish in the extreme, as the Brazilian earned himself the earliest Premier League bath since August 2017, and his first career dismissal in eight years, before two brilliant finishes in first-half stoppage time from Pereira turned things around. Having conceded just two goals in 14 games under Tuchel, the Blues shipped two in two minutes and 46 seconds.
West Bromwich Albion's English head coach Sam Allardyce (R) reacts with West Bromwich Albion's Brazilian midfielder Matheus Pereira at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford
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That was just a pre-requisite. Robinson, who came off the bench in the first half to replace former Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic in the first half, scored a volleyed third for the Baggies in the 63rd minute, finishing off a fluid move, before Diagne controlled another fine pick out from Pereira and found the bottom corner five minutes later.
Mount tapped off after unselfish work from Werner with still 20 minutes left to play, but it was Chelsea-slayer Robinson who had the final say, with a confident finish. Not the warm-up Tuchel had in mind for Chelsea's upcoming Champions League quarter-final.
TALKING POINT - A (very) bad day at the office
The fairy tale start to life in the Premier League is well and truly over for Thomas Tuchel.
Many will delight in such a fact. People love it when foreign managers struggle and they can get the "this isn't Ligue 1" lines out. But this was just a bad day at the office, where everything that could have gone wrong for Tuchel did.
Chelsea-Teammanager Thomas Tuchel
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Perhaps, in hindsight, Thiago Silva wasn't quite ready to return, as his dismissal opened the door for the Baggies. But, let's not take anything away from what was an excellent, attack-minded performance from Sam Allardyce's side, showing quality of play that belied their league position.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Matheus Pereira
Two goals and two assists, away at Stamford Bridge, against a defence that had been breached twice in 14 games. That is quite the afternoon's work for the Brazilian. The quality of Pereira's play in and around the box was mesmerising.
West Bromwich Albion's Brazilian midfielder Matheus Pereira (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge in London on April 3
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Chelsea: Mendy 5, Alonso 5, Silva 2, Zouma 4, Azpilicueta 4, James 4, Jorginho 3, Kovacic 5, Pulisic 5, Werner 4, Ziyech 3 Subs: Christensen 5, Mount 6, Havertz 6.
14’ - MISS! That man again, Timo Werner does not even make contact at the near post. Should have done much better from a great position. He really needs to put one of these openings away.
27’ - GGGGGGOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Chelsea 1-0 West Brom. Pulisic on the rebound after Alonso hits the post as Chelsea lead. Superb free-kick over the wall from Alonso, it beats Johnstone, comes out off the post, but Pulisic is alert to prod home the rebound.
29’ - BUT WAIT! RED CARD! On his return to the side, Thiago Silva is sent off! A second yellow card, inside half an hour. In trying to make a block on the edge of the box, Silva flung himself at Okay Yokuslu, making contact after the shot had been made, and that was enough for referee David Coote to brandish another yellow then red!
42’ - SAVE! Great play from Reece James to work space for the shot, which he fires powerfully for goal from a tight angle, but Johnstone gets a hand to it and tips the ball away.
45+2’ - GGGGGGOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL!!!! Chelsea 1-1 West Brom. Route one as Pereira levels for the Baggies! Long ball from Johnstone over the top, it flies right over the Chelsea defence, Pereira latches onto it, before clipping a lovely chip over Mendy to level. The first goal Chelsea have conceded in over 12 hours of football.
45+4' - GGGGGGOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!! Chelsea 1-2 West Brom. Remarkable developments here as the Baggies lead through Pereira again! Pereira's second was all Chelsea's own doing, as a poor back pass from James is seized upon, Diagne feeds it across for Pereia, who brilliantly tucks the ball into the bottom corner.
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55’ - POST! Johnstone and West Brom get out of jail. James' poor cross loops into the air, Johnstone comes to claim, fumbles, Alonso is on hand to steer the ball towards goal, but it comes out off the post.
61’ - SAVE! Slick play again from the visitors. Lovely dummy from Diange sets Pereira though, but Mendy makes a smart block with his legs.
63’ - GGGGGGOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!! Chelsea 1-3 West Brom. Game over? Robinson against Chelsea again! WHAT. A. GOAL. It is like watching Brazil. Superb move down the right, the cross from Furlong is perfect, and Robinson arrives to score his fourth Premier League goal - all of them against Chelsea - on the volley!
68’ - GGGGGOOOOOAAALLLL!!! Chelsea 1-4 West Brom. What the hell is going on? Diagne makes it four! I mean, it is another goal of real beauty, There are back-heels, brilliant picks outs and fine finishes in every move. Superb football, and it could be more. Diagne deserved that goal, he has been excellent this afternoon.
70’ - GGGGGGOOOOOAAALLLL!!! Chelsea 2-4 West Brom. But wait! Mount gives Chelsea hope. Werner looks odds-on to score, but he remains composed, and unselfishly squares for Mount to stab it into the empty net. Comeback on?
90+1’ - GGGGGGOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! Chelsea 2-5 West Brom. Would you believe it! Robinson adds a fifth! Well that puts that to bed, as Robinson dinks a lovely finish over Mendy. Nobody saw this coming!
Chelsea have conceded eight goals in their two games against West Brom in the Premier League this season, the most they have shipped against one side in a single campaign in the competition.
Chelsea conceded 5+ goals in a home Premier League game for only the second time, last doing so against Arsenal in October 2011 (3-5).
West Brom netted 5+ goals in a Premier League away game for only the second time, last doing so against Wolves in February 2012 (5-1).
West Brom boss Sam Allardyce is the first manager to win away at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League with three different clubs (Bolton Wanderers, Crystal Palace, West Brom).
At 36 years and 193 days, Thiago Silva is the oldest Chelsea player to be sent off in a Premier League game, overtaking John Terry against Sunderland in May 2016.
Sam Johnstone is the first goalkeeper to provide a Premier League assist for West Brom and just the second to do so this season, after Ederson for Manchester City v Tottenham in February.
West Brom’s Callum Robinson is the first player in Premier League history to score at least twice in home and away games against Chelsea within a single season.
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