Chelsea 1-0 West Brom: As It Happened
Chelsea 1-0 West Brom
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard, Mata (Obi Mikel 90+4'), Oscar, Hazard (Moses 80'); Ba (Torres 88')
Subs: Turnbull, Torres, Obi Mikel, Moses, Cahill, Terry, Bertrand
West Brom: Foster; Reid, Olsson, Yacob (Rosenberg 84'), Ridgewell; Morrison, Long, Dorrans (Thomas 71'), Mulumbu; McAuley, Fortune (Odemwingie 62')
Subs: Myhill, Jones, Tamas, Brown, Odemwingie, Thomas, Rosenberg
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Well, Chelsea made the task much, much more difficult than it needed to be, but the three points are theirs and that is ultimately all that matters.
If Rafa Benitez was worried about returning next season, he might care more about the tepidity of the Blues' display. But the result was all they needed, and Chelsea are up to third place ahead of the North London Derby tomorrow.
90+5'—Up comes Ben Foster.
90+5'—Corner West Brom.
John Obi Mikel comes on for Juan Mata in a bit of time-wasting.
90+4'—A minute left now. Odemwingie's near post shot was saved by Cech, but it's not over yet. Still West Brom's ball.
90+3'—Bit of a scramble, but Thomas commits handball and that attack is ended. A couple more chances for West Brom, perhaps, as they have a throw-in .
90+2'—Four minutes of added time, as West Brom get a corner.
90'—Nearly an outstanding tiki-taka goal for Chelsea, but Juan Mata's first touch while through on goal betrayed him, and the Blues will have to sweat it out for a little longer.
Fernando Torres relieves Demba Ba, who is deservedly applauded as he leaves the pitch.
84'—Ooh, good delivery from Odemwingie, great save by Petr Cech, and West Brom get a corner.
And Azpilicueta nearly headed the ball into his own net on the resulting corner, but Cech made an instinctive save to prevent a catastrophe.
83'—Free-kick for West Brom, about 30 yards out and slightly to the right of center.
83'—West Brom substitution
Markus Rosenberg comes on for Claudio Yacob.
Victor Moses relieves Eden Hazard, who receives a standing ovation from the Chelsea faithful.
80'—Excellent save by Ben Foster. Oscar hit a low but moderately powerful volley from just inside the box and Foster got down very quickly to deny Chelsea a crucial second goal. That's three times that Foster has denied Oscar a goal today.
77'—Corner to West Brom, as the referee judges that the final touch of a free-kick was Cesar Azpilicueta's.
And nothing comes of it, as Jonas Olsson is whistled for a foul on Frank Lampard.
76'—Right into the wall, and the ball eventually goes out for a West Brom throw-in. They can come forward, if timidly.
75'—Dive by Demba Ba, but he earns a centrally-located free-kick from about 30 yards out.
David Luiz to take.
72'—West Brom finally exerting some pressure, as they get another corner.
Check that, the corner comes in and is immediately headed out for a goal kick.
71'—West Brom substitution
Jerome Thomas replaces Graham Dorrans. Thomas is making his 100th appearance for the Baggies.
71'—Corner for West Brom, as Ashley Cole takes a poor touch and the Baggies will have the opportunity to nick an unlikely equalizer.
After 65 minutes chants of "Jose Mourinho" echo around Stamford Bridge - just as Benitez is booed as he catches the ball.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) March 2, 2013
66'—Yellow card for Gareth McAuley, as he takes down Eden Hazard right on the edge of the box, and just about parallel to the goal. Everyone back for West Brom.
65'—Correction: Odemwingie is making his second appearance since deadline day. He came on briefly against Sunderland last week.
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