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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at the London Stadium

Blues self-destruct and crash 3-2 at West Ham after twice leading

By Paul Lagan at The London Stadium

West Ham 3 v Chelsea 2

West Ham produced the shock of the season by scoring three goals as they downed league leaders Chelsea 3-2 in a pulsating see-sawing encounter at the London Stadium.

The east Londoners did it the hard way, coming from behind twice before smashing home the winner with four minutes left on the clock.

The five-goal thriller was as much about Chelsea’s ability to self-destruct as it was about the home side’s determination to win.

Jorginho and Mendy conspired to throw the game away with costly errors after Thiago Silva and Mason Mount twice put the west Londoners in charge twice.

The Blues had not conceded more than a goal all season.

Chelsea will drop to third in the league if results for Manchester City and Liverpool later today go as expected.

Both sides made tentative starts, with the visitors just about having the edge of possession.

But on seven minutes, the Hammers had the first real chance. Jarrod Bowen picked up a loose pass from Thiago Silva and let fly from 20 yards. The ball zipped inches over Mendy’s crossbar. Tomas Soucek got ahead of Toni Rudiger, but his header from a left byline cross was glancing and went wide of the Chelsea goal.

Chelsea responded on 10 minutes with a low drive by Reece James at the edge of the West Ham penalty area, and Lukas Fabianski did well to snaffle the ball at the foot of his right post.

On 20 minutes, Craig Dawson had a shot, albeit a weak one through a crowded six-yard box. It was on target, but Mendy had no problems grabbing it.

Jorginho entered referee Andre Marriner’s little black book for showing dissent and throwing the ball away in a tantrum when he didn’t get what he thought was a foul in his favour.

The Blues finally broke through the deep Hammers rearguard on 26 minutes. A deep James cross was met by the head on an unchallenged Kai Havertz. But the German’s header was not strong enough or directed far enough away from Fabianski to trouble the goalkeeper.

Despite West Ham having all their players in their penalty area to defend corners, they still allowed Silva free reign to power home a downward header on 30 minutes - this time it was directed wide of the desperate Fabianski and the ball nestle into the back of the net.

The Brazil defender then, a minute later, hacked the ball off his goal line from an angled daisy-cuter from Vladimir Coufal.

West Ham got a penalty on 39 minutes when Chelsea self-destructed in the most stupid of ways.

Once again after his error against Manchester United, Jorginho made a calamitous error with a loose ball. But Mendy compounded the situation by not hacking the ball clear into the stands. Instead, he made a bonkers decision to go toe-to-toe with Bowen. But the winger was tripped by the goalkeeper and hit the deck.

It as a simple decision to award the spot kick, which Manuel Lanzini duly smacked home for the equaliser.

Chelsea were behind for four minutes and it was superstar Mason Mount who scored a worldly.

The Blues snatched the ball off the Hammers in midfield.

The ball was fed to Ziyech on the left, and he produced a sensational cross-field ball that was volleyed home on the apex of the six-yard box by Mount.

Havertz limped off the pitch at half-time and never repaired for the restart - Romelu Lukaku replaced the German forward.

There ere no other changes by either side.

The home side opted to push the Blues back as early as possible in search of the second equaliser and they achieved that goal on 56 minutes. After a period of solid possession by the Hammers, The Blues failed to clear the ball at the edge of their penalty area and Bowen, a torn in the Chelsea defence was on hand to steer the perfect curled ball past a prone Chelsea defence, but more importantly past Mendy and the ball settled in the back of his net.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel decided to bring in wide player Callum Hudson-Odoi, with Ziyech coming off on 64 minutes.

Ex-Blue Kurt Zouma suffered an injury with 20 minute to go and was replaced by Pablo Fornals.

Chelsea then replaced left back Alonso with forward Christian Pulisic on 73 minutes.

Bowen should have score the home side’s third after brilliant set-up play by Michail Antonio on 76 minutes, but Bowen’s outstretched leg could not direct the ball into the empty net.

Said Benrahma entered the fray for the Hammers - Lanzini made way with six minutes left on the clock.

With four minutes left, the Hammers struck in devastating fashion.

A quick throw-in on the left saw substitute Artur Masuaku try an audacious shot from the byline, it curled and zipped past a bemused Mendy, who only spotted the danger at the last possible second and dived forlornly as the ball arrowed into the back of his net.

Team: West Ham United: Fabianski, Zouma, Coufal, Antonio, Lanzini, Dawson, Bowen, Diop, Soucek, Johnson, Rice

Subs: Arellano, Yarmolenko, Fornals, Vlasic, Noble, Benrahma, Masuaku, Kral, Ashby

Chelsea: Mendy, Rudiger, Alonso, Christensen, Jorginho, Silva, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Ziyech, James, Havertz

Referee: Andre Marriner


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