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Barclays Premier League

The Hawthorns (ATT 25,163) 16th April 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: L Probert

West Brom West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea Chelsea

West Brom 1

P Odemwingie (17)

ft

Chelsea 3

D Drogba (22)
S Kalou (26)
F Lampard (45)

Drogba inspires Chelsea win

Full-back's mistake leads to Blues equaliser

By Hayley Paterson.   Last Updated: 16/04/11 5:58pm

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Equaliser: Drogba celebrates his close-range finish with Essien after a Shorey mistake

Equaliser: Drogba celebrates his close-range finish with Essien after a Shorey mistake

Didier Drogba was instrumental in a Chelsea comeback following Peter Odemwingie's opener for West Bromwich Albion.

Man of the match: Didier Drogba. The Ivory Coast marksman was clinical in his finish and had a hand in the other goals. Moment of the match: Nicky Shorey's mistake proved costly as his poor clearance fell into the feet of Drogba for the equaliser. Goal of the game: Peter Odemwingie's dink over Petr Cech was superb and reflective of the type of form the 29-year-old has been enjoying this season. Attempt of the match: Chris Brunt could have made it a nervy finish for the away side but he sent his goalbound header straight down the throat of Cech after great play from Carlos Vela. Talking point? There's so many with Chelsea, will Ancelotti be staying? Do they have a realistic chance of retaining the title? When will Fernando Torres eventually break his duck?

The Ivory Coast international started ahead of £50million man Fernando Torres and the 33-year-old made sure Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti knew what he was missing after he got on the scoresheet and had a hand in Chelsea's two other first-half goals.

However it was the home side who stunned the visitors when Odemwingie's smart finish over Petr Cech came against the run of play with 17 minutes on the clock.

Nicky Shorey made a hash of a back-post clearance to gift Drogba the ball and the striker could do little else but score as he netted from close range to then draw Chelsea level.

Drogba then saw his long-range effort parried into the path of Salomon Kalou who drilled the ball into the back of the net for Chelsea's second.

Chelsea's frontman all but killed off a Baggies comeback in an entertaining first half as he nicked the ball off Odemwingie's toes and released Florent Malouda who pulled the ball back for Frank Lampard to side-foot home on the brink of half-time.

Kalou saw an effort come back off the crossbar and both second-half substitute Torres and Malouda did put the ball in the back of the net however they were deemed offside.

Chris Brunt was unlucky with a couple of strikes and could have netted with a late header as Albion upped the tempo with the introduction of tricky forward Carlos Vela, however Ancelotti's men took the three points back to London.

Faltering

Despite the Blues manager's future looking uncertain after a faltering Premier League defence, Chelsea had, before the West Brom victory, lost just one of their last 10 matches.

And it is a similar run of form shared by the Baggies who in their last seven games remained unbeaten before the Chelsea visit.

Ancelotti rested an under-fire Torres, who before the kick-off was without a goal in 11 games for his new club, in favour of Drogba. Other changes from the midweek defeat to Manchester United included John Obi Mikel and David Luiz coming in for the injured Alex and Ramires. Kalou also started ahead of Nicolas Anelka.

Roy Hodgson made just one change with James Morrison coming in for forward Simon Cox.

A shock was likely to be on the cards at The Hawthorns as Albion started the game brightly and their opener was richly deserved.

Following a move which involved Youssouf Mulumbu and James Morrison, the Scotsman picked out Jerome Thomas who laid it on for Odemwingie with the help of a slight ricochet off John Terry, the pass still found its intended target who sprinted into the area before deftly dinking the ball over the advancing Cech for his 12th of the season.

That goal set a new club record, beating the previous best by Rob Earnshaw six years earlier, and also stunned a Blues side which had enjoyed rich spells of possession.

However the home side's lead lasted only a few minutes as Scott Carson failed to deal with a low cross into the six-yard box from the left and an attempted clearance from Shorey at the far post fell into the path of Drogba who rifled home for his 13th goal of the season.

Parry

Four minutes later Chelsea turned the game on its head with another helping hand from Carson. The former England international could only parry Drogba's long-range effort into Kalou who dragged his shot into the far corner.

On the stroke of half-time any hope amongst the home fans of a revival was curtailed as Chelsea put the points to bed when Lampard netted from the edge of the area.

Again the move was inspired by Drogba who cut short a promising Albion move and sprayed a searching ball down the left for Malouda to chase who played in Lampard and he drilled the ball past Carson.

More goals should have followed in the second half, initially seven minutes after the restart when Drogba spotted Carson off his line, only for a powerful dipping shot from 35 yards to land on the roof of the net.

Lampard, Kalou and Malouda all had chances to add to the tally but to no avail as the Baggies struggled to retain possession and failed to support Odemwingie on several occasions.

Vela came on to great effect for West Brom in place of Morrison, his pace made Chelsea's back four work more than they had all game in what was one-way traffic for large periods.

Torres came on late, however looked confidence-stricken as he found himself offside on many occasions and his touch was lacking, adding to a goalless drought of 871 minutes.

The Spain international did have the ball in the net, however, after rounding Carson but it was denied by the offside flag.

A mis-kick from 15 yards soon after caused great mirth amongst the home fans, highlighting Torres' woeful time in front of goal at present as Chelsea saw out the game in comfortable fashion.

West Bromwich AlbionTeam StatisticsChelsea
1Goals3
11st Half Goals3
2Shots on Target8
8Shots off Target11
4Blocked Shots2
3Corners5
8Fouls9
0Offsides9
1Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
79.5Passing Success88.7
13Tackles23
76.9Tackles Success78.3
40Possession60
42.8Territorial Advantage57.2

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 2 6
2 Swansea City 2 6
3 Aston Villa 2 4
4 Manchester City 1 3
5 West Ham United 2 3
6 Arsenal 1 3
7 Liverpool 1 3
8 Hull City 1 3
9 Tottenham Hotspur 1 3
10 West Bromwich Albion 2 2
11 Everton 1 1
12 Sunderland 1 1
13 Southampton 2 1
14 Leicester City 2 1
15 Newcastle United 2 1
16 Manchester United 1 0
17 Queens Park Rangers 1 0
18 Stoke City 1 0
19 Crystal Palace 2 0
20 Burnley 2 0

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