Hiddink rues dropped points as Chelsea falter again

Published 01/14/2016, 3:40 AM EST
Football Soccer – Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion – Barclays Premier League – Stamford Bridge – 13/1/16. Chelsea’s Diego Costa clashes with West Brom’s Boaz Myhill at the end of the game. Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley


By William Schomberg

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LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea interim coach Guus Hiddink lamented two dropped points as the champions’ hopes of clawing their way back up the Premier League table were dented by a 2-2 home draw with West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

A tap-in by Cesar Azpilicueta and an own goal by Gareth McAuley were cancelled out either side of halftime by fine strikes from outside the box by Craig Gardner and James McClean.

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Struggling Chelsea, who were hovering just above the relegation zone until recently, are now unbeaten in five league games, a run which began immediately after the departure of Jose Mourinho, the most successful manager in the club’s history.

Football Soccer – Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion – Barclays Premier League – Stamford Bridge – 13/1/16. Chelsea’s Diego Costa, John Obi Mikel, Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry with referee Anthony Taylor at the end of the game. Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley

But they remain in the bottom half of the table and their only chance of silverware this season lies elsewhere.

Hiddink said the prospect of claiming one of the four Champions League spots was looking harder.

“As long as it is possible to get, mathematically, the fourth position in the Champions League, then we go for it,” he told reporters.

“But then we have to win all the games at home at least.”

Hiddink said in his programme notes that the club was taking the FA Cup “very seriously”.

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The London club will also fight for a place in the Champions League last eight against Paris Saint Germain when the competition resumes next month.

West Brom coach Tony Pulis praised his players for getting back into the match.

“The lads worked hard enough as a team and as a group to get something out of the game,” he said.

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(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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