Chelsea began the defence of their Premier League title with the biggest opening day win in the history of the league.
Blues legend Roberto Di Matteo wouldn’t have enjoyed his return to Stamford Bridge as he saw he side pulled apart.
Didier Drogba carried one where he left off last season by making it consecutive league hat-tricks, there was a brace for Florent Malouda and Frank Lampard got the first of his customary 20+ a season.
This was a slap in the face for the pundits who’d written off Carlo Ancelotti’s side following a poor pre-season and defeat to Manchester United in the Community Shield, but West Brom keeper Scott Carson and his defence certainly helped the Blues’ cause.
The champions were in front after only 6 minutes when Carson flapped at a Drogba freekick, Mikel reacted quickest, turning the ball goal wards allowing Malouda to slot home.
It would be a common theme as Carson again failed to hold a freekick midway through the half, this time from Lampard, but Malouda could only head over.
To their credit Di Matteo’s side did play some neat football at times, but they never threatened Chelsea, who doubled their lead in first half added time.
Drogba opened his account for the season from you guessed it, a freekick, as The Baggies’ wall folded completely in the face of the Ivorian’s strike.
Chelsea started the second half slowly, but West Brom’s failure to clear Malouda’a corner allowed Drogba to grab his second, firing home from six yards, and kill the contest.
Suddenly the tempo went up, with the likes of Essien and Mikel increasing the pressure in the middle of the park.
It soon told as Lampard finished a sweeping move involving, Essien, Mikel, Cole and Anelka to make it 4, and still 20 minutes to play.
Drogba completed a perfect day personally soon after, his long-range effort deflecting past Carson, before Malouda rounded the keeper in stoppage time to make it 6 of the best for the defending champions.
Yossi Benayoun was able to make a solid if unspectacular debut, replacing Lampard who was a doubt for the game.
The most pleasing thing about this performance was it came in no more than 3rd gear, Ancelotti’s side were far from their best, and despite disappointing World Cups for many of the home side, the goals flowed once more.
With Ramires also to come into the side the Blues suddenly look a powerful force once more, and have thrown down the gauntlet to United and co.
It may not have been traditional opening day sunshine in SW6, but this kind of result is becoming regular for Carlo Ancelotti’s Double winners.
Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Ferreria (Ivanovic 60), Terry, Alex, Essien, Lampard (Benayoun 64), Mikel, Malouda, Drogba (Kalou 70), Anelka.
West Brom: Carson, Cech, Pablo, Tamas, Jara, Morrison, Brunt, Thomas (Barnes 84), Dorrans (Cox 67), Mulumbu, Bednar (Miller 67).
Man of the Match: Didier Drogba