After lamenting that the first half of the Chelsea v West Ham derby was 45 minutes of my life I’d never get back, the match turned into a frantic thriller. In the space of half an hour the scoreline went from 0-1 to 1-1, then 2-1, then 2-2, then back to 2-1, thanks to a
After lamenting that the first half of the Chelsea v West Ham derby was 45 minutes of my life I’d never get back, the match turned into a frantic thriller.
In the space of half an hour the scoreline went from 0-1 to 1-1, then 2-1, then 2-2, then back to 2-1, thanks to a last-gasp VAR decision that handed the Blues a victory they barely deserved.
It will be interesting to see if Chelsea can edge yet another London derby next weekend as they travel half a mile down Fulham Road to face the Whites on Saturday lunchtime.
The tail end of this summer’s transfer window felt like it was caught in a gale, banging open and shut as the Blues’ new owner Todd Boehly splashed the cash to prove he’s every bit as enthusiastic an investor as the last guy.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barca, Denis Zakaria from Juve and Wesley Fofana from Leicester were headline arrivals, while Callum Hudson-Odoi left by the back door for a season’s loan in Germany. But in all, if you include the youth squad loans and a handful of development squad departures, a boggling 57 players came and went from the club!
The new-look first team needs to rapidly gel after the players chosen to face the Irons chose to spend much of the game moving the ball sideways. At times it felt like watching 11 crabs scuttling around on a beach.
Thomas Tuchel praised the Hammers’ “well-structured and disciplined” defending (and he’ll encounter more of the same at Craven Cottage) but he’ll have to persuade his crabs to change their ways, click their claws and move forwards.
After a frustrating first half in which Chelsea had eight corners (taken by Conor Gallagher and Marc Cucurella – pictured top) and made none of them count, the Chelsea v West Ham game came to life after the Irons went ahead on 62 minutes.
It woke the Blues, who levelled 14 minutes later through sub Ben Chilwell, before fellow sub Kai Havertz appeared to have won it on 88 minutes, firing home after Chilwell and Armanda Broja had linked up well on the wing.
Then came the late, late twists. Seconds before the final whistle, Hammers sub Maxwel Cornet spun and shot into the roof of the Chelsea net, to send the West Ham fans delirious at the Shed End.
But the joy was short-lived as VAR decided keeper Eddy Mendy had been fouled, and the Blues held on in stoppage time to confirm the win.
Needless to say, Irons manager David Moyes (above) was not amused, and vented his feelings to the officials, but to no avail.