English Premiership

Villas-Boas bags first win

2011-08-20 21:09
Florent Malouda (AP Photo)

London - Chelsea came from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday, giving Andre Villas-Boas his first win as manager.

Florent Malouda powered in the winner in the 83rd minute after latching onto Jose Bosingwa's cross at Stamford Bridge.

Shane Long had taken just four minutes to put West Brom in front after dispossessing Alex and sidefooting past Hilario.

But Chelsea equalized in the 53rd when Nicolas Anelka cut inside and unleashed a shot that deflected off Jonas Olsson' heel before landing in the far corner of the net.

Villas-Boas' reign as Chelsea manager had started with a 0-0 draw at Stoke last weekend, leading to Malouda losing his place in the starting lineup.

But Long's early opener for a team that has lost all 10 of its Premier League matches against Chelsea led to Malouda being brought on after just 35 minutes to replace Salomon Kalou.

Chelsea had been struggling to get in behind the visitors, who were having no such problem, with Paul Scharner testing Hilario from a tight angle.

It could even have been 2-0 in the 25th when Chris Brunt's ball released Long, whose cross was too far in front of Somen Tchoyi.

It took until the 41st for Chelsea to truly threaten, Ashley Cole unleashing a rising drive toward the top corner, which was tipped behind by Ben Foster.

The home fans appealed for a penalty two minutes later when Foster clattered into Anelka but referee Lee Mason felt the goalkeeper had got a bit of the ball.

There was little improvement from Chelsea at the start of the second half but a slice of luck helped them equalize.

Lampard laid the ball back to Anelka, who cut inside and unleashed a shot that took the key deflection off Olsson.

The goal sparked the game to life, Scharner heading James Morrison's cross over the bar and Malouda seeing a half-volley blocked before Lampard played in Anelka, whose shot hit the legs of Foster and rebounded to Malouda, only for Steven Reid to throw his body at the ball.

Fernando Torres, who was unable to repeat his encouraging performance of the previous week, was withdrawn for Didier Drogba just before the hour.

Lampard and Anelka were linking up well, the latter hooking over under pressure before Drogba just failed to control a fine ball from Ivanovic.

Another penalty appeal came when the ball hit the arm of Olsson, while Lampard lifted a half volley over the bar.

Anelka wasted a great breakaway chance with eight minutes left, steering the ball into the sidenetting from 35 yards (meters) after Foster had come racing off his line.

It did not matter as the winner arrived a minute later, Bosingwa skipping too easily between Morrison and Nicky Shorey down the right and setting up Malouda at the far post.

West Brom has now lost both of its opening matches.



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