Chelsea figured to score goals in bunches this season after inking the all-out attacking likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz over the summer. But as their suspect defense was being carved apart at home by lowly West Bromwich Albion in the first half Saturday, it was fair to wonder whether the Blues would have enough firepower to overcome a three-goal deficit.
Turns out that they did. With American talisman Christian Pulisic still a week or two away from being ready to rejoin Frank Lampard’s starting lineup, Chelsea relied on second-half goals from Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and finally Tammy Abraham to steal a point and salvage a 3-3 away draw.
Abraham’s tying goal came in the 93rd minute:
Chelsea will gladly take the point. Because when Kyle Bartley made it 3-0 in the 27th minute, extending the West Brom advantage after Callum Robinson’s early brace had put them up two, the match appeared well beyond the Blues’ grasp:
But a long-range effort from Mount beat Baggies keeper Sam Johnstone to give Chelsea some hope. And when Hudson-Odoi pulled the visitors within one following a slick give-and-go with Havertz, it seemed possible that Lampard’s side might be able to get something out of the match after all:
This young Chelsea side doesn’t do things the easy way, though, as we saw time and again last season. And so the Blues characteristically waited until nearly the final whistle to pull level, with West Brom — which deserves tremendous credit for its performance, it must be said — doing its damndest to preserve the lead. Abraham’s equalizer came with about 90 seconds to go.
Three games into the new Premier League campaign, it is becoming clear that Pulisic’s return can’t come soon enough for Chelsea. Because for all their chops going forward, the Blues so far have lacked the creativity and cutting edge that Pulisic provided so ably after the Premier League restarted in June following the three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday’s League Cup match against London rival Tottenham will probably come too soon for the U.S. national team headliner. But after Saturday’s drama, Lampard will be hoping Pulisic can play at least some part in next week’s Prem test against Crystal Palace.
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