Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink admitted that his side cannot afford any more slip ups at Stamford Bridge if they are to make an unlikely bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four after failing to conjure victory against West Brom last night.
The Blues twice led through full-back Cesar Azpilicueta and a Gareth McAuley own goal, only for the plucky Baggies to respond with strikes from midfield duo Craig Gardner and James McClean.
A point leaves Chelsea languishing in 14th, 12 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, while West Brom dropped to 13th.
“As long as it’s possible mathematically to get fourth position we will go for it,” said Hiddink. “We have to win all our games, at home at least. We need an average of 2.8 points which is difficult. You have to win your games at home.”
Chelsea took a 20th minute lead when full-back Branislav Ivanovic’s low cross was turned beyond West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill by marauding full-back Azpilicueta.
West Brom levelled shortly after the half hour mark as substitute Gardner lashed a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner. Chelsea regained the lead with 16 minutes remaining as McAuley turned Willian’s low cross into his own net, under extreme pressure from Kenedy.
West Brom, however, refused to buckle and McClean’s skimming low shot beat Chelsea goalkeeper Tibaut Courtois in the 86th minute.