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WEST BROM v CHELSEA RECAP: Ten-man Blues secure first win of title defence

Chelsea notched their first triumph of the 2015/16 Premier League season on the weekend.

The Blues lost captain John Terry to a red card in the second half but were able to hold on to record a 3-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

Spanish forward Pedro, who joined from Barcelona last week, marked his first match for Chelsea with the opening goal of the contest in the 20th minute.

The £21million signing combined with Eden Hazard before seeing his goal-bound effort squeeze past Boaz Myhill to quickly get his Chelsea career off the ground.

This came six minutes after James Morrison saw his spot-kick saved by the legs of Thibaut Courtois after Callum McManaman had been felled in the area by Nemanja Matic.

The reigning champion were two goals to the good on the half-hour mark when Pedro's shot-cum-cross was turned in by Diego Costa before Albion pulled one back when Morrison fired home new signing Jose Salomon Rondon's acrobatic cut-back on 35 minutes.

Three minutes from the break, Cesar Azpilicueta restored Chelsea's two-goal lead when he side-footed home Costa's knockdown for his first Premier League goal.

In the 54th minute, Terry was given his marching orders for fouling Rondon as the last defender, reducing the visitors to ten men.

The Baggies took advantage of that five minutes later when McManaman provided the cross for Morrison who produced a classy header to fire the ball beyond Courtois, but it was too little too late for Tony Pulis' men.

Jose Mourinho's side now sit 10th on the table with West Brom on the bottom having recorded just a solitary point from their opening three fixtures.

MATCH OVERVIEW

West Bromwich Albion: 2 (James Morrison 35'/59', missed penalty: Morrison 14')
Chelsea: 3 (Pedro Rodriguez 20', Diego Costa 30', Cesar Azpilicueta 42', red card: John Terry 54')
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich - 23,256

Debuts: WBA - Jose Salomon Rondon (first league start for club), Serge Gnabry (club)

CHE - Pedro Rodriguez (league and club)

TALKING POINTS

- Can this fighting performance give West Brom impetus to kick on and put together a positive run?

- Will Chelsea take plenty out of winning with ten men? Can they put their early season woes behind them?


WHAT'S NEXT?

West Brom host Port Vale in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday before heading to Stoke City on the weekend as Chelsea prepare to welcome London rivals Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge.


TWITTER INSIGHT


QUOTES CORNER

Chelsea boss Mourinho on Pedro debut:

"He's a very good player, there is always a question mark because how many top players come to England and don't perform immediately. People ask if he is the right player, can he adapt? We have examples in our club and there are lots of examples in other clubs, it's very nice for him to perform the way he did."

West Brom's Pulis on striker Saido Berahino who was dropped amid Tottenham interest:

"Why are we talking about Saido today? We're talking about Saido because of the transfer window. Everybody here today should be talking about the game and this wouldn't be an issue. It can be disruptive and has been."


STATS SPECIALS
*Thanks to Opta




TEAM LEADERS

CHELSEA
Goals - Oscar, Pedro Rodriguez, Diego Costa, Cesar Azpilicueta 1
Assists - Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Pedro Rodriguez 1
Yellow cards - John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic 1
Red cards - Thibaut Courtois, John Terry 1

WEST BROM
Goals - James Morrison 2
Assists - Jose Salomon Rondon, Callum McManaman 1
Clean sheets - Boaz Myhill 1
Yellow cards - Eight players all on 1

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Andrew Slevison
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