West Brom produced the result of the season so far to give their hopes of avoiding the drop a huge lift with a brilliant 5-2 win at Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime.
The shock scoreline meant defeat for Thomas Tuchel, his first since taking over from Frank Lampard in January. It put a big dent in their top-four hopes, while lifted Albion’s hopes of staying up.
Thaigo Silva made his first Chelsea start since February 4. But it was a short and sweet return; he was sent off on 29 minutes for two yellow cards. His dismissal aided West Brom, who were so effective on the break, as they scored four times at Stamford Bridge.
Christian Pulisic had put the Blues ahead before Silva was red carded. Matheus Pereira then scored twice in added on time in the first half, before Callum Robinson (2) and Mbaye Diagne netted for Sam Allardyce’s men.
Mason Mount arrived at half-time and pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining, but it was not enough for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Silva finally shook off a nagging thigh problem, for his first appearance since the 1-0 win at Tottenham.
Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic joined Timo Werner in attack, with Tammy Abraham passed fit after ankle trouble on Friday, but not included in the squad.
Semi Ajayi replaced Conor Gallagher in West Brom’s line-up, with the Chelsea loanee unable to feature against his parent club.
Pulisic latched onto the loose ball first to tap home and put Chelsea into a 1-0 lead, profiting from Marcos Alonso’s fine free-kick that struck the woodwork.
Silva was sent off moments after Chelsea took the lead, dismissed for a second yellow card, in the 29th minute.
Pereira lobbed Edouard Mendy after a ball over the top caught out Chelsea’s reorganised defence, to put West Brom level at 1-1 in added time in the first half.
Pereira quickly doubled his goal tally to put West Brom into a 2-1 lead and leave Chelsea in all sorts of trouble at half-time.
The 24-year-old kept his cool to slot home and put the Baggies in front at Stamford Bridge, with the half-time whistle sounding shortly afterwards.
The Baggies are in dreamland! 🔥
Callum Robinson with a superb volley to extend West Brom's lead over 10-man Chelsea! 💥👏 pic.twitter.com/CFUeNholZd
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 3, 2021
Chelsea had conceded as many goals in the first half, as in their 14 previous matches combined under Thomas Tuchel (all competitions).
And after a spell of pressure from the hosts they almost conceded a third when Pereira saw Edouard Mendy save with his legs from the edge of the box.
WBA were not to be denied a third though and Robinson (63) got in on the act with a brilliant sidefoot volley into the roof of the net from the edge of the box.
Mason Mount had already replaced Pulisic by this time, but it made little difference as Albion brilliantly hit their hosts on the break.
Mbaye Diagne made it 4-1 on 68 minutes, finishing low across the keeper after being set up by Pereira.
Mount did though get one back almost immediately. The England man tapping home from close range after Timo Werner had squared the ball across the six-yard box.
It should have been 4-3 on 75 minutes but Kurt Zouma sliced over the top from just six yards out.
Robinson (90)then capped the win with a fifth as West Brom claimed a famous win. It was Robinson’s fifth Premier League goal and all of them against Chelsea.
Chelsea had not conceded four goals at home in the league since October 2011 in a 3-5 defeat against Arsenal.