Chelsea beat West Brom as tempers flare
LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) Goals from Didier Drogba and Joe Cole gave Premier League leaders Chelsea a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion in a bad-tempered Hawthorns clash today.
Drogba punished some half-hearted defending shortly after halftime to drill a low shot past Tomasz Kuszczak and Cole wrapped up the points with a close-range effort 10 minutes after replacing Damien Duff.
Nwankwo Kanu headed West Brom a lifeline with three minutes remaining but Chelsea hung on to move 18 points clear at the top before today's later matches.
In between their goals, Chelsea winger Arjen Robben was shown a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Jonathan Greening -- a decision met with sarcastic applause towards referee Mark Halsey by Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho.
West Brom manager Bryan Robson had heated words with Mourinho when Chelsea's players came out late for the second half, and the pair clashed again when Drogba was the victim of a heavy challenge.
Liverpool can move above Manchester United into second place when they host Charlton Athletic later. United are in action against Wigan Athletic on Monday.
REUTERS PM PM2044