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17 November 2012
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 25933
West Bromwich Albion
S. Long 10'
P. Odemwingie 50'
E. Hazard 39'
Thank you for following Goal.com's live Premier League coverage this afternoon. Be sure to check out our coverage of today's evening kick-off between Norwich and Manchester United.
90' + 4'
Full-time! And West Brom have beaten Chelsea at the Hawthorns! It's a deserved win on balance, as although the Blues dominated possession at times, they never really threatened their opponents' goal. The hosts were the more clinical and Steve Clarke will be delighted with this result. Roberto Di Matteo may be questioned over the changes he made, but with a midweek trip to Juventus in mind he will have to move on quickly. West Brom 2-1 Chelsea.
90' + 2'
Corner to Chelsea! Mata drives it in towards Hazard, who just misses the ball. It's a second corner and this time Petr Cech is up for it!
90' + 1'
Four minutes of stoppage time to play. The West Brom fans are singing their hearts out here, as their side edge closer to moving to within a point of Chelsea.
Chelsea continue to press for the equaliser, as Mata lends the ball to David Luiz before the Brazilian attempts an elaborate chip over the Baggies' defence. The Spaniard stretches to bring the ball down, but it's just too heavy and rolls out of play.
CHANCE! This could be it for Chelsea. Hazard chips the ball to Oscar, who does fantastically to flick the ball to Sturridge. Instead of passing the ball to Mata, the striker goes for goal but misses the target.
The visitors are starting to look a bit stagnant here, as it's only Mata who is providing any real incision. They need a goal soon if they are to take any points here today!
John Obi Mikel
Nightmare for West Brom! Mulumbu takes a shot and starts to hold his hamstring immediately after. He gestures to the bench, but the Baggies have already made all three substitutions. He'll stay on for now, but he looks to be in a lot of pain.
Two substitutions here, as Shane Long is replaced by Markus Rosenberg to a standing ovation from the home support. Chelsea also make their final change, as Ramires comes on for Mikel. Ten minutes to play!
Credit to West Brom. When I talk about Chelsea failing to find a final ball, it's largely been down to some excellent work from the defence and Yacob and Mulumbu, who have done a fantastic job of breaking up the Blues' attacks today.
The visitors pass the ball around, but again fail to find that final ball. Hazard rolls the ball into Mata and the Spaniard attempts to turn on the edge of the box but is dispossessed. Time is running out for Roberto Di Matteo's men.
Confirmation of those changes - it's Morrison and Gera for Brunt and Dorrans.
The visitors are playing some nice football here, but they need a goal soon if they are to take anything from the match. Moses and Oscar link up well, before the Brazilian mis-places a pass. Two changes coming up for the Baggies.
A lot more purpose about Chelsea now, as Mata is already at the heart of things and has the ball zipping around midfield at speed. West Brom are still creating chances though, as the battle between Long and Cahill intensifies every time the two challenge for the same ball!
Instant impact from Mata, as the Spaniard plays a delightful chip over the West Brom defence from the edge of the area. Sturridge sticks out a leg in an attempt to poke the ball past Myhill, but the keeper makes the save.
A roar from the Chelsea fans behind the West Brom goal, as Moses beats one defender before appearing to throw himself into Yacob. The Blues want a penalty, but the referee waves play on.
And here are those changes, as Torres and Romeu are replaced by Oscar and Mata. The home fans break into a chorus of 'What a Waste of Money' towards Torres, who has been disappointing this afternoon.
Gera hits it, but the wall does its job well. Those of you who have been tweeting will be pleased to hear that Mata and Oscar are being readied for the visitors!
Free-kick for West Brom in a very dangerous position. Cahill gets tight to Long, but the Irishman holds him off well before being dragged down. Very, very close to being a penalty, but instead it's a free-kick around 20 yards from goal.
Long is putting in a real shift here, as this time he closes down Azpilicueta deep in the Chelsea half. He goes down and the West Brom fans send out a roar as the referee waves play-on.
Sturridge showing more confidence here and trying to link up with Torres. The England international gets into the box and attempts to find his strike partner with a neat flick, but it's intercepted by Olsson.
Assist Shane Long
Goal Peter Odemwingie
GOAL! And it's another header! Shane Long turns provider this time, as he delivers a great cross from the right to the front-post. Bertrand should clear, but instead allows Odemwingie to creep in and head home. West Brom 2-1 Chelsea!
Fantastic challenge by Mulumbu! Hazard does well to stop the ball going out and cut back to Romeu, who would have a free shot from the edge of the box, but for a fantastic challenge from the Congolese midfielder.
Instant start from Chelsea, as Hazard - continuing on the left - sets Bertrand away. The full-back aims for Moses at the back post, but Ridgewell does well to head clear.
West Brom get the second half underway! No changes for either side... yet!
Chance for Chelsea! Mata threads a beautiful ball through to Sturridge, but Myhill, who has come into the side in place of Ben Foster, makes a fantastic save.
@AliveSince_96 and @Zee15449491 are calling for Chelsea to get Mata involved, whilst @manykid3 is backing the Blues to win. Keep your views coming people, second half is just moments away!
Keep your tweets coming in to @alfiemeekings. How do you think your side have performed so far? Should either manager be thinking about making a change?
Here are the half-time scores from around the Premier League this afternoon: Liverpool 0-0 Wigan; Man City 1-0 Aston Villa; Newcastle 0-0 Swansea; QPR 0-2 Southampton; Reading 0-1 Everton. And, of course, today's early kick-off finished Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham.
45' + 1'
Half-time! And it's 1-1 after an enthralling first 45 minutes at the Hawthorns. Chelsea have dominated possession and certainly finished the half in the ascendancy, but the hosts still look dangerous on the break and could certainly snatch a winner here.
CHANCE! Moses misses a glorious chance for Chelsea's second. Cahill does well to find the former Wigan man in acres of space in the penalty area. He could chip to Sturridge, who is in space at the far post, but instead lashes a shot high and wide.
And that second almost does go Chelsea's way! The visitors are given a somewhat fortuitous free-kick, as Yacob is adjudged to have fouled Sturridge. Luiz strikes the shot, but the wall does its job.
It's all Chelsea at the moment, as the visitors carry on dominating possession but look to have more purpose since that goal. The Blues are definitely looking for another before half-time!
Assist César Azpilicueta
Goal Eden Hazard
GOAL! And that move to the left has certainly worked, as it's Eden Hazard who scores! The Belgian attempts a cross which eventually finds Azpilicueta on the right wing. The left-back chips a fantastic cross towards the back post, and Hazard nods the ball past Myhill. West Brom 1-1 Chelsea!
Change of tactics from Di Matteo, as the Chelsea manager recognises the need to get Hazard into the game. The Belgian moves out to the left, Moses swaps to the right and Sturridge plays in the centre just behind Torres.
Morrison and Long have a fantastic understanding here. Morrison volleys a long ball towards the striker, who out-muscles Gary Cahill before cutting inside and shooting just wide of Cech's goal from the edge of the area. West Brom look the more likely at the moment!
And it's nearly 2-0! Morrison creeps in behind Bertrand and whips the ball across to Long, but this time it is Cahill who is marking the striker and he puts enough pressure on his opponent to ensure the ball rolls into Petr Cech's arms.
Sturridge finds himself in possession in space on the right. The 23-year-old has been quiet so far this afternoon, but does well to feed the ball into Hazard who fails an attempted flick to Torres. The midfield three behind Torres aren't quite gelling at the moment.
A familiar phase of play here, as a Chelsea attack breaks down and a long clearance lands straight on Shane Long's chest. The Ireland international does fantastically to hold off David Luiz, before playing a neat one-two with Morrison.
Fantastic play from the visitors, but no end product once again. Luiz plays a beautiful 40-yard diagonal to Bertrand. He links up well with Moses, before eventually finding Torres who mis-places his pass. West Brom break, but nothing comes of it. This game is wide open!
A rare attack for the hosts, as they break down the left through Liam Ridgewell. Azpilicueta tracks the left-back all the way and eventually, with the help of Romeu, manages to dispossess the former Birmingham man.
Frustration creeping in slightly for the Chelsea players, as Hazard is being tracked everywhere by Yacob and is surrounded by players as soon as he receives the ball. Mikel eventually resorts to chipping a ball harmlessly into the arms of Myhill.
Shane Long is really worrying the Chelsea defenders here, as his pace is such a danger every time a ball is played in behind the Blues' backline. This time the Irishman can't latch onto a long clearance, however, and Cech passes the ball out comfortably.
Torres is limping here. The Spaniard does fantastically to skip past Mulumbu, before being brought down by Yacob. The Chelsea players appeal, but the referee waves play on.
Unfortunate moment for Victor Moses, as the winger embarks upon another clever run down the left before attempting a cross and completely missing the ball.
The visitors are dominating possession here - as they have been for most of the match - but it's providing fruitless at the moment. The Blues need to find some incision in the final third, otherwise they could risk going further behind.
Assist James Morrison
Goal Shane Long
GOAL! And it's West Brom who take the lead through Shane Long! James Morrison makes space for himself just inside the Chelsea penalty area and chips a delightful cross to Long, who manages to shake off the attentions of David Luiz and head home.
Cleared off the line! Moses and Sturridge link up brilliantly down the left, before the former cuts the ball back for Bertrand, who manages to beat Myhill but not Liam Ridgewell, who positioned himself intelligently on the line.
Hazard - who is in a more central role this afternoon in the absence of Oscar and Mata - is seeing a lot of the ball early, but has not really had a chance to run at the West Brom defence so far.
Dangerous looking moment for Chelsea, as a ball is played forward for Shane Long to contest with Gary Cahill. The Irishman looks to be winning the battle, but the referee blows for a free-kick to the visitors.
Chelsea looking dangerous down the right, as Azpilicueta is playing so far up the pitch he looks more like a winger then a right-back. The young Spaniard will have to be aware of the threat that Brunt can pose if he gets caught upfield, however.
Chelsea get us underway!
The players are emerging from the tunnel and about to begin the pre-match handshakes. We're just moments away from kick-off at the Hawthorns.
So it's fifth-placed against third-placed today, with only four points separating these two in the Premier League table. Roberto Di Matteo's men have not lost on the road this season, but have only managed two points from their last three matches in the top-flight. Steve Clarke's side are one of the surprise packages this season, and have only lost one match at the Hawthorns this term.
For those of you who have not yet seen, Arsenal have beaten Tottenham 5-2 in the north London derby this afternoon, a game in which Emmanuel Adebayor scored against his former side before receiving a straight red card for a rash challenge on Santi Cazorla.
Remember to let me know your thoughts on today's lineups and your predictions on the result via Twitter @alfiemeekings.
Meanwhile, the visitors have made a number of interesting changes to their usual starting XI. Azpilicueta and Bertrand step in as full-backs in place of Ivanovic and Cole. But the real talking point is Roberto Di Matteo's decision to rest October's Player of the Month Juan Mata and Oscar, opting instead for Daniel Strurridge and Victor Moses.
So the hosts name an unchanged lineup from the side that beat Wigan last weekend, except for Gabriel Tamas who comes in for Gareth McAuley, who failed to shake off a hamstring injury in time for this afternoon's match.
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand; Mikel, Romeu; Moses, Hazard, Sturridge; Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Oscar, Marin, Mata.
Let's start with a bit of team news, beginning with West Brom: Myhill; Jones, Tamas, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Odemwingie, Morrison, Gera; Long. Subs: L Daniels, Popov, Reid, Dorrans, Brunt, Rosenberg, Fortune.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of this afternoon's Premier League encounter between West Brom and Chelsea at the Hawthorns. I'm Alfie Meekings and I'll be taking you through all of today's action.
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