Another week, another unfortunate defeat to one of the best sides in European football. On this occasion, the Premier League fixture computer decided to send us down to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in what was their first home game under new manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The impressive Shane Long gave us the lead inside the first four minutes after dispossessing and outmuscling Alex, before finishing calmly past Hilario in the Chelsea goal. Considering the pressure on him to finish, the way Long took his goal was superb, and certainly seems to suggest that he was money well spent earlier in the transfer window.
Despite creating one or two chances ourselves, most of the remainder of the game was spent with Chelsea in possession as they tried to get back into the game. Towards the end of the first half, Ben Foster made two impressive saves and the defence was marshalled by the outstanding Jonas Olsson.
Even though we were 1-0 up at half-time, the realistic view suggested that it was only a matter of time before they equalised. Unfortunately, this view was right, as Nicolas Anelka equalised inside the opening ten minutes of the second half with a deflected shot after Nicky Shorey was dispossessed deep inside his own half.
The hosts scored a winner with just seven minutes remaining through Florent Malouda, but the Albion fans in attendance acknowledged the impressive display from their side by applauding every single player off the pitch at the final whistle.
As with the Manchester United game, we were certainly not outplayed and had undoubtedly done enough to justifiably claim that we deserved a draw. Long and Somen Tchoyi once again caused a top defence problems, while we also looked relatively solid defensively considering the quality of the opposition.
We had a chance to put another unlucky defeat behind us with a visit to Bournemouth in the Carling Cup second round on Tuesday night. Despite making eleven changes to the starting line-up and not including any of the players who started at Chelsea in the matchday squad, we comfortably negotiated a game which had the potential to be something of a banana skin.
The game was won thanks to two goals from Marc-Antoine Fortune, and a goal each from fit-again Jerome Thomas and Simon Cox. However, the real star of the show was Graham Dorrans. The Scottish midfielder, who has so far only featured in the final five minutes of the Chelsea game in the Premier League, was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch. On this evidence, I think we could be seeing Dorrans and possibly Thomas in the starting line-up in the Premier League at some point soon.
With just five days remaining until the transfer window closes, there is bound to be a fair amount of speculation linking us with various different players. There has still been no progress on the Owen Hargreaves transfer, although we have been linked with Manchester City Nedum Onuaha in one or two papers over the last couple of days.
With the possibility of one or two new players arriving before the transfer window closes, it could be a busy few days for Albion, as we entertain Stoke City, who we have not beaten for eight years, on Sunday in the Premier League. Let’s hope our luck changes on Sunday against the Potters!
Have your say on Albion's week at Baggies Banter here.