West Brom v Chelsea player ratings

Chelsea earned a hard-fought first victory of the season by beating West Brom 3-2 despite John Terry’s red card. Here’s how we rated the Blues players in an incident-packed game at The Hawthorns.

Thibaut Courtois: 8
A terrific penalty save, shifting his leg in double-quick time to keep out James Morrison’s fierce strike which was absolutely vital in the game and possibly the season. Commanded his area with great authority, distributed the ball intelligently and made a couple of decent saves.

Branislav Ivanovic: 5
Another unconvincing defensive display with the big Serbian too easily bypassed for the opening goal and also slow to close down for the second. It was no surprise that the excellent Callum McManaman switched wings and he very nearly grabbed an equaliser after beating Ivanovic with minimal fuss.

Kurt Zouma: 7
A couple of nervy moments but was dependable and kept things simple throughout. Used the ball well too but, if being harsh, could have been more aware in helping out John Terry for the sending-off incident.

John Terry: 6
Kept his place after being taken off against Manchester City and perhaps did not play with his normal unshakeable confidence, and that won’t have been helped by a harsh red card. Lost Craig Dawson from a first-half free-kick but was solid enough until his dismissal.

Jose Mourinho has a potential problem in midfield as well as at the back
Jose Mourinho on whether Chelsea will appeal against Terry’s red card:  “Normally it is a waste of time for us. I think we should, but normally it’s a waste of time.”

Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
Took his goal superbly at a vital time and just about came out on top in an intriguing battle with McManaman. The Spaniard was largely untroubled in the second half despite West Brom’s numerical advantage and also helped relieve pressure with countless breaks forward.

Nemanja Matic: 5
Chased around a bit randomly early on as Chelsea looked to press higher and was guilty of diving in, most obviously for the dim challenge on McManaman that brought the penalty. Was also weak in the air for the second goal but played his part in a disciplined Blues display in the final stages.

Cesc Fabregas: 6
Was good in possession but still to find his best form and the pairing with Matic can look cumbersome when both are below their best.

Pedro: 9
A quiet opening 20 minutes but then the Spaniard was exceptional. Great purpose and quick feet earned him his lucky deflection for the opener, did the sensible thing striking across goal for Diego Costa’s goal and was a constant menace. Laid on a glorious chance for Willian that should have been taken. A brilliant debut.

pedrogoalJose Mourinho on Pedro’s display: “It was a very good performance. There is always a question mark because of how many top players come to England and don’t perform immediately. so it’s very nice for him to come and straightaway perform the way he did.”

Willian: 6
This was the Brazilian encapsulated in one performance, with commendable application but lacking quality and composure when it most matters. Worked tirelessly and was involved in Costa’s breakaway goal, but a real stinker of a finish from 12 yards from Pedro’s pass stands out.

Eden Hazard: 9
At his very best. Almost impossible to knock off the ball, providing threat and class throughout. Laid on Pedro’s goal, retained possession with ease despite being surrounded and almost grabbed a game-clinching fourth goal late on after a typical mazy run.

Diego Costa: 8
Posed problems from the outset, finished off a fine breakaway move for his goal, teeing up Azpilicueta’s strike and almost adding to his tally late on with a couple of decent attempts. Looked much sharper and brighter.

Gary Cahill: 6
Played his part after slotting in alongside Zouma but very nearly caused an equaliser when he opted to chest the ball in his own area late on.

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