West Bromwich Albion 0-4 Chelsea: Hazard exceptional as pressure tightens on Pulis

The West Bromwich Albion owner jetted in to see his side thrashed by Chelsea at the Hawthorns, Eden Hazard the stand-out figure.

West Bromwich Albion 0-4 Chelsea: Hazard exceptional as pressure tightens on Pulis
Hazard was in sublime form (photo: Getty Images / Darren Walsh)
West Brom
0 4
Chelsea
West Brom: Foster; Hegazi, Evans, McAuley, Gibbs; Krychowiak (Yacob 45'), Livermore, Barry; Phillips (McClean 84'), Rodriguez (Burke 72'), Rondon.
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilucueta, Cahill, Christensen; Zappacosta, Kante (Willian 77'), Bakayoko, Fabregas (Drinkwater 67'), Alonso; Hazard (Pedro 70'), Morata.
SCORE: 0-1, Morata 17'. 0-2, Hazard 23'. 0-3, Alonso 38'. 0-4, Hazard 62'.
REFEREE: Jonathan Moss (ENG): Booked - Hazard, Fabregas, Rondon, Morata.
INCIDENTS: Premier League fixture at the Hawthorns. Attendance 23,592.

Eden Hazard fired Chelsea to a fourth league win on the bounce in the Midlands, with West Bromwich Albion fans growing increasingly restless about Tony Pulis' future as they watched their side lose 4-0 on Saturday.

Hazard scored twice after playing a key role in Alvaro Morata's opener, Marcos Alonso scoring the other on a day where everything looked easy for the Premier League title holders.

Baggies shoot themselves in the foot

Some thumping early tackles from Jake Livermore and Matt Phillips had got the home crowd on side, with only a correctly raised offside flag preventing West Brom taking the lead as Salomon Rondon powered in an early header.

However, Chelsea's class soon became apparent, with Hazard stealing the show. Shaking off a knock, and the boo's of the home support, the Belgian fired a powerful shot towards goal that Ben Foster could only beat into the path of Morata, the striker making no mistake to put his side ahead.

Morata went from scorer to creator minutes later, a divine flick as the ball was played into him sending Hazard clear. With only Foster to beat, Hazard rounded the 'keeper with ease to send his side well clear after just 23 minutes.

It wasn't a case of lack of effort from the West Brom players, who were causing Chelsea more trouble than the scoreline suggested, Ahmed Hegazi proving that as he headed just wide from a set-piece delivery.

Woeful defending as Blues run riot

However, Hegazi was partly to blame as the Baggies shot themselves in the foot soon after, conceding a third.

Tugging at Morata aimlessly outside the area, the Egyptian conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position, Alonso tapping in unmarked at the back-post from Cesc Fabregas' delivery.

The introduction of Claudio Yacob at half-time cheered the home fans up a litte, but a fourth Chelsea goal served only to dampen the mood once more just past the hour mark.

Hazard bagged his second in style, plucking Fabregas' stunning pass out of the air before shaking off both Hegazi and McAuley and hammering past Foster down the middle of the goal.

A missed James McClean chance was the closest the hosts came to netting a consolation, the substitute sprinting through on goal before dragging an effort wide to Thibaut Courtois' left.

Chelsea were kind enough to stop it at four, but with chants of "we want Pulis out" easily heard around the ground, it's not hard to speculate that the 59-year-old may soon be out of a job.

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The Eden Hazard show

With Kevin de Bruyne having taken most of the 'best player in the league' shouts so far this season, Eden Hazard did himself no harm in those stakes with a stunning performance.

Having got up limping from a stern Gareth Barry challenge vitriolic abuse from the home support, Hazard didn't take long to shut the crowd up as his powerful shot allowed Morata to tap in.

He wasn't done there though, thumping into Grzegorz Krychowiak to pick up a booking, before skinning Foster to extend Chelsea's lead.

Not directly involved in the third goal, he made up for it by scoring the fourth with a sublime bit of play, crowning himself as Man of the Match with sheer ease.

Pulis' defensive solidity washed away

As good as Hazard was, the West Brom defence did themselves no favours in coping with the onslaught.

It wasn't a lack of effort from the Baggies, as is often the case with a manager on the ropes, but simple defensive mistakes that they're known to usually avoid.

Hazard was allowed too much room for the opener, whilst Gareth McAuley was far too deep as Morata assisted the second goal. However, it was the third that really took the biscuit.

Set-piece solidity is a trait that Tony Pulis prides himself on, so he was understandably furious as Alonso's task for the third was made as simple as it could have been, the Spaniard left completely alone as Fabregas' dinked ball flew across the penalty area.

Luiz's problems bigger than Conte's

As the Chelsea camp enjoyed a pleasing day, there was one man amongst the contingent that wouldn't have been best pleased with how the day unfolded.

After not being included in the 18-man-squad to face Manchester United, David Luiz travelled but was only named amongst the substitutes on Saturday.

With Conte overseeing an assured defensive performance from a side that won with such ease, the Brazilian defender may well be left wondering just when he will find his name back on the team sheet, with rumours of a rift between him and his manager growing.