WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) — Victor Anichebe grabbed a late equalizer for relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion to stun Chelsea on Tuesday, with the Premier League leaders barely looking like potential champions in a 1-1 draw.
Chelsea was poised to move four points clear at the top of the standings after defender Branislav Ivanovic's stoppage-time strike in the first half at The Hawthorns.
But Anichebe headed home his third goal of the season in the 87th minute to thwart Chelsea and lift West Brom out of the drop zone on goal difference.
"For 60 minutes there was only one team, and that team couldn't kill the game, especially in the first 15 minutes of the second half," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. "For (the next) 10 minutes the game was poor, and then for the last 20 minutes only one team and that team fought a lot to get the goal and the point, and in the end they deserve it."
Chelsea is just two points ahead of Arsenal at the top, ahead of the second-place Gunners hosting Manchester United on Wednesday.
Manchester City also has a chance to move to the top by beating Sunderland if Arsenal slips up.
This was a night when the hype following Chelsea's wins over Manchester City and Newcastle was punctured.
Only Willian can claim to have had an impressive game, primarily pulling the strings and setting up Chelsea's goal.
From Willian's corner into the near post, center back David Luiz was left unmarked to flick the ball on with his right foot to the far post where Ivanovic slotted home from three yards (meters).
"In the first half we defended well, limited Chelsea's chances, and in the second we counter-attacked well and showed a good mentality," West Brom manager Pepe Mel said.
After the break Willian enjoyed a further three driven efforts, all of which were saved by home goalkeeper Ben Foster.
At least the home side showed greater attacking intent in the second period as James Morrison fired wide, Thievy Bifouma flashed a shot through the six-yard (meter) box, while captain Chris Brunt sent a half-volley beyond the post.
With Anichebe on for Bifouma in the 73rd minute, the Nigerian glanced home Saido Berahino's cross three minutes from time.
"We were not strong enough to kill the game," Mourinho said. "They had a reaction and we couldn't cope with the reaction. The team stayed back, we were too deep.
"I thought even if I sent on some attacking players it wouldn't help because we were under pressure. It was impossible for my defenders to get out of the first third of the pitch."