Chelsea crushes West Brom 4-0 to put Pulis job in doubt
WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) — Chelsea crushed West Bromwich Albion 4-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday to put Baggies boss Tony Pulis’ position under ever more threat.
It was the joint-heaviest defeat of Pulis’ three-year reign at The Hawthorns.
A brace from Eden Hazard, along with goals from Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso, saw the Blues coast to their fourth successive league win and go to second.
Pulis’ team has gone 11 games without a victory, and this one was witnessed by West Brom’s Chinese owner, Guochuan Lai, and a home crowd that delivered its verdict with a loud chorus of “Pulis out” at the end.
Chelsea took control with the opener in the 17th minute.
Hazard rolled past Gareth Barry and rifled in a shot that Ben Foster could push only into Morata’s path, with the Spaniard able to do the rest.
The roles were reversed for Chelsea’s second six minutes later, which came after Hazard had been booked for clattering into Grzegorz Krychowiak. Cesc Fabregas moved the ball to Morata and the forward, with his back to goal, sent a fine first-time flick through for Hazard, who rounded Foster to double the lead.
Pulis’ teams are renowned for their strength at set-pieces so he must have been fuming to see Alonso left all alone at the back post to convert Fabregas’ free kick with West Brom conceding three goals in a 21-minute span.
Chelsea was in cruise control and, when Hazard added another in the 62nd, they could turn attention to the long midweek trip to Qarabag in the Champions League.
Once more Hazard was allowed lots of space when Fabregas spotted him, and he brought the ball down, moved inside Ahmed Hegazi and picked his spot to make it 4-0.