Chelsea v West Brom – Story of the match
Eden Hazard was the star of the show for the home side.
Chelsea eased the growing pressure on Antonio Conte and returned to the Premier League’s top four with a convincing 3-0 win over West Brom.
Two goals from Eden Hazard and another from Victor Moses ended a run of five fixtures without victory, took them back above rivals Tottenham and up to fourth – and left 20th-placed West Brom seven points from safety.
The visitors also remain five points behind Stoke, the team nearest to them in the table, and with 11 fixtures remaining are facing a battle for survival. New West Brom striker Daniel Sturridge lasted just three minutes on his return to Stamford Bridge before succumbing to an apparent hamstring injury.
Tweet of the match
Magnificent goal from Hazard. What a player.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 12, 2018
Star man – Eden Hazard
Champions Chelsea won by a convincing margin in the end and much of that was down to the individual talents of their prized asset. He conjured two goals out of very little, finishing emphatically on each occasion to take his tally to 15 for the season and ease the pressure on under-fire manager Conte.
Moment of the match
Both of Hazard’s goals were special, although the first one possibly just edged it. The Belgium forward collected the ball on the edge of the box, played a clever one-two with striker Olivier Giroud and then confidently buried the ball into the bottom left corner of Ben Foster’s goal. He has now scored seven Premier League goals against the Baggies, more than he has managed against any other club.
Struggling West Brom have now failed to win on their last 17 visits to Stamford Bridge in all competitions. Their previous victory on this ground – a 1-0 success – came in a League Cup tie in January 1984.
In with the crowd
Despite incessant speculation surrounding the future of Blues boss Conte, the home crowd continue to chant his name and did so repeatedly on Monday evening. There was still plenty of anxiety in the stands though as Chelsea’s display – on the back of defeats to Bournemouth and Watford – was not entirely convincing and the beleaguered Baggies had a number of chances to snatch a share of the spoils before the hosts eventually made the game safe.
Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois 6 (out of 10), Antonio Rudiger 6, Andreas Christensen 6, Cesar Azpilicueta 7, Victor Moses 7, Cesc Fabregas 7, N’Golo Kante 6, Pedro 7, Eden Hazard 9, Olivier Giroud 6. Subs: Alvaro Morata (on for Giroud, 61) 5, Gary Cahill (on for Christensen, 74) 5, Willian (on for Pedro, 80) 5.
West Brom: Ben Foster 6, Craig Dawson 6, Ahmed Hegazi 7, Jonny Evans 6, Kieran Gibbs 5, Grzegorz Krychowiak 6, Gareth Barry 6, Chris Brunt 5, Matt Phillips 6, Daniel Sturridge 5, Salomon Rondon 6. Subs: Jay Rodriguez (on for Sturridge, 4) 5, Oliver Burke (on for Brunt, 46) 5, Claudio Yacob (on for Barry, 81) 5.
Who’s up next?
Chelsea v Hull (FA Cup fifth round, February 16)
West Brom v Southampton (FA Cup fifth round, February 17)