You can read 9 more articles this month
THIS was a flat, off-colour performance from a Chelsea side that had being showing real promise under manager Frank Lampard.
Aaron Cresswell scored the only goal of this match as West Ham won this London derby. In so doing, they eased some of the pressure on under-fire boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Meanwhile, the Chelsea manager remains confident ahead of Wednesday’s match against Aston Villa.
“I still believe in the squad,” said Lampard, a former West Ham player. “There will be questions that will be asked but I do believe in the squad.
“This is not the time for harsh reactions or judgements. It’s time for a look at a bit of character to see how our reaction is for Aston Villa.”
It would have been very different had Chelsea’s players imposed themselves from the start of the match. However, it proved to be a frustrating first half for the home supporters.
Against a struggling West Ham, who came into the match without a win in nine matches, the home side should easily have taken control of their opponents.
Reece James’s deflected shot hit the woodwork on 23 minutes. It is the closest they got, and as the match wore on, the goal-scoring opportunities soon dried up.
Lampard had rested N’Golo Kante, Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian. In addition, Olivier Giroud was spearheading the attack for Chelsea in the injury-enforced absence of Tammy Abraham.
The Frenchman, who hadn’t started a match since August, showed his lack of match sharpness with a poor display.
West Ham’s goal came shortly after the interval, and after a period of pressure from the away side.
Cresswell, one of the better performers for the visitors, found space in the Chelsea penalty area. He cleverly cut in onto his right foot away from the defender before curling the ball low beyond the diving Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Few could have blamed West Ham’s players for the euphoric celebrations at the final whistle. This was their first win at Stamford Bridge in 17 years.
West Ham’s players, including 33-year-old goalkeeper David Martin making his league debut for the club, reacted jubilantly to the win. At the final whistle, he passionately embraced his father, club legend Alvin Martin.
Pellegrini said: “Yes [I’m pleased], for the result and not conceding goals. The most difficult thing was not to be worried about the job or the future, it was to keep the players keeping the style.”
West Ham travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers looking to build upon the result.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.