Premier League

Hazard salvages Chelsea draw vs West Brom

(AP Photo/Bogdan Maran)


AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP) Jose Mourinho was seconds from seeing his 65-game unbeaten home record in the English Premier League ended by a former assistant when Chelsea was rescued by a fortunate refereeing decision on Saturday.

With Steve Clarke's West Bromwich Albion leading 2-1 in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Andre Marriner awarded a penalty for Steven Reid's shoulder challenge on Ramires.

Eden Hazard stepped up to coolly convert the spotkick and salvage the point and ensure Mourinho's Stamford Bridge record - stretching back to 2004 - remained intact.

Clarke was furious at West Brom being denied a first win at Chelsea in 35 years.

"I am flabbergasted at the decision, I cannot believed the referee gave it," said Clarke, who worked under Mourinho at Chelsea from 2004-07.

Asked if Ramires dived, Clarke responded: "He started going down early before the contact, so you guys can put a label on it if you want. For me the onus is on the referee to make the correct decision and he did not make it."

West Brom staged a second-half fightback after a blunder before the break allowed Samuel Eto'o to put Chelsea in front.

Shane Long leveled on the hour and Stephane Sessegnon put West Brom in front in the 68th.

But it's now 66 games unbeaten for Mourinho, who returned to Chelsea ahead of the season after six years.

Chelsea still dropped from second to fourth, with Liverpool and Sunderland both moving above the west London club with wins on Saturday. Leader Arsenal hosts Manchester United on Sunday.

"To lose points at home is normal because no team at the moment has a clean record at home with only victories," Mourinho said.

For all the drama in the second half, it was a tepid start to the match.

The only real chances early on came from free kicks.

On the half-hour, Oscar's attempt was heading into the top corner until it was pushed over by Boaz Myhill, who punched Frank Lampard's strike clear two minutes later.

"We didn't create a lot because they defended very, very well," Mourinho said.

The opener was set up by Hazard, who was dropped for Wednesday's 3-0 win over Schalke for missing training after losing his passport.

Hazard cut in from the left and saw his shot parried by Myhill. West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell dithered and remained static, leaving Eto'o to stab the ball into the net.

After a drab first half, the relief at breaking the deadlock was clear, and Eto'o was booked for excessively celebrating his third goal of the week.

The second half began brightly for West Brom, with Long heading against the outside of the post and then finding the target on the hour.

From Morgan Amalfitano's corner, Gareth McAuley's powerful header was pushed high into the air by Cech. As the ball came back down, Long rose to head it into the net.

Eight minutes later, West Brom was in front - as Ridgewell made up for the blunder that allowed Chelsea to go in front.

After breaking down the left flank, Ridgewell fed Sessegnon, whose shot easily beat Cech.

In front, but never comfortable, West Brom had to soak up a barrage of Chelsea pressure to protect the lead.

"Our reaction could be `die or fight for life,'" Mourinho said. "And our team fought for life."

Myhill, on his 31st birthday, blocked Branislav Ivanovic's low shot, then Willian headed over from Hazard's cross.

West Brom was about to start celebrating a memorable win when Ramires appeared to go down lightly when he was caught by Reid as he burst into the box.

"It is the kind of penalty which can be given when you have got a home crowd which shouts for everything and puts pressure on the referee," Clarke said.

Updated November 9, 2013

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