The ‘Baggies’ was as brilliant as the ‘Blues’, which had Thiago Silva sent off in the 29th minute, were abject.
The result moves the 19th-placed side to within seven points of 17th-placed Newcastle, and even if it does not manage the improbable and escape relegation, it will look back on this day with great pride. Sam Allardyce’s men were outstanding on the counter-attack and each of their goals was of high quality.
Chelsea took an undeserved lead in the 27th minute when Christian Pulisic followed up after Marcos Alonso’s free-kick came off the post.
However, two minutes later, its day started to take a turn for the worse when Thiago was shown a second yellow for a rash challenge on Okay Yokuslu.That was followed by a horror show in first-half stoppage time as Pereira took centre stage. The Brazilian’s first effort was a cute finish over Edouard Mendy before he finished off a gorgeous move with a low strike between three defenders. In between those goals, Matt Phillips produced a strike that came off the woodwork.
West Brom then went for the jugular after the break as substitute Robinson made it 3-1 with a sensational side-foot volley before Mbaye Diagne finished off a sweet move with an even sweeter strike. Mason Mount, brought on at half-time, tapped in to reduce the deficit but the Baggies resisted other Chelsea threats before Robinson capped off a great day for the visitor with a clipped finish. Was this Thomas Tuchel’s first major tactical misjudgement?
His reasons for leaving some first-team regulars from the first XI, including Mount and Kai Havertz, was because he wanted the freshest legs on the pitch because of the extra exertions of his benched players during the international break. Those who started might have been sharper physically, but they were mentally sluggish at times with Thiago paying the biggest price.
It was a risk to start the 36-year-old Brazilian, who had just returned from two months out with an injury. Dane Andreas Christensen, who had deputised for Thiago, came on as midfielder Hakim Ziyech made way.
Striker Timo Werner came into the match short of confidence and having missed a ‘sitter’ for Germany against North Macedonia. He probably wished he reacted as quickly as Pulisic did for the Blues goal, although he did set up Mount’s goal. By that stage, both he and his team-mates were probably wishing they were still on international duty.
A side which had conceded only two goals in Tuchel’s previous 14 games was outwitted and embarrassed by one which had struggled to score this season. Chelsea has four days to recover before it faces Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals.
RESULT: Chelsea 2 (Pulisic 27, Mount 71) lost to West Brom 5 (Pereira 45+2, 45+4; Robinson 63, 90+1; Diagne 68)