A breathless 90 minutes of football between West Brom and Chelsea this evening saw the latter stage a remarkable comeback to bag a point, with one man largely to thank.
Baggies on top
Frank Lampard’s men made the trip to the Hawthorns a short time ago, for their latest Premier League outing.
The Londoners headed into proceedings having dropped their first points of the campaign last weekend, in a disappointing defeat at the hands of champions Liverpool.
They had since bounced back in midweek, though, courtesy of a 6-0 League Cup drubbing of Championship outfit Barnsley, and were no doubt hopeful of carrying this momentum into this evening’s action.
The opening 45 minutes at the Hawthorns, however, saw Chelsea do anything but.
In fact, as the two sides headed in at the interval, the visitors trailed by 3 goals to nil.
After Callum Robinson put West Brom in front with a pinpoint strike with just 4 minutes on the clock, the Republic of Ireland international was back at it again a short time later.
On this occasion, though, it was Thiago Silva who took centre stage, after the Brazilian’s mistake allowed Robinson to nip on, drive forward and slot confidently beyond the clutches of Willy Caballero.
3 – Chelsea have made three errors leading directly to goals in the Premier League this season, equalling their total from 2019-20. Mishaps. pic.twitter.com/pGT695Cu7y
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 26, 2020
And, incredibly, before proceedings had even reached the half-hour mark, the Baggies added a 3rd.
Kyle Bartley was the goalscorer on this occasion, adjusting his feet superbly to slot into the far corner following a delivery from the left.
CHO saves Chelsea’s blushes
Despite the gap in scoreline, and Chelsea’s abysmal first-half display, though, it never quite felt as though West Brom had the 3 points wrapped up.
Slaven Bilic’s men are far from a stable defensive unit, with the quality possessed by of the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham having always kept the visitors in with a chance of mounting a comeback.
In the end, however, it was one of Frank Lampard’s less discussed attacking options who proved the catalyst in dragging Chelsea back into proceedings.
The player in question? Callum Hudson-Odoi.
English wide-man Hudson-Odoi was introduced off the bench at half-time, in place of Mateo Kovacic.
And the youngster, during his 45 minutes on the pitch, went on to add a whole new dimension to the Pensioners’ attack.
Mason Mount, to his credit, pulled the Blues’ first of the evening back 10 minutes after the interval, courtesy of a rasping strike from 25 yards.
Hudson-Odoi soon followed up with a wonderful 2nd twenty minutes from time, exchanging passes with Kai Havertz, before slotting a pinpoint side-footed strike into the far corner of the West Brom net.
Too little, too late?
Chelsea’s second half fightback doesn’t look to be enough for a point at West Brom
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 26, 2020
The 19-year-old continued to look Chelsea’s most likely source of inspiration as the clash wore on, driving at defenders and showcasing the kind of attacking impetus which had been so badly lacking from the away side’s play during the first-half.
As such, it came as little surprise when it was Hudson-Odoi’s delivery which inevitably led to Lampard’s men levelling things up.
A clever dinked ball to the back post saw Kai Havertz’s lay off directed towards the bottom corner by the lively Mason Mount.
Sam Johnstone got down smartly to keep the latter’s effort out, but Tammy Abraham was on hand to slot home into an empty net, salvaging a point for Chelsea on a day which could so easily have proven nothing short of a disaster.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 26, 2020
As such, whilst it will no doubt prove Abraham who grabs the majority of the headlines on the back of the Blues’ impressive fightback, a special mention must be reserved for Hudson-Odoi.
The Blues starlet was the true driving force behind their 2nd-half renaissance, and must now be in line for a first Premier League start of the campaign when Chelsea host Crystal Palace in a week’s time.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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