5 Things We Learned From West Brom 2 - 3 Chelsea


Pedro has already settled in

Lots of players take time to adapt to the pace and power of the Premier League, or so the pundits tell us however, Pedro doesn’t look to be one of those. The World Cup winner instantly looked at home in Jose Mourinho’s side, a little strange for a Guardiola alumni.

He scored the first after just 20 minutes and then set up the second, not a bad day’s work. The link up with countrymen Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa was evident and Pedro looks to have already tied down a place in the three behind Costa.

The Spaniard’s work-rate was excellent and his quality was there for all to see with some classy touches and superb movement. Being down to 10 obviously saw him fade but beating Manchester United to his signature was the Blues’ first victory of the season and it looks an important battle to have won. 

 

Saido is off to Spurs

The England U21 international has been a revelation since breaking into the West Brom side a couple of years ago and last season he hit 20 goals for the Baggies. His talents were always going to attract attention and his off the field actions have not exactly endeared him to Tony Pulis.

The Burundi-born forward was left out of the squad here and unfortunately for the Hawthorns faithful it looks like the end of his time in the Black Country.

The transfer seems like it has dragged out all summer and the addition of Salomon Rondon for a club record fee was the surest sign yet that West Brom had accepted their star man was on his way. His replacement is much more in the Pulis mode. Strong, quick and with an eye for a goal, Rondon caught the eye.

 

It could be the beginning of the end for JT

He lasted just 45 minutes before being dragged off last week and he only got 8 minutes more here. Terry saw red for the first time since 2010 and while it’s debateable as to whether he deserved it, the way Rondon got in behind him is a worry.

The ex-England skipper has never been blessed with pace but his positioning and reading of the game have allowed him to play at the highest level despite his ageing legs. Here Rondon slipped beyond and across Terry easily.

The centre back will now miss one game through suspension but with John Stones supposedly on the cusp of arriving and Kurt Zouma impressing with every appearance, Terry may have to get used to being ‘Captain, Leader, Sub’.

 

Matic is no Makelele this season

The holding midfielder was a colossus last season. He mopped up in front of the Chelsea back four and was a huge part in John Terry having such a good campaign.

2015/16 hasn’t quite been as successful for the former Benfica man. He has struggled and generally looked off the pace in every game he has played and it was no different here. He gave away the penalty after leaving a lazy leg for Callum McManaman to fall over and got himself booked for persistent fouling only half way through the first period.  He didn’t exactly cover himself in glory by giving James Morrison space to grab a goal either.

Mourinho might ponder a change at the base of his midfield should the Serbian’s sluggishness continue. Maybe he should have stolen Morgan Schneiderlin as well as Pedro.

 

Baggies need a ballplayer at the back

Tony Pulis would have been fairly happy with his team’s attacking threat but he has a real worry at the back. Defensively the two centre halves struggled against Costa, especially Gareth McAuley who got far too tight to the Spaniard and at times looked all at sea.

Nevertheless, the Baggies won’t face a team with Chelsea’s attacking threat every week and Pulis will find the solidity they need. The real worry is the distribution out from the back. Both McAuley and Jonas Olsson were guilty of giving the ball away on numerous occasions, inviting Chelsea on and leaving Albion short of numbers.

James Chester has to get a shout centrally in place of the cumbersome Olsson, and with Joleon Lescott apparently on the verge of an exit, a central defender who can retain possession is crucial.