Hyperbole, perhaps, but the feel good story of the season lives another day. The Hawthorns is as formidable a place to play as any other ground in England.
Albion have got to where they are — fourth place in the table — by beating teams they should. As Everton’s loss to Reading proves, this is easier said than done. Wins today, against top flight clubs like Chelsea, are a bonus.
Shane Long opened the scoring in the 10th minute, but the Irish striker was terrific in every facet in the game. Holding up the ball, playing off Peter Odemwingie — he did it all. The Baggies have lost three times this season, two of those losses have come from last minute goals. Cruel — those bastards from Opta have left their mark.
Chelsea leave the midlands with the same old questions. Do they have the depth to compete in a 38 game season. Once again Fernando Torres was absent for most of the match. His lieutenant, Daniel Sturridge missed another sitter that would’ve seen the Blues get at least a point. Their champions league fixture against Juventus this week takes on more importance – they haven’t won a league game in their last four attempts. Somewhere Pep Guardiola strokes his chin, contemplating what to do with Fernando when he takes over the reigns.
But this day belongs to Steve Clarke and his side. After making a bold decision to leave his job as Chelsea’s number two — a job he claims he could’ve had for life–Clarke’s strengths as a gaffer are on full display.
Sitting one point behind his former team, Clarke and the Baggies are playing above their weight. We’ve seen early runs curtail as the season wears on –it’s highly possible this is one of those flashes–but we’d do well to embrace West Brom’s run while we can. With a trip to the Stadium of Light next week the chances this run continues for at seven more days are quite good.