West Ham United earned a sensational and hard-fought victory as they defeated Chelsea 3-2 at the London Stadium to give themselves some breathing room in the Premier League’s top four.
There is always a lot of buzz surrounding all-London fixtures, and this one certainly lived up to the billing with five goals, two of them exquisite strikes, and the usual grit and determination seen in a derby day performance.
It was another outstanding win for the Hammers and a step in the right direction as they bounced back from recent defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City. Manager David Moyes will have been disappointed with the sloppy goals they gave away, but will have been pleased with his side’s response after going behind twice. The Scotsman’s in-game management was incredibly astute and his second half tweaks that saw Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma join the attack, allowed his side to get on the front foot and cause problems for Chelsea.
Extraordinary from Arthur Masuaku!
David Moyes loves it! 😅
West Ham had an early chance as Michail Antonio swung in a cross from the left, but the rising Tomas Soucek could not direct his header on target. Straight down the other end, Chelsea’s top scorer Reece James tried his luck from range but his effort was gathered by Lukasz Fabianski. After a rather dull half, Chelsea broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark as Thiago Silva headed home from a corner. The Brazilian then prevented a goal down the other end almost immediately as he cleared Vladimir Coufal’s goalward effort as Edouard Mendy was beaten.
The Hammers found their way back into the game after a Chelsea error led to Mendy fouling Bowen in the box and Manuel Lanzini stepped up to convert from the penalty spot, but the visitors restored their lead before the break as Mason Mount finished a swift counter-attack with a volley that nestled in at the near post.
West Ham were able to pull level for the second time in the match ten minutes into the second half as Bowen fired in a low effort into the far corner, bringing the London Stadium back to life. Chelsea continued to threaten but West Ham were looking resolute and determined to prevent the Blues from grabbing a third.
After former Blue Kurt Zouma was forced off with an injury, Spaniard Fornals was called into action to add a creative spark in the Hammers attack in the hopes of potentially nicking the game. It was clear that the additions of Fornals and Benrahma were having an effect and it galvanised West Ham to find a winner, albeit a fortuitous one. Substitute Artur Masuaku was on the left flank and it was clear that he was looking to put a ball into the box, but a mis-hit confused Mendy in the goal and he couldn’t prevent the ball from hitting the back of the net.
The result meant Chelsea suffered their second defeat of the season and will be music to the ears of title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. The Reds can overtake Chelsea at the summit if they beat Wolves this afternoon.