2 Defeats – But 2 Undeserved Defeats

Manchester United at home and then Chelsea away. West Bromwich Albion could not have asked for a tougher start.

It was always going to be difficult for the Baggies to get anything from the first two fixtures of the season. But reflecting back on both games, Albion could so easily have got two draws.

Losing games and playing well is something Roy Hodgson will want to put right as soon as possible. But lets not forget, Albion’s opening two fixtures were against superior opposition and you could argue the season starts on Sunday at home to Stoke.

West Brom can take a lot of positives from the opening two fixtures. But now the pressure is on to get results against Stoke, Norwich and Swansea and start picking up points.

Fun whilst it lasted

Before Nicolas Anelka equalised for the hosts, I’m sure most Albion fans were in dreamland. 1-0 to Albion at half-time and it was fully deserved.

The Baggies got off to a fantastic start with Shane Long scoring his second goal in Albion colours. The former Reading striker pounced on Alex’s dallying near the centre circle and was then able to race towards the goal before slotting the ball calmly past Hilario.

West Brom then had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0. Chris Brunt’s long ball caught out the Chelsea defence and Long was in on goal. The Irishman once he got into the penalty area had Somen Tchoyi in support and all Long had to do was square it to the Cameroon international who would have had a tap in.

But Long’s pass into Tchoyi had too much pace on it and the chance was gone. Having said that, Long himself could have had a shot. A missed chance and a missed opportunity to go 2-0 up.

Chelsea did not create any clear cut chances in the first half although Ben Foster did well to keep out Ashley Cole’s long range effort.

Harsh

Chelsea did improve after half-time and Anelka’s equaliser went in off the unfortunate Jonas Olsson and it was 1-1.

West Brom never gave up even after Florent Malouda put Chelsea 2-1 ahead with seven minutes to go. Perhaps Albion’s defence could have done better to prevent Jose Bosingwa putting in the cross that led to Malouda scoring Chelsea’s second goal.

Peter Odemwingie who signed a new contract much to the relief of Albion fans had a chance to make it 2-2 late on. But his volley went straight into the arms of Hilario and the Baggies were left to rue another missed opportunity to get a result against the big boys.

The final scoreline was harsh on Albion and I felt Roy Hodgson’s side deserved at least a point. There is a fine line between winning and losing games.

Conceding goals in the last ten minutes against Manchester United and Chelsea will have been a bitter blow for Albion after battling so hard. This needs to stop and this is an issue I’m sure Hodgson will address to his players.

The Hawthorns outfit unfortunately were unable to add to Long’s early goal but still there were positives to come out of the game.

We saw West Brom give Man. Utd and Chelsea a run for their money and if they can do that for the rest of season and get results, the Baggies will stay up comfortably. I have got every confidence Albion will survive.

Stoke, Norwich and Swansea coming up for the Baggies and its vital Albion start picking up some points. And I’m sure West Brom will want to put one over Stoke and end their hoodoo.

Also a great win for the Baggies against Bournemouth in the Second Round of the Carling Cup. It was also great to see Marc-Antoine Fortune back in amongst the goals. That will do his confidence the world of good.

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