Anichebe Denies Chelsea In West Brom Draw

West Brom exploited a collection of Chelsea mistakes to equalise with three minutes remaining, as Nigerian striker, Victor Anichebe cancelled out Branislav Ivanovic’s first-half goal in Tuesday’s EPL match.
Chelsea dropped points because they dropped too deep, partly because they lacked the defensive authority figure of John Terry to push them up, partly because the hobbling Gary Cahill should have gone off, partly because David Luiz switched off, partly because their attackers stopped pressing West Brom with the same alacrity as in the first half but also because of Pepe Mel’s tactics.
West Brom’s head coach, who has overseen draws against Everton, Liverpool and now Chelsea, responded shrewdly to going behind on the cusp of half-time.
His first change was straightforward, the limping Claudio Yacob replaced by Youssouf Mulumbu, who immediately brought some control to West Brom’s midfield.
Mel then sent on Anichebe for Morgan Amalfitano and Matej Vydra for Thievy Bifouma, going for all-out attack.
The crowd responded, willing West Brom to press for the equaliser. Then came the Cahill knee injury, triggering a costly train of events. Cahill briefly went off but, typically, insisted in coming back on, although clearly not fit.
Nemanja Matic, trying to help out, had dropped almost amongst the back four and made a poor clearance, skewing the ball to Liam Ridgewell, who quickly transferred play to Saido Berahino on the left.
Ivanovic, Chelsea’s right-back, who should have been tight to Berahino, had shifted inside to cover for Cahill. Berahino, having a yard of space, crossed and Anichebe, reacting quicker than Luiz, flicked a header in off the post. It was just the type of situation that Terry would have guarded against.
Mourinho argued that it was a sign that Chelsea are not ready for the title. Chelsea will lose their place at the top of the Premier League should Manchester City defeat Sunderland or Arsenal beat Manchester United on Wednesday night.
There will inevitably be further twists and turns in the race. Liverpool, who travel to Fulham, cannot be discounted. This is a four-horse race now.
Meanwhile, West Brom’s point took them out of the bottom three, and the second-half performance will give them hope. Berahino, pacy and versatile, showed why he should be starting regularly. Ben Foster made a couple of very good saves. Anichebe’s goal should increase his confidence, while Mulumbu’s 27 minutes were a reminder why he should be in the starting XI.
-Source: Telegraph.


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