Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas described the Blues’ second fixture under his reign as 'very emotional' and admitted that 'anxiety' almost got the better of his team.
His first Stamford Bridge fixture was bound to be exciting for the new boss, but after Chelsea went 1-0 down against West Brom, they managed to keep it together to fight back two goals for the 2-1 win.
“Today it was a very emotional game," said Villas-Boas. "The emotional part of the game was the main difference from the first half to the second half.
“In the first half we suffered a little bit with anxiety because we conceded the first goal too early, and we couldn't express ourselves.
“Then when you find the back of the net for the 1-1, the emotional impact on the opponent is tremendous and we felt very confident to search for the second goal, and we found it.
“We had a fantastic second half and played in their half and created numerous opportunities. We were dominant like we should have been in the first half.”
Villas-Boas, who brought Salomon Kalou off for goal scorer Florent Malouda and switched Fernando Torres for Didier Drogba later on, said that the tactical substitutions were irrelevant. The 33-year-old instead put the comeback down to a positive mental attitude.
“It has nothing to do with the changes we made," he added. "The half-time talk was for the players to release themselves from the anxiety they were suffering because the public was anxious and the players were anxious.
“The first goal was very early and the crowd became anxious and that passed onto the pitch.
"Their mental attitude for the second half was good. There was a sense of realising the space and better options without being anxious like they were in the first half. It goes down to them.
"We had to remove the anxiety and be mentally tranquil.”
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