Debutant Pedro Rodriguez inspired 10-man Chelsea to a 3-2 victory at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, while Manchester City recaptured the Premier League summit by winning 2-0 at Everton.
Pedro scored Chelsea’s opener and created a goal for Diego Costa as Jose Mourinho’s side went 2-0 up at The Hawthorns. Having earlier missed a penalty, James Morrison scored twice in response, but despite captain John Terry’s red card for a last-man foul, Cesar Azpilicueta’s first league goal proved enough to give Chelsea a first victory of the Premier League season.
“I know many people are disappointed with this result. People love Chelsea to lose again. I’m so happy the players got what they deserve.
“Four points in three matches is not enough. The feeling is we are fighting against a lot. But today we won,” said Mourinho later.
It was Chelsea’s first win at West Brom in five attempts and saw the defending champion belatedly find its gear after a 2-2 draw with Swansea City and that chastening defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
It finished the weekend in ninth place, five points below Manchester City, which replaced Leicester City at the top after second-half goals by Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri put paid to Everton.
Morrison squandered an early chance to put West Brom ahead when his penalty was blocked by Thibaut Courtois after Nemanja Matic had tripped Callum McManaman.
Fifteen minutes later, Pedro announced his arrival in English football by darting infield from the right, exchanging passes with Eden Hazard and finding the bottom-right corner with the aid of a deflection.
Chelsea’s fans launched into a chorus of ‘Are you watching Manchester?’ and United’s supporters will have found themselves looking away again 10 minutes later when Pedro’s cross-shot was turned in by Costa.
Morrison reduced the arrears by bludgeoning home when Salomon Rondon hooked James McClean’s cross back into the box, only for Azpilicueta to restore the visitors’ two-goal cushion in the 42nd minute by rolling in a shot after Costa had chested down Cesc Fabregas’s pass.
At Goodison Park, both sides hit the woodwork either side of half-time, with Romelu Lukaku skimming the crossbar from an Everton free-kick and David Silva rattling the post for City.
Lukaku had earlier seen a goal ruled out for offside, but it was City which took the lead on the hour.
Raheem Sterling glided into the Everton box from the left and slipped a pass to the overlapping Kolarov, who deceived Tim Howard with a near-post finish from an almost impossible angle.
After Vincent Kompany had cleared a header from Gareth Barry off the line, Nasri sealed victory in the 88th minute by playing a one-two with Yaya Toure and neatly lobbing Howard.
The results: West Brom 2 (Morrison 35, 59) lost to Chelsea 3 (Pedro 20, Costa 30, Azpilicueta 42); Everton 0 lost to Manchester City (Kolarov 60, Nasri 88); Watford 0 drew with Southampton 0.