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Chelsea have not had the best record against West Bromwich Albion in recent history but Jose Mourinho’s side had the game won within the first half hour at Stamford Bridge today as they march on at the top of the Premier League.
Diego Costa opened the scoring in the 11th minute of the match by chesting and volleying the ball past the Baggies’ keeper before Eden Hazard fired home in the 25th minute to double their advantage.
The match ended as a competition when Claudio Yacob was dismissed for a stupid two-footed challenge on Costa just before the half hour. Yacob won the ball and his studs were down, but wasn’t in control of his body and deserved to go.
It looked like Chelsea would blow their opponents away thereafter but for the heroics of Ben Foster, who did not feature for England during the recent international break. The former Manchester United man certainly made a statement today as he spared his side from a hiding.
The second half was a damage limitation exercise for the visitors as they backed deep into their own half, slowing the match to a pedestrian pace and not needing to overextend themselves, the league leaders didn’t seem to mind knocking the ball about the park until Lee Mason called time on proceedings.
This is a really good Chelsea side that will take some stopping this season – especially with a dangerous forward like Costa and the added guile of Cesc Fabregas, who has proved crucial to the way Mourinho has his side set-up to play.
Oscar was also brilliant today and seems to be picking out the difficult passes where may have taken the easy option before and always works to recycle possession within enemy territory whenever attacks breakdown. The Stamford Bridge crowd were also in good form following Mourinho’s criticisms following the QPR game, although there was an understandable low when the game began to draw to a close.
Chelsea have a busy schedule ahead this winter and it was important for them to maintain their form as well as a clean bill of health and keeping the squad fresh.