West Brom humble Chelsea in ill-tempered match
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP):
Saido Berahino scored twice as West Bromwich Albion beat English Premier League champions Chelsea 3-0 yesterday in an ill-tempered game that saw Cesc Fabregas sent off for kicking the ball at an opponent's head.
The largely meaningless game started with a warm embrace between managers Tony Pulis and JosÈ Mourinho, but spilled over into several heated scuffles on the pitch after Berahino had put the hosts ahead with a great strike in the ninth minute.
Diego Costa became entangled with Gareth McAuley in the area, sparking a scuffle that ended with the Spain striker being booked. As West Brom players encircled referee Mike Jones, Fabregas inexplicably kicked the ball some 20 yards straight at them, hitting Chris Brunt in the back of the head.
Jones showed him a straight red card, with West Brom's Darren Fletcher also getting booked for angrily shoving Fabregas.
Chelsea's night only got worse as Berahino was then brought down by John Terry in the area early in the second half, and took the penalty himself to double the lead.
Unbeaten run ended
Brunt then added the third in the 60th, equalling Chelsea's worst-ever Premier League loss under Mourinho. It was only Chelsea's third loss in the league this season, and ended a 16-game unbeaten run, but it had no effect on the standings for either team.
Chelsea wrapped up the title two weeks ago, while West Brom are safe in 13th place.
Mourinho said it was hard for his team to play its best with the title already in hand.
"When you are not ready to compete, you lose qualities, individually and collectively," he said. "If we have to blame somebody, we have to blame Man City, Man United, Arsenal, and Liverpool, because they let us win the title so early."