Chelsea beats West Brom in opener

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 2:52 PM ET

London, England – Didier Drogba scored three times to help Chelsea coast to a 6-0 win over West Bromwich at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to open the Premiership season.

The defending champions needed just six minutes to move in front as Florent Malouda fired home a rebound, while Drogba scored from a free kick just before halftime.

The Ivory Coast international then doubled his tally in the 55th minute before Lampard added a fourth goal. Drogba completed his hat trick five minutes later and Malouda capped the scoring in the 90th minute.

A powerful free kick from Drogba led to the first goal as West Bromwich goalkeeper Scott Carson failed to hold the effort, leaving Malouda to smash home the rebound.

Malouda then went close with a shot from inside the area before he headed another rebound attempt over the crossbar.

However, Drogba ripped a free kick from 30 yards that slipped through the wall and snuck inside the right post, putting Chelsea up 2-0 at the break.

The Baggies tried to cut their deficit in half as Graham Dorrans went close with a free kick, but just one minute later, they found themselves down 3-0.

John Terry had a header cleared off the goal line from a corner kick, but Drogba was on hand to pounce on the rebound, while a nice build up eight minutes later led to Chelsea's fourth goal.

Ashley Cole took a pass inside the area on the left and squared the ball to Lampard, who rolled it inside the left post from 12 yards.

Drogba got a bit of good fortune in scoring his third goal as his shot deflected off of a West Brom defender and left Carson with no chance, while Malouda claimed a second goal to complete the thrashing.

Promoted side Blackpool produced the most surprising result of the day with a 4-0 victory at Wigan that saw Marlon Harewood score twice, while Tottenham and Manchester City played to a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane.

Aston Villa looked impressive in beating West Ham, 3-0, Nikola Kalinic scored a first-half goal as Blackburn downed Everton, 1-0, Bolton and Fulham finished 0-0, Wolverhampton got past Stoke City, 2-1, and Birmingham came from two goals down in the final 15 minutes to claim a 2-2 draw at Sunderland.


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