One goal was enough to win the game against West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge, and as the stats showed, it was a deserved victory…
Saturday’s success was only the second occasion this season in which we secured three points with a 1-0 win, the previous time coming against Stoke City, also at home, back in September.
It was also the first time we kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since the 4-0 away win against Tony Pulis’ side in the middle of January.
A solitary Demba Ba strike ultimately proved decisive on Saturday, but the Blues dominated for much of the game and could have won by a bigger margin had it not been for the performance of Ben Foster in the West Brom goal, as Rafael Benitez reflected after the final whistle.
In total, we had 24 attempts on goal, nine of which were on target with seven saved by Foster.
Ba had six attempts, hitting the target with four, while Oscar, who endured a frustrating afternoon in front of goal, had seven attempts, also hitting the target four times.
Surprisingly, considering the manner in which the match developed, Youssuf Mulumbu had the highest success rate in terms of pass completion, finding a team-mate with 54 of his 58 passes, while for the Blues Juan Mata hit 50 successful passes from 56.
The final third, however, was an area dominated by Chelsea players with regards to pass completion, with Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard the top three performers.
An inability to make the most of dead-ball situations in the game saw only three of our nine corners find a blue shirt. By contrast, Steve Clarke’s side were able to find a team-mate from four of their seven deliveries.
West Brom undoubtedly posed more of a threat following the introduction of Peter Odemwingie in the 61st minute, and the striker had a big influence, going close with his two efforts on goal – one a free-kick which was well saved by Petr Cech – while also completing 11 of his 12 passes.
Defensively, it was arguably one of our most impressive displays of late, and while West Brom seldom threatened, every member of the Chelsea team contributed to our ninth league clean sheet of the campaign.
David Luiz, playing his second successive game in the centre of defence, made four of our 19 interceptions and came out on top in one of his three aerial duels, while his partner, Branislav Ivanovic won two of his three aerial battles.
Ashley Cole, meanwhile, won both of his aerial challenges, as well as making one interception, while on the other flank Cesar Azpilicueta won four of his five tackles, and got forward at every opportunity, as proven by his attempted 14 passes in the opposing half, of which 10 were successful.