West Brom 2 - 3 Chelsea: Pedro gives 10-man Chelsea lift-off at West Brom
FOOTBALL By AFP | August 23rd 2015
Pedro Rodriguez scored on his debut as Chelsea survived captain John Terry's dismissal to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 on Sunday and claim their first win of the season.
Home side West Brom, who left out star striker Saido Berahino following a failed bid from Tottenham Hotspur, scored twice through James Morrison, who also had a penalty saved by Thibaut Courtois.
But Jose Mourinho's visitors held on for victory after Pedro had opened the scoring and had a hand in Chelsea's second, scored by Diego Costa to make it 2-0.
Cesar Azpilicueta scored a rare goal to give Chelsea a 3-1 half-time lead after Morrison had reduced the arrears.
And Terry, who was substituted at half-time against Manchester City last weekend, lasted just 54 minutes before he was dismissed for a professional foul on Salomon Rondon.
Morrison then headed in his second goal to set up a tense finish, but Chelsea held on.
Costa fired the game's first real chance wide for Chelsea in the opening minutes.
But the home side made an energetic start and were rewarded with a penalty in the 13th minute when Nemanja Matic was adjudged to have tripped Callum McManaman, although the visitors were upset with referee Mark Clattenburg's decision.
Courtois came to his side's rescue, however, as he saved with his trailing leg as he dived to stop Morrison's drilled, low effort from the spot.
Albion should have led on 18 minutes, too, when Craig Dawson rose highest to meet a Morrison free-kick, but sent his header over the bar.
And they were punished on 20 minutes when Pedro began to repay his transfer fee, believed to be in the region of £21.2 million ($33.2 million, 30 million euros).
The Spain international, formerly of Barcelona, exchanged passes on the edge of the penalty area with Eden Hazard and netted the opening goal with the aid of a deflection off Gareth McAuley.
It was 2-0 10 minutes later when Pedro turned provider as his side broke from a West Brom corner.
He collected a pass from Willian and tried a cross-shot, which was turned in from close range by Costa.
- Terry gets marching orders -
Albion were back in the game within five minutes when Morrison made up for his earlier miss with a fine, low finish.
He scored from 15 yards after record signing Salomon Rondon, making his full debut, did well to help a cross by James McClean into Morrison's path.
Willian should have made it 3-1 on 39 minutes, but he was guilty of a glaring miss as he fired wide from a pull-back by Pedro.
However, Chelsea's third goal arrived three minutes before half-time from the unlikely figure of full-back Azpilicueta.
He finished well after Costa had held off a robust challenge from McAuley to control a pass from Cesc Fabregas and tee up his Spain team-mate.
Terry was given his marching orders nine minutes into the second half when he was judged to have pulled Rondon back as the Venezuelan raced onto a fine through-ball by Morrison.
Five minutes later the hosts reduced the arrears again with Morrison claiming his second goal of the game.
He produced a deft header to divert a cross by Callum McManaman past Courtois and into the top-right corner.
Rondon dragged a shot just wide for West Brom from the edge of the area after a corner and McManaman looked capable of levelling when his clever footwork engineered a shooting chance, but he bent his effort just wide.
Costa sent a shot over the crossbar with his final touch before being substituted following a clever Chelsea move.
And his replacement, Radamel Falcao, missed the target by a long way with his first touch after being set up by Pedro.
Late on Chelsea hit West Brom on the counter-attack and Hazard fired just wide and then Brunt blasted just over for the hosts.
In stoppage time, Rondon had a scrambled effort blocked by Courtois.
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