West Bromwich Albion Vs. Chelsea, 2012 Premier League: Blues Play Poorly In Loss

Chelsea have lost away to West Bromwich Albion, which, in and of itself, is not embarrassing. West Brom are a solid team with a solid home record and they counterattack well. What is concerning to the point of almost being embarrassing for the Blues was how poorly they played on the afternoon. They were lucky that it took until the 82nd minute for WBA to score, and that goal would be all the Baggies needed in a 1-0 win.

Fans and pundits alike have been pleading with Andre Villas-Boas to play Ashley Cole, Michael Essien and Frank Lampard together in Chelsea's selection. Villas-Boas obliged today and the team looked much worse than they did in poor performances without them. West Brom had an incredible 25 shots to Chelsea's 13, and only two of the Blues' shots were on target. Petr Cech made a number of good saves for the Blues and kept them in the game until the very end.

Gareth McAuley scored WBA's winner following a corner kick on which Chelsea failed to clear their lines. Liam Ridgewell initially tried a shot in the 82nd minute that took a deflection, then fell to an unmarked McAuley at the back post. He had a simple finish to put the Baggies ahead, and they would hold onto the lead until the end after that goal.

Because of Arsenal's win earlier at Anfield, the Gunners now have a three-point gap on Chelsea for fourth place in the Premier League.

For more on the Blues, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History.

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