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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at The London Stadium

Billion dollar Blues blown away 3-1 by rugged, forceful and pragmatic Hammers


West Ham v Chelsea team sheet Picture: PauL Lagan

By Paul Lagan at The London Stadium

West Ham United 3 v Chelsea 1

Winning is the thing said Mauricio Pochettino when he took over the helm at Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Two games into the league season and it's just one point after West Ham inflicted a 3-1 humbling defeat on the billion-dollar west Londoners at the London Stadium this afternoon.

Swanky one-touch passing with a jet-inspired sense of attacking is developing as the signature for this latest incarnation of the former Champions League winners.

That's all good and well when the goals are going in the opposition's net.

But when they are not, and a less talented side is armed with a strategy of containment coupled with exhilarating counter-attacking of their own, then you have a problem.

And Chelsea have a problem.

An edgy defence which has yet to form into any cohesive network was exposed almost at will.

A misshapen midfield is in a similar situation while the attacking threat of Nicolas Jackson is only as good as the delivery of the ball.

Goals from Nayef Aguerd, Mikhail Antonio and a late penalty from Lucas Paqueta saw off the resistance of Chelsea who countered with a equaliser from Carney Chukwuemeka.

Robert Sanchez made a fine block to deny Tomas Soucek on five minutes following a deep corner.

But two minutes later from an identical corner, up stepped Nayef Aguerd, who rose above Conor Gallagher and headed home from six yards out into to the net to send the home fans into raptures.

The Blues thought they had a penalty on 10 minutes when Nicolas Jackson broke free into the Hammers penalty area. He was upended by Alphonse Areola but was adjudged to be offside.

VAR had a look and agreed with the linesman.

Chelsea recovered reasonably well and their build-up play looked neat and tidy.

But with the Hammers happy to sit back, the Blues, while dominating possession, were not carving out any gilt-edged chances.

Gallagher tried a speculative long-range effort on 21 minutes which Areola held comfortably.

But when they finally put pressure on the back four, that when they made inroad. They levelled the score on 27 minutes when midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka picked up the ball just in side the West Ham penalty area on the left. He side-stepped on defender, before tapping the ball to his right and unleashing a venomous right-footer that arrowed past Areola.

Lucas Paqueta clipped the Chelsea post on 35 minutes.

But right up the other end on 42 minutes Raheem Sterling went on a run and he was upended by Soucek to give the visitors a penalty.

VAR had a look but it was obvious and up stepped Enzo to take the spot kick. His stuttering run which was met by a fantastic save by Areola who dived to his left to parry the ball clear to keep the scores level.

Chukwuemeka injured himself deep into added time and was replaced at half-time by Mykhailo Mudryk.

There were no further changes made at the break.

The first chance went to the home side. A simple chip on the left by Emerson, sent Jared Bowen free.

But he took the ball a tad too far to his left, leaving him with a difficult shot across goal, which expectantly went wide of the Chelsea net.

But The Blues still struggled when they are pressed man to man. And So it proved on 54 minutes when striker Michail Antonio whacked the ball home from the edge of the penalty area past Sanchez after the Blues twice needlessly gave the ball away.

Moises Caicedo the £111million man, signed by Brighton last week entered the fray on 60 minutes. Off went left back Ben Chilwell.

The Blues reverted to a more stable-looking 4:4:2 with Caicedo holding the deep midfield role, allowing Enzo and Gallagher to take up slightly more advanced positions with Mudryk, originally put in the centre left of midfield given his natural left wing role.

Disaster struck for the Hammers on 68 minutes when goal-scorer Aguerd was given a second yellow card – a needless late challenge on Gallagher.

This forced Moyes to sacrifice Said Benrahma by Angleo Ogbonna.

The numerical advantage was not making it easier for Chelsea and Pochettino decided to bring on winger Noni Madueke on 75 minutes with Gallagher replaced.

West Ham responded by taking off Antonio and bringing on Pablo Fornals.

A half-hearted Levi Colwell effort went wide before Ward-Prowse, was replaced by Edson Alvarez with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Chelsea replaced Malo Gusto with striker Mason Burstow as Pochettino attempted to add some attacking prowess to his flagging charges.

Deep I to added time and the Hammers got a deserved penalty for their counter-attacking endeavours Caicedo produced a schoolboy error of a tackle on in-running Emerson, and it remained for Paqueta to slot coolly home to secure all three valuable points.

READ YANN TEAR'S REPORT FROM A WEST HAM PERSPECTIVE HERE


Teams: West Ham, Areola, Zouma, Coufal, Ward-Prowse, Antonio, Paqueta, Bowen, Benrahma, Aguerd, Soucek, Emerson

Subs: Fabianski, Johnson, Cresswell, Fornals, Cornet, Ings, Alvarez Ogbonna. Mubama

Chelsea: Sanchez, Disasi, Silva, Sterling, Enzo, Jackson, Chukwuemeka, Chilwell, Gallagher, Colwell, Gusto

Subs: Bergstrom, Cucurella, Mudryk, Madueke, Ugochukwu, Caicedo, Maatsen, Burtsow, Humphreys

Referee: John Brooks




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