Give me a call' Stephen, I am Eur only man
West Brom 3
CALLUM Robinson sent a clear message to Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny last night, as Chelsea got out of jail in dramatic fashion.
Blues boss Frank Lampard was starring into the abyss as his side conceded three first-half goals that piled the pressure on a side that has been bolstered by £230m of summer-transfer signings.
Yet, even after second-half goals from Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham saw Chelsea scramble a point, Lampard admitted that big improvements are needed.
"It is two points lost, and that is no disrespect to West Brom," said Lampard.
"You can't legislate for clear mistakes, that what we had today. We can have as many meetings as you want, but if you make mistakes like that, you will have a mountain to climb.
"There is a lot we can get better at. I'm not going to criticise everything in our game, but we cannot make mistakes like that and win matches."
Robinson's two first-half goals came as he capitalised on some shambolic defending from a shell-shocked Blues, as he scored his first Premier League goals since netting against Chelsea in Sheffield United colours in August 2019.
After Lampard opted to drop calamity keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after his howling errors against Liverpool last Sunday, replacement Willy Caballero was cruelly exposed by a disastrous defensive display that left a glum manager in despair on the bench.
Defensive flaws cost Chelsea time and again last season, yet the same problems emerged once again as Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva added to Lampard's defensive concerns as he played out a disastrous Premier League debut.
Marcos Alonso gave the ball away to allow Robinson to open the scoring after just four minutes, and when Thiago was guilty of a schoolboy error to allow the Ireland striker to race clear and double West Brom's lead, this was developing into a nightmare for Chelsea.
Some second-rate Blues defending on a corner allowed Kyle Bartley to score a third, and while Lampard's side were creating chances at the other end, their embarrassing defensive display left them starring into a black hole at half-time.
This was a catastrophic Chelsea display that would have tested the patience of Lampard's most devoted disciples.
Mount fired Chelsea back into the game with a stinging 55th-minute long-range strike that West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone didn't appear to see before it exploded into the back of his goal.
That before a brilliant Chelsea move saw substitute Hudson-Odi and Kai Havertz combine and the former fire the visitors to within one goal of an increasingly edgy West Brom side.
Slaven Bilic's team were clinging on to the lead that looked so comfortable in the closing stages, and they cracked in the 93rd minute, with Abraham tapping home from close range to crush West Brom's dreams of a first win of the season.
"It is frustrating because the win was here and we need to cut out the mistakes," said Abraham.
"We need to be strong together and keep encouraging one another.
"In the first half, we made it difficult for ourselves. I had a chance I should have put away, and one I should be taking at this level.
"The manager said we didn't look like a team ready to go out and win, and we needed to pick each other up in the second half. We did that."
At least the clinical form of Robinson will be a bright spot for Ireland ahead of the Euro 2020 play-off tie against Slovakia, with his clinical finishes suggesting he is in prime form and deserving of Kenny's attention.