West Ham 0-1 Chelsea – Strike whilst the Iron is not Hot

Chelsea picked up a huge victory in the race for the Champions League places with a 1-0 win away at West Ham. Timo Werner first-half goal proved to be the difference at the London Stadium in what a solid performance from the Blues as it ended West Ham 0-1 Chelsea.

West Ham 0-1 Chelsea Final Score Edit.
Edit by @pabloedition

Thomas Tuchel’s men started the match on top and had a number of chances to take the lead but couldn’t find the breakthrough. Meanwhile, West Ham started to threaten in front of goal as it soon became an end-to-end affair. However, just before half-time, it was Chelsea made it 1-0 as Ben Chilwell‘s cross was slotted home by Timo Werner as the Blues lead at the break.

After the restart, the away side struggled to get out of second gear with the Hammers being the better side. Chelsea had some good chances to double their advantage but were unable to score. In the closing stages of the match, West Ham were reduced to ten men after Fabian Balbuena was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Ben Chilwell. However, the Blues held out for a vital victory in East London to strengthen their top four chances.

Pre-Match

Thomas Tuchel made six changes to the side that drew with Brighton on Tuesday. Edouard Mendy returned in between the sticks whilst Thiago Silva replaced Kurt Zouma in the back three alongside Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger. Meanwhile, captain Cesar Azpilicueta came back into the starting eleven and at right-wing back ahead of Reece James with Ben Chilwell keeping his place on the left.

N’Golo Kante is also back into central midfield and plays alongside Jorginho as Mason Mount moves into the front three in place of Hakim Ziyech. The final change sees Timo Werner start up front, replacing Kai Havertz with Christian Pulisic at left wing to complete the front three.

Meanwhile, for West Ham, it was just the two changes made by manager David Moyes from the 3-2 defeat against Newcastle. Lukasz Fabianski continued to start in goal along with the back three of Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop. However, one of the changes was in defence as Fabian Balbuena came in for the suspended Craig Dawson, who was sent off at St James’ Park last week.

Vladimír Coufal kept his place at right wing-back with the second change coming on the left as Ryan Fredericks replaced Ben Johnson. Meanwhile, it was an unchanged central midfield in Tomas Souček and Mark Noble with the Hammers captain playing over the injured Declan Rice. Finally, in attack, Pablo Fornals yet again played in behind Jarrod Bowen and Jesse Lingard, who had excelled since coming in on loan from Manchester United.

First Half

Chelsea had the first effort on goal with four minutes on the clock as Mason Mount crossed the ball in to Timo Werner, whose first time effort was struck off target. The Blues made a strong start to the match and had another opportunity on goal. Mason Mount managed to find space inside the West Ham box before shooting into the arms of ‘keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Meanwhile, up the other end, West Ham had their first chance on goal, breaking up an attack from the visitors before sliding through Ryan Fredericks, who sprinted down the wing before crossing wide. However, a few moments later, Chelsea had another opportunity to score. Some brilliant work from Werner on the far side saw him cross to Christian Pulisic, who couldn’t quite find the back of the net.

Angelo Ogbonna tussles with Andreas Christensen.
Christensen tussles with Ogbonna. Image Credit: Alastair Rain/AFP via Getty Images.

On 21 minutes, Werner had another opportunity for the Blues as his curling shot deflected wide and out for a corner. However, Tuchel’s men were unable to create much from the resulting set piece. With half-an-hour gone, away side continued to threaten Fabianski in the West Ham goal. The ball was played long into Mount, who took it down well before squaring to Werner, who turned and shot off target. You could sense that a goal was coming.

The home side had been limited to very little attempts on goal in the first half though did have an chance but a shot from Jesse Lingard was blocked by Thiago Silva. Not long after, West Ham were close to going in front as the free kick was put in before Angelo Ogbonna’s shot came off Cesar Azpilicueta and wide, which was a relief for the Chelsea captain. There was a VAR check for a potential handball by Azpilicueta from that chance but nothing was given by Chris Kavanagh.

Timo Werner makes it West Ham 0-1 Chelsea.
Werner sweeps home the opening goal. Image Credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images.

West Ham had started to threaten more towards the latter stages of the half with both sides showing some attacking intent but the score remained goalless at the London Stadium. However, two minutes before the break, the deadlock was at last broken. Pulisic played the ball out wide to Ben Chilwell, who put in a low cross into the middle to Werner, who made no mistake from close range but slotting past the goalkeeper. An excellent goal to make it West Ham 0-1 Chelsea.

The goal from Werner put the Blues in front at the break in what was an entertaining first half. Chelsea looked the more dominant side in the early stages and had some good chances to go in front but couldn’t take them. Meanwhile, West Ham had threatened on a few occasions but were limited to the opportunities they had. However, it was Tuchel’s men who had the advantage going into half-time.

HT: West Ham 0-1 Chelsea

Timo Werner celebrates his opening goal.
Werner celebrates the end of another lean spell. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Second Half

Neither side were able to create many chances in front of goal in the early stage of the second half. However, ten minutes into the second half, Chelsea should have doubled their lead. Mount tried his luck from distance as his attempt was parried by Fabianski before the rebound was put wide by Werner. A glorious opportunity wasted by the German. Still somehow West Ham 0-1 Chelsea.

Meanwhile, West Ham went in search of an equaliser as Lingard pulled the ball back to Pablo Fornals, whose effort was easy for Edouard Mendy. The Hammers had another chance this time from a free kick as Lingard tried to catch out Mendy but the Senegalese goalkeeper had it covered. The hosts had another effort on goal as Fredericks first time shot was blocked before Lingard’s strike was inches wide.

Lukas Fabianski ensures it stays West Ham 0-1 Chelsea.
Mason Mount impressed for Chelsea again. Image Credit: Alastair Rain/AFP via Getty Images.

Aside from the missed Werner chance, Chelsea had made a poor start to the restart and had not yet got themselves out of second gear. Tuchel’s side did come close to scoring as a dipping shot by Mount was caught by Fabianski. Midway through the second half, Werner again showed his quality by dribbling into the area before his shot was denied by the goalkeeper. The home side made a double substitution not long after as Manuel Lanzini and Saïd Benrahma were brought on by David Moyes in place of Noble and Fornals.

Meanwhile, Chelsea made their first chance of the evening as Tuchel brought off Pulisic with Hakim Ziyech taking his place. With ten minutes to go, West Ham’s task of getting back into the game got even more difficult as Fabian Balbuena was shown a straight red card for a foul on Ben Chilwell. Referee Kavanagh went to the VAR monitor to check and decided to send off the Paraguayan centre-half. A very harsh decision from the referee on Balbuena having caught studs on Chilwell in the follow through on his clearance.

Fabian Balbuena challenges Ben Chilwell.
Balbuena catches Chilwell with harsh consequences. Image Credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images.

The Hammers made their third and final switch of the match as Ben Johnson came on with Fredericks coming off. Heading into the closing stage, Tuchel made a double change to see out the match as Reece James replaced Azpilicueta whilst Tammy Abraham was brought on in place of the goalscorer Werner. A few moments later, substitute Ziyech had an opportunity to make it 2-0 as his powerful drive drifted wide of the target. Into added time and Chelsea were looking to see out the game and Mount had a shot on the edge of the area but it deflected wide for a corner.

West Ham went in search of an equaliser with what remained but a shot by Benrahma was fired well off target which summed up their evening in front of goal. In the final moments of the game, Mount made an excellent run towards goal before crossing to Abraham, who headed over.

However, it didn’t matter as the Blues held out for a huge three points that tightens our grip on 4th, and we are now three points ahead of West Ham in the table.

FT: West Ham 0-1 Chelsea

Team Line-Up

West Ham (3-4-1-2): Fabianski (GK); Diop, Balbuena, Ogbonna; Coufal, Noble (c), Souček, Fredericks; Fornals; Lingard, Bowen

Subs used: Benrahma (for Fornals, 69 mins), Lanzini (for Noble, 69 mins), Johnson (for Fredericks, 83 mins)

Sent-off: Balbuena (81 mins)

Chelsea (3-4-3): Mendy (GK); Christensen, Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta (c), Kanté, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Werner, Pulisic

Subs used: Ziyech (for Pulisic, 74 mins), James (for Azpilicueta, 86 mins), Abraham (for Werner, 87 mins)

Goals: Werner (43 mins)

Post Match Thoughts: West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea

An excellent result at the London Stadium for Thomas Tuchel’s side in what is the beginning of a huge week for the Blues. Werner especially put in solid shift and took his goal well but did miss some big chances. However, him finding the back of the net will certainly boost his confidence in the long run.

The whole team worked well together to get the job done and the defence did well to keep out the likes of Lingard and Bowen. It’s a huge game coming up on Tuesday away at Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final before returning to league action this time next week at home to Fulham.

Written by Matt North (@MattNorth_)

Edited by Rob Pratley

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