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Hazard leads Chelsea to 3-0 win over West Brom in EPL

IANS  |  London 

Belgian playmaker scored a brace here to take defending champions Chelsea to a 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion as the defending champions jumped to the fourth spot in the English

Yet the contest at the on Monday was not as lopsided as the score would indicate, with last-placed West Brom playing like a team determined to avoid relegation, reports

The Antonio Conte-coached Chelsea, who began the match in fifth-place after two straight losses, were not impressive during the opening minutes.

The visitors showed surprising ambition on offence, even after losing striker to in the fourth minute.

It was only after the Baggies twice threatened the Chelsea goal that the hosts seemed to become fully engaged, allowing the vast difference in talent between the two sides to become evident.

Hazard led the way, putting the Blues up 1-0 in the 25th minute with an assist from French striker Olivier Giroud, making his first start since coming over from fellow club Arsenal.

Though Chelsea were dominant for the rest of the first half, West Brom showed no sign of throwing in the towel and their hopes were lifted in the 57th minute as Salomon Rondon let loose from close range, but made the stop.

Even so, nearly scored with a thunderous header on the ensuing corner and West Brom continued with the wind at their backs until the 63rd minute, when right wing-back made it 2-0 for Chelsea after a give-and-go with Spanish midfielder

The third goal came eight minutes later courtesy of Hazard, with an assist from Spanish striker Alvaro Morata, back on the pitch after missing almost a month with back problems.

"We must be satisfied to win the game and get the three points," Conte was quoted as saying to chelseafc.com.

"I think we can play better, with more confidence, and after two bad defeats our confidence went down.

We started the game with a bit of difficulty but after we scored we controlled the game and created many chances.

"To get three points, show the will to fight and keep another clean sheet was important and we must continue in this way."

The win lifts Chelsea to fourth place with 53 points, one fewer than third-place and one more than Tottenham Hotspur. West Brom are seven points from safety with 11 matches left.

--IANS

pur/bg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 13:12 IST
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