John Terry was sent off as Chelsea secured their first victory of the season with a nervy win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
In the 54th minute the former England captain received the fifth red card of his career for a last-man tackle on striker Salomon Rondon. But his side managed to hold on despite a goal from James Morrison.
The Baggies’ midfielder could have given his side the perfect start after Nemanja Matic tripped Callum McManaman but his spot kick was easily saved by Chelsea ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois.
The miss proved to be costly as new signing Pedro linked up well with Eden Hazard to score 20 minutes into his debut with a fine finish. Ten minutes later the former Barcelona star provided Diego Costa with a tap in from a right hand side cross.
Morrison finally made amends in the 35th minute when he latched onto a pass from Baggies new boy Rondon but just as the home fans sensed a comeback, Cesar Azpilicueta added a third Chelsea goal three minutes before half time to make the match appear all but over.
Albion came out strongly in the second half with Rondon growing in confidence and it was the pace of the £12 million signing that led Terry to pull him back and referee Mark Clattenburg immediately produced the red card.
West Brom seized their opportunity against the 10 men in Blue and Morrison netted his second one minute shy of the hour mark to set up a thrilling final half an hour. Jose Mourinho sent on Gary Cahill and John Obi Mikel to see out the result and the tactic worked as Chelsea hung on for their first win of the season.
After the game, Baggies boss Tony Pulis was asked why he chose to leave out striker Saido Berahino, the club’s regular penalty taker and target of two bids by Tottenham? He once again emphasised his call for the current transfer window situation to be changed to protect players.
“The transfer window should close and the season should start and everybody should be talking about football and not other things,” said Pulis.
“I spoke to Saido yesterday and it is unsettling. He is a young lad.”
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was happy with his side’s first win of the campaign but claimed football fans across the country would not be.
"Many people in this moment are disappointed in this result. People love Chelsea to lose a game,” he said. “There is a feeling we are fighting against a lot but today we won."