Florent Malouda hails Chelsea fightback after West Brom victory

France international insists the side's attitude in the second half and has revealed Andre Villas-Boas' decision to take of Salomon Kalou in the first half could happen again
Florent Malouda has praised Chelsea’s spirit following their 2-1 win over West Brom at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Andre Villas-Boas' side fell behind in the fourth minute when Shane Long pounced on Alex's mistake to confidently finish past Hilario.

The hosts continued to find rhythm but eventually managed to seal their turnaround in the second half as Nicolas Anelka - via a Jonas Olsson deflection - and Malouda gave Chelsea their first win of the season.

Despite falling behind and playing poorly throughout the first-half, Malouda was happy at the eventual outcome of the match, pointing out all that matters is the three points.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Malouda said: “I would say I’m very, very happy with the result it’s been a difficult game for us, but what’s important at the beginning of the season is getting the points so really, really happy.”

The France international lamented his side’s slow start, believing that something had to be changed during the first period, a view his manager shared as Villas-Boas introduced Malouda for Salomon Kalou midway through the opening half.

“I think we had to change something in the first half,” he explained. “We didn’t start very well. I don’t know if it is the system or if it was physical, there isn’t only explanation, but the manager decided to put me on and we tried to create chances and to bring in more crosses.

“I would say we lost the first half, that’s the way we saw it, so we had to come out and win the second half.”

Malouda insists the fight for places at Stamford Bridge is healthy and believes Villas-Boas' decision to make a substitution before half-time could be replicated during the season.

He continued: “I think that has always been clear before this game [Villas-Boas’ ability to be ruthless]. There is a lot of competition in the squad.

“It is a very talented squad so everyone is under pressure, so the manager made a substitution and we are very happy that it worked, but there is nothing new and I think it will be like this until the end of the season.”

On the contrasting performances during both halves, Malouda put the the strong performance after the interval down to Villas-Boas' team talk.

He said: “[He asked a] Simple question; do we think that was the way we want to play? Do we think that is what we want to be demonstrating to the other teams who want to win the title?

 “Are we ready to change things? I think it was a simple message, but an efficient one. We had to take more risks, show more character and we managed to get the great result in the second half.”