Chelsea thrashes West Brom in opener
LONDON -- Chelsea picked up where it left off last season with a 6-0 thrashing of newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.
I said last season I wanted to score goals and make history. I don't want to stop here. I want to carry on and put my name higher.” -- Didier Drogba
Florent Malouda opened the scoring for last season's title-winner in the sixth minute after West Brom goalkeeper Scott Carson spilled a free kick by Didier Drogba, who netted the first of his hat trick with another free kick just before half time.
Drogba's close-range finish made it 3-0 in the 55th and Frank Lampard added the fourth.
Ivory Coast striker Drogba's deflected goal in the 68th ensured Chelsea would finish the opening day of the Premier League season at the top of the table.
"It's a good start but there are difficult moments and they are coming," Drogba said.
France forward Malouda completed the rout shortly before full time, helping his side put last Sunday's Community Shield defeat by Manchester United emphatically behind it.
But Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose team ended last season with an 8-0 win over Wigan, refused to get carried away.
"We did our job, nothing special," he told the Press Association. "This team can show this kind of play, scoring a lot of goals. We had a difficult preseason, but now everything has come back to be OK."
Drogba scored 29 goals last season as Chelsea edged Manchester United for the title by a single point.
Of Chelsea's current squad, only Frank Lampard, in third place, has scored more goals than Drogba. The Ivory Coast striker is also the only non English player in Chelsea's top 10.
"I said last season I wanted to score goals and make history," Drogba said. "I don't want to stop here. I want to carry on and put my name higher."
It was a humbling return to the topflight for West Brom, who did find the net in the 18th only for Roman Bednar to be flagged offside.
"Playing the champions away on the first day, you know it is going to be tough, but I thought the scoreline was a bit harsh," said manager Roberto di Matteo, the former Chelsea midfielder who was given a warm reception by the home fans on his return to Stamford Bridge.
"There are not a lot of teams which come away from Stamford Bridge with much. We know we will have to learn very quickly, but on the upside, we will not be playing Chelsea every week."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.