Chelsea have dropped two points late at The Hawthorns, and might find themselves down in third place at the end of the week if other results don't go their way. The Blues were well in control against West Bromwich Albion for 80 minutes, but crumbled in the final 10 and only managed a 1-1 draw.
Both teams played a conservative game in the first half, though Chelsea were unsurprisingly in control. Pepe Mel's side set up in a defensively rigid 4-4-2 formation, depending on their strikers Thievy Bifouma and Saido Berahino to create their attacks. They only managed one shot in the first half, though Chelsea didn't fare much better until stoppage time.
With mere seconds to go until they headed into the locker room, West Brom switched off defending a corner, allowing Chelsea to take a lead into the break. David Luiz lost his man in the center of the box and hit a brilliant backheel to the back post for Branislav Ivanovic, who had a simple finish from the edge of the 6-yard box to put his team ahead.
Chelsea were much better in the early part of the second half, but couldn't turn their dominance into goals, with most of their shots going into the stomach of Ben Foster. It appeared that Chelsea were headed toward a comfortable 1-0 or 2-0 win, but late in the second half, West Brom started to turn up the heat on their visitors.
The Baggies won a handful of corners and free kicks from the 80th minute on, but didn't manage to threaten the Chelsea goal until the 87th minute, when substitute Victor Anichebe scored an equalizer that felt like it had been coming for some time. With his side's first shot on target, Anichebe headed a cross from PLAYER past Petr Cech, locking up the score at 1-1. It was the first goal Chelsea had conceded in 459 minutes.
Stoppage time was a back-and-forth affair, but didn't produce any clear-cut chances, and West Brom will likely be happy to snatch a point that their rivals in a tight relegation race might struggle to get.
West Brom: Foster, Ridgewell, Dawson, McAuley, Reid, Brunt, Yacob (Mulumbu 63'), Morrison, Amalfitano (Anichebe 73'), Berahino, Thievy (Vydra 78')
Goals: Anichebe (87')
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Ivanovic, Ramires (Salah 89'), Matic, Hazard, Oscar (Mikel 79'), Willian, Eto'o (Torres 69')
Goals: Ivanovic (45')