ROBERTO Di Matteo warned his players they must learn - and quickly - after defensive errors from set-pieces saw them thrashed 6-0 at Chelsea.

The Baggies boss was disappointed by the manner of the defeat but did feel the scoreline at Stamford Bridge was harsh on his troops.

Last season's Barclays Premier League top scorer Didier Drogba proved Albion's chief tormentor courtesy of a 23-minute hat-trick.

Florent Malouda started the rout with the first of his double in the sixth minute as he punished Scott Carson's spill.

But the visitors remained in the game until seconds before the break when Drogba exposed a flaw in the Baggies' wall with a free-kick strike.

The Ivory Coast hitman then capitalised on poor defending at a corner early in the second half and Frank Lampard also got on the scoresheet in the 63rd minute as the champions turned on the style.

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"We'll have to analyse this game and keep working on the training pitch on the mistakes we made and see what we've done wrong today," said Di Matteo, who admitted it was a tough decision to leave Jonas Olsson out of his starting XI in favour of Pablo Ibanez and Gabriel Tamas at centre-half.

"We'll then hopefully get our first points next Saturday.

"This is a tough place to come and you could see today that small mistakes and little details make all the difference.

"We already knew that but we need to learn and improve quickly.

"We'll have to pick the players up this week.

"But we've got our first home game next week - and it's a new game.

"Not many teams come away from Chelsea with a point.

"They're a strong team in midfield and up front.

"It was just a shame we conceded an early goal and then one just before half-time because it was from our mistakes, not really good play by Chelsea, that they scored.

"It makes it difficult when you're 2-0 down at half-time against a team like Chelsea.

"You can see why they are champions.

"They play quick football and are strong, powerful and confident.

"It is difficult to play against them.

"But I thought the scoreline was a bit harsh. I don't think there was six goals in it.

"I don't think my players were nervous - it was just individual mistakes, really.

"The second goal was a mistake in the wall, the third goal was from a corner.

"We need to be better than that because it would have kept us in the game and given us a chance."

The West London encounter was just the first of four tough opening away games against the traditional 'big four'.

And Di Matteo is hoping to add new faces before the transfer window closes at the end of this month to improve competition within his squad for the uphill task ahead.

"The fixtures are as tough as you get playing Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in your first four away games," Di Matteo added.

"It's probably difficult for any team let alone a newly-promoted team to play these four clubs away first.

"It certainly makes it very difficult for us - much more difficult than it is already for us.

"We're still trying to strengthen the team by bringing in a few new faces.

"We'll hopefully be able to do this and increase competition before the window closes."