Pedro shines on Chelsea debut, but what now for John Terry?

Defending champions finally get a win under their belt, but victory cannot hide the cracks in the Blues defence as Terry sees red

(Image credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

West Brom 2 Chelsea 3. Pedro took his Chelsea bow on Sunday as the defending champions won their first game of the season, but his goalscoring debut was overshadowed by yet more controversy as John Terry was shown a red card as the Baggies threatened to inflict more pain on Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea's new arrival, signed from Barcelona last week, opened his account after just 20 minutes and turned provider for Diego Costa ten minutes later.

It appeared that normal service had been resumed for the Blues, but things did not go according to plan for the rest of the afternoon. Even before they scored, Chelsea had a lucky escape when James Morrison missed a penalty, but he made amends by firing home after 35 minutes to make it 2-1.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Cesar Azpilicueta restored Chelsea's two-goal advantage, but when Terry was shown a harsh red card early in the second period for appearing to haul down Salomon Rondon, Chelsea's afternoon was in danger of turning sour. Morrison made it 3-2 soon after Terry's dismissal, but the Blues held on and Mourinho celebrated the final whistle by bellowing into a pitchside microphone.

"This was 90 minutes of the Premier League boiled down to its essence," says Rory Smith of The Times. "The torrential rain, the robust opponents, the nerve-shredding drama and the distinct scent of controversy all played their part in welcoming Pedro to his new home, the place where if anybody did read the script, they would think it faintly unrealistic."

After the game Mourinho declared that Chelsea would start training with ten men in a bid to counter the red cards his side have been picking up, and although he steered clear of criticising referee Mark Clattenburg his annoyance was clear.

He did, however, praise Pedro for his fine performance. But "beneath that public show of satisfaction must simmer familiar concerns," says Dominic Fifield of The Guardian. "Away from a front line now cranked into gear, the same issues remain. Chelsea are creaking at the back, those frailties that dogged them for periods against Swansea City and at the Etihad exposed once more."

Terry is now at a crossroads, believes Martin Keown of the BBC. He was substituted last week and sent off this, and he could now find it hard to get back into the team.

"He can still be an important player for Chelsea but it is important that Mourinho talks to him if his role at the club is changing," says the former Arsenal defender, who believes that Terry may have to accept a reduced role in the first team.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.