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  • By Paul Lagan

Blues sunk by last-minute strike by Yarmolenko as West Ham snatch all three points in pulsating 3-2

London Stadium

West Ham United 3 Chelsea 2

Willian scored a brace but it wasn’t enough as West Ham scored a late winner at the London Stadium tonight to beat the Blues 3-2 in a pulsating see-saw derby.

Substitute Andryi Yarmolenko was left alone on 90 minutes before he cut in from the right and let fly with a wonderful left footer that flashed past Kepa.

The Blues were indifferent at best while the Hammers kept alive their Premier League status with three precious points. The Blues took the lead only to go behind early in the second half - Willian smashed home a wonderful equalising free-kick before the Ukrainian’s decisive strike.

Chelsea are now just two points ahead of Manchester United and Wolves in fourth spot, while the Hammers are three points about the relegation spot.

Chelsea started well with Marcos Alonso trying a speculative overhead kick on five minutes, from just outside the six yard box. But ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Fabianski easily snaffled the weak effort.

Willian forced Fabianski into a fine save on 11 minutes. The Brazil wide man, cut in from the left and let fly with a smart, curling right-footer.

West Ham finally got some traction in the game and Antonio was unfortunate not to open the score when the striker cut through the Chelsea defence but screwed his right-footer across Kepa but wide of goal on 13 minutes.

Christian Pulisic should have scored on 20 minutes when a quick break saw Cesar Azpilicueta ping the ball in from the right, Tammy Abraham let the ball go under his foot and the in-running US. Winger clipped the ball inches over the West Ham crossbar.

Chelsea’s inability to defend simple set pieces continued on 34 minutes when at the far post, Soucek tucked home after challenging Azpilicueta.

VAR then had a look to check a possible offside and adjudged Antonio who was on the ground with the duo was offside and the goal was disallowed.

Seconds later and Pulisic was clattered by Diop in the penalty area - up stepped Willian who smashed the ball home from the spot kick, sending Fabianski the wrong way in the process.

Deep into added time, another regulation corner resulted in the equaliser as Soucek out jumped Azpilicueta to head the ball into the back of the net while Kepa lost the flight of the ball.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

The home side started the second half brilliantly and were rewarded, on 52 minutes, when Alonso failed to prevent Bowen’s cross on the right and Antonio was on hand to tuck the ball home from close range.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard immediately replaced Mateo Kovacic with Mason Mount.

Abraham was soon to follow on 63 minutes - Olivier Giroud replacing him while Ruben Loftus-Cheek took Ross Barkley.

The visitors had a free-kick 25 yards away from goal after Pulisic was hacked down by Declan Rice. Willian thumped a brilliant right-footer that smacked off Fabianski’s left post and into the net to level the scores.

With Chelsea pushing for the winner, they were undone with a quick break. Alonso was nowhere to be seen at his left back position as Yarmolenko found himself with just Antonio Rudiger to beat before he smashed the ball past Kepa to give the home side all three points.

Teams: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso, Barkley, Kante, Kovacic, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic

Subs: Caballero, Zouma, James, Jorginho, Gilmour, Mount, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud

West Ham, Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Fornals, Rice, Soucek, Bowen, Lanzini, Antonio

Subs: Randolph, Johnson, Balbuena, Wilshere, Lewis, Yarmolenko, F Anderson, Xante Silva, Ajeti

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