Pedro makes instant impact as Chelsea beats West Brom 3-2
WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) — Pedro Rodriguez scored one goal and set up another early in his Chelsea debut in a 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, helping the defending champions to their first Premier League victory of the season.
Chelsea ended an action-packed match at The Hawthorns with 10 men after John Terry’s 54th-minute sending-off, with Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal three minutes before halftime proving the difference.
After Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved James Morrison’s 14th-minute penalty, Pedro — signed for $33 million from Barcelona on Thursday — put Chelsea ahead in the 20th and then drove in a cross that Diego Costa turned home in the 30th.
Morrison scored either side of Azpilicueta’s goal before Terry was handed a straight red card for a professional foul, leaving Chelsea to hang on.
After starting its title defense with a 2-2 draw against Swansea and a 3-0 loss at Manchester City, the pressure was on Chelsea to get its campaign rolling.
But things almost got worse for the visitors when Nemanja Matic gave away a penalty by fouling Callum McManaman. Morrison went for a power penalty down the middle, and it was stopped by the legs of Courtois.
West Brom was soon ruing that missed chance as Pedro exchanged passes with Eden Hazard, drove into the penalty area and sent in a shot that took a deflection and span inside the near post.
The Spain international turned provider 10 minutes later, driving in a cross-shot that was bundled in by a sliding Costa at the far post.
In an end-to-end game, West Brom reduced the deficit when Chris Brunt’s deep cross was volleyed back into the center of the area acrobatically by Rondon, and Morrison arrived near the penalty spot to drill a low shot past Courtois.
Azpilicueta restored Chelsea’s two-goal cushion by racing onto Costa’s lay-off and slotting in a low finish for his first Premier League goal.
Terry was substituted at halftime by Mourinho for the first time in 177 matches in the loss to City last weekend and he didn’t finish this game either.
Rondon stole in front of Terry as he chased Brunt’s through-ball and fell under the challenge of the former England defender a few yards outside the penalty area. Referee Mark Clattenburg showed a straight red card and Mourinho stood blank-faced on the touchline.
That gave West Brom hope of a comeback, even more so when McManaman whipped in a cross from the left and Morrison got in front of Matic to glance a header in off the crossbar.