Premier League
Chelsea2West Brom2

Chelsea 2-2 West Bromwich Albion

James McClean
James McClean fires in the late leveller

James McClean's late equaliser earned West Brom a share of the points as they refused to accept defeat at Chelsea.

The Blues went ahead when Cesar Azpilicueta turned in fellow full-back Branislav Ivanovic's low cross.

Craig Gardner's skimming shot levelled, but it seemed Chelsea had done enough when Gareth McAuley prodded Willian's cross into his own net.

But when the home defence failed to clear McClean made them pay with a pinpoint shot into the bottom corner.

The Republic of Ireland international's leveller was the final twist in an often ill-tempered game with Chelsea striker Diego Costa at the centre of several flashpoints, including a confrontation with several West Brom players after the final whistle.

Relive the action from Stamford Bridge

Normal service resumes for Costa

After only four goals in his first 21 games of the season, Costa has come to life in the wake of Jose Mourinho's departure as manager - doubling that tally in his past four appearances.

But, even at his best, the Spain international bristles with aggression as well as attacking threat.

From gliding past Jonny Evans and rifling over the top in the first minute, he was never far from incident - exchanging words and clashing shoulders with Jonas Olsson and Claudio Yacob and picking up a booking himself for a crude challenge on Craig Gardner.

He forced Boaz Myhill into a sprawling save with his side 2-1 up deep into the second half, but he could not deliver a third goal that would have killed off the contest and wrapped up the points.

A Stamford Bridge corridor bore the brunt of Costa's frustration as he punched a tunnel wall as he headed back to the dressing room.

Diego Costa
Diego Costa had 53 touches and 21 duels against West Brom (left), compared to 45 touches and 18 duels against Leicester in Jose Mourinho's final match in charge (right)

Chelsea's creaking spine

Chelsea's title win last season - in which they were out-scored by second-placed Manchester City - was based on a steely defence.

But that, along with many other aspects of their play, has deteriorated sharply this term.

Despite the imposing pairing of John Terry and Kurt Zouma at centre-half, supported by 6ft 6in goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, the hosts never looked comfortable when the ball was played into their box from out wide.

After allowing Craig Dawson and McClean to win headers in dangerous positions earlier in the match, their lack of conviction was punished as McClean threaded an 86th-minute shot into the bottom corner after a bout of penalty-area pinball.

That goal - combined with Pedro's cheap concession of possession and Zouma's failure to close down Gardner for West Brom's first - will give Blues interim boss Guus Hiddink plenty to muse on as he tries to shore up his rearguard and Chelsea's position in the table.

Thibaut Courtois
Chelsea faced 23 crosses into their box during the match

Baggies pull away from the basement

After their Boxing Day defeat by Swansea, West Brom were just three points from the relegation places, but home wins against Stoke and Newcastle followed by this point at Stamford Bridge have improved that cushion to more comfortable nine.

Tony Pulis' tactics - his side have played the highest proportion of long passes in the top-flight this season - have been criticised, but his record of never having been relegated as a manager looks unlikely to be spoiled by this typically well-drilled and solid Baggies side.

Salomon Rondon, well supported by McClean, was a willing runner in attack and the proceeds from the potential sale of the unsettled Saido Berahino might yet fund an evolution in the Baggies' style.

Man of the match - Willian

Willian
Willian set up Chelsea's second with a low cross - one of 10 that he put into the West Brom box

Managers' reaction

Media playback is not supported on this device

Chelsea 2-2 West Brom: Pity to concede late - Guus Hiddink

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink: "West Brom always bounce back, there is great character. It was an intense game.

"Diego Costa controls himself, he is very dangerous. The player is concentrated on his job and doing very well.

"Tony Pulis made a wise decision when he took over the role of the referee and took off Claudio Yacob. The referee forgot to do it."

West Brom manager Tony Pulis: "We are pleased. It was a tough game, you have to ride your luck and work hard and we did that.

"We were disappointed with one or two of our players because they got wound up and kept the crowd going. You have to be sensible and you have to play with your head.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Chelsea 2-2 West Brom: We went toe to toe with Chelsea - Tony Pulis

"There is a couple of weeks to go. Saido Berahino's situation is up in the air. The chairman is running the club diligently, the finances are up to him."

Match of the Day analysis

Former Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamman: "Physicality is a big part of the Premier League and it's what we like, but I think Diego Costa takes it a step too far. He's petty, he's childish, and he's a distraction not only to himself but to the team."

The stats you need to know

  • Chelsea still haven't won back-to-back league games this season, last doing so in May 2015.
  • The Blues have conceded two or more goals in 12 fixtures this season, twice as many as in the whole of last season.
  • West Brom avoided defeat at Stamford Bridge for only the second time in the Premier League. They have drawn twice and lost eight times at Chelsea.
  • The Blues scored with their only shot on target in the first half and had just two in the whole game.

What's next?

Chelsea have a couple of testing Premier League encounters up next, taking on Everton at home on Saturday before travelling to leaders Arsenal on Sunday, 24 January. West Brom play Southampton away in the league on Saturday, before an FA Cup third-round replay at Bristol City on Tuesday.

Line-ups

Chelsea

  • 13CourtoisBooked at 70mins
  • 2Ivanovic
  • 5Zouma
  • 26Terry
  • 28AzpilicuetaBooked at 85mins
  • 4FàbregasSubstituted forMaticat 78'minutes
  • 12Mikel
  • 22Willian
  • 8Oscar
  • 17Rodríguez LedesmaSubstituted forKenedyat 45'minutes
  • 19Diego CostaBooked at 49mins

Substitutes

  • 1Begovic
  • 7Santos do Nascimento
  • 16Kenedy
  • 18Remy
  • 21Matic
  • 24Cahill
  • 36Loftus-Cheek

West Brom

  • 13MyhillBooked at 68mins
  • 25Dawson
  • 23McAuley
  • 3Olsson
  • 6Evans
  • 5YacobBooked at 25minsSubstituted forBerahinoat 60'minutes
  • 11Brunt
  • 24Fletcher
  • 7MorrisonSubstituted forGardnerat 7'minutes
  • 14McCleanBooked at 70mins
  • 33RondónSubstituted forSessegnonat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Foster
  • 4Chester
  • 8Gardner
  • 10Anichebe
  • 18Berahino
  • 19McManaman
  • 29Sessegnon
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
40,945

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home14
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Chelsea 2, West Bromwich Albion 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, West Bromwich Albion 2.

Foul by Willian (Chelsea).

Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Craig Gardner tries a through ball, but Saido Berahino is caught offside.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.

Foul by Oscar (Chelsea).

Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Oscar (Chelsea).

Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Branislav Ivanovic.

Goal!

Goal! Chelsea 2, West Bromwich Albion 2. James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

Booking

César Azpilicueta (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Branislav Ivanovic.

Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt missed. Kenedy (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by John Obi Mikel.

Attempt saved. Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.

Attempt missed. Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Oscar from a direct free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Nemanja Matic replaces Cesc Fàbregas.

Diego Costa (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt saved. Diego Costa (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Willian.

Goal!

Own Goal by Gareth McAuley, West Bromwich Albion. Chelsea 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Kurt Zouma.

Attempt blocked. Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonny Evans.

Booking

James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.

Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion).

Foul by Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea).

Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Stéphane Sessegnon replaces Salomón Rondón.

Foul by Kenedy (Chelsea).

Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Salomón Rondón.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal21134437211643
2Leicester21127238251343
3Man City21124539211840
4Tottenham2199334171736
5West Ham219843324935
6Man Utd219752720734
7Stoke219572422232
8Crystal Palace219482320331
9Liverpool218762527-231
10Watford218582524129
11Everton2161053629728
12Southampton217682824427
13West Brom217682227-527
14Chelsea216692831-324
15Norwich2165102435-1123
16Bournemouth2156102337-1421
17Swansea2147101930-1119
18Sunderland2153132641-1518
19Newcastle2146112238-1618
20Aston Villa2125141737-2011
View full Premier League table

Top Stories