Chelsea’s Thiago Silva 4/10, Mount and Hudson-Odoi to the rescue in comeback at West Brom
Having demolished Barnsley in their midweek Carabao Cup match, Chelsea will have been looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League. However, Saturday brought frustration for Frank Lampard‘s side, who had to fight back from 3-0 down to secure a point with a last-gasp 3-3 draw at West Brom.
Things didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts when Callum Robinson got an early goal, seizing on Marcos Alonso‘s sloppy header and firing powerfully beyond Willy Caballero. The situation got worse for Frank Lampard’s side when the Republic of Ireland international scored his second, dispossessing Thiago Silva before slotting it home, and Kyle Bartley added the game’s third within half an hour.
After some half-time substitutions, the Blues looked much brighter and Mason Mount’s effort flew beyond Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone from range, setting up a potentially intriguing last 35 minutes. Callum Hudson-Odoi gave Chelsea a further lifeline when he side-footed into the bottom corner with 20 minutes left following a neat exchange with Kai Havertz, with the drama left to injury time when Tammy Abraham tapped in from close range to ensure Lampard & Co. a share of the points.
Chelsea did create chances throughout, with the right side being particularly threatening in the first half. The transformation and improvement in the second half will be massively encouraging, offering an indication of what this Chelsea team is capable of. The character shown in coming back from such a humiliating position to earn a point will delight Lampard and the club’s fans.
Individual errors: check. Conceding from set-pieces: check. It’s a new season, but Chelsea showed the exact same defensive deficiencies that troubled them last term, and it cost them. Lampard has a lot of work to do, even with new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and defender Ben Chilwell to come in. They were also wasteful in the opposition box during the first half, with Abraham being the biggest culprit.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — Lampard looked absolutely furious watching from the sideline during the first half. He made two substitutions, which were presumably accompanied by some strong words, at half time. Whatever he did helped, as Chelsea were far better in the second period and managed to get a point from the game.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Willy Caballero, 5 — Replaced Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, but there was probably a moment in which he wished Lampard had stuck with the Spaniard.
DF Reece James, 6 — Constant source of good balls into the box, but was poor defensively in the first half. He was often caught out positionally, booked for a foul on Conor Townsend, then kept Kyle Bartley onside for the third goal conceded.
DF Andreas Christensen, 7 — The only player in Chelsea’s backline that looked like an assured defensive presence during that calamitous first half. Had to cover his teammates more often than he probably would have liked. Was booked for a poor challenge late on.
DF Thiago Silva, 4 — He was meant to help Chelsea eradicate defensive mistakes, but Silva made one of his own on his league debut. We will likely see far better performances from him.
DF Marcos Alonso, 3 — It was the Spaniard’s sloppy header that led to West Brom scoring the opener. He then got booked for tugging Semi Ajayi — all of this happened within eight minutes. Things calmed down, but he didn’t look great at any point, before being taken off at half-time.
MF Mateo Kovacic, 5 — He struggled to truly make his mark on the game, but it was a fairly steady performance from the Croatian. Was taken off at half time.
MF N’Golo Kante, 6 — The Frenchman looked off the pace at times during the first half, but improved in the second.
MF Kai Havertz, 6 — He looked confident in the early stages after his hat-trick in midweek, but initially faded into the background after West Brom’s goals. Provided a brilliantly weighted pass for Hudson-Odoi’s goal.
FW Mason Mount, 8 — The main player that looked capable of making something happen in the first half. That carried on into the second and it was his strike from range that got Chelsea’s first of the game. It’s also his shot that led to Abraham scoring the equaliser.
FW Tammy Abraham, 7 — Missed the target from two good chances in the first half, but had his moment of glory in the end, scoring the equaliser right at the end.
FW Timo Werner, 6 — There were flashes of what the German can do, but things just didn’t come off for him. Hit the bar from a good chance and his volley in injury time was deflected over the bar by Bartley.
FW Callum Hudson-Odoi, 8 — Replaced Kovacic at half time and looked a real threat. Scored a very well-taken goal to give the Blues hope of getting back into the game.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 7 — Replaced Alonso at half-time and added some stability to the backline. Also got the assist for Mount’s goal.
FW Olivier Giroud, N/A — Replaced Silva in the 73rd minute and linked the play well, helping Chelsea steal a point.