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Chelsea 2-1 West Brom: Match Report
Published : 20 Aug 2011 21:54:21Rss feed
Malouda hands Villas-Boas maiden win
Florent Malouda spared Andre Villas-Boas' blushes on his home debut as Chelsea manager with a late winner in the 2-1 victory over West Brom in the Barclays Premier League.
Malouda lost his place in the starting line-up but was brought on in the first half and came to the rescue by converting Jose Bosingwa's cross with seven minutes remaining.
Villas-Boas had been heading for his first league defeat for more than 16 months when Shane Long continued his dream start to life at Albion by giving them a half-time lead but Nicolas Anelka equalised with a deflected shot before Malouda pounced.
But Chelsea looked anything but title challengers and are in desperate need of the type of midfield inspiration the likes of transfer targets Luka Modric and Juan Mata would doubtless provide.
Villas-Boas, who did not lose in the league at Porto last season, gave a sheepish wave to his new supporters after taking his seat in the dugout but it took less than four minutes for reality to bite.
Bosingwa's pass put Alex under needless pressure from Long, the striker robbing the defender before bearing down on Hilario, whose first task deputising for the injured Petr Cech was picking the ball out of the net.
There was little improvement from Chelsea at the start of the second half but a slice of luck helped them equalise in the 53rd minute.
Lampard went down in the box laying the ball back to Anelka, who cut inside and unleashed a shot which took a telling deflection off the heel of Jonas Olsson and nestled in the far corner.
The winner arrived when Bosingwa skipped too easily between Morrison and Nicky Shorey down the right and produced the ball of the match, swept home by Malouda at the far post.
Chelsea 2-1 West Brom: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.
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