Premier League: Chelsea vs West Ham United 24/4/22 – Full Match Report

Blues end their rot at home by edging past West Ham through a late Christian Pulisic goal.


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

After suffering three consecutive home defeats, Chelsea looked to bounce back in a London derby against a weakened West Ham United side on Sunday afternoon.


The Blues have struggled at Stamford Bridge recently, with their victories in SW6 coming rarely, and often coming by slender margins. The Hammers entered the game well aware of their opponents’ struggles on their own turf, also bearing in mind that they had beaten Chelsea 3-2 back in December.


Despite being determined to pick up a result, David Moyes’ side also had one eye on Thursday’s Europa League semi-final against Frankfurt. This led to their being six changes to West Ham’s previous starting eleven, with the likes of Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio all named on the Hammers’ bench.


In the opposing dugout, Thomas Tuchel made four changes to the team that tasted defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday. Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Jorginho and Kai Havertz all returned to the starting eleven – with the Brazilian defender making a landmark 50th Premier League appearance.

First Half:

There was an incredibly slow start to the game with both teams taking a reserved approach in the opening 45 minutes.


On the 7th minute, N’Golo Kanté emerged for the hosts and fizzed a shot wide – which was one of Chelsea’s only attempts in the first half.


10 minutes later, an error from César Azpilicueta gifted a chance to Saïd Benrahma who was suddenly leading a West Ham attack. However, the Algerian found himself advancing into a tight angle, with his pass across goal was collected by Édoaurd Mendy.


Moments later another individual error nearly gave the Hammers another bite at the cherry. This time Trevoh Chalobah was disposed by Benrahma, but the defender did brilliantly to recover for his team.


There was later a half chance for Andriy Yarmolenko, who scooped his shot just wide off the post. The game rolled on into half time, with neither goalkeeper yet to make a save.

Second Half:

After a flat first half performance, Thomas Tuchel’s side edged their way into the game in the second half. In the first few minutes of play, West Ham’s Craig Dawson made back-to-back blocks which perhaps prevented his side from conceding the opener.


The first shot on target in the match arrived on the 57th minute, with N’Golo Kanté’s deflected effort kindly falling to Łukasz Fabiański. A minute later, Trevoh Chalobah looked to emulate his goal from the opening day of the season as he struck from distance – bringing the Polish goalkeeper into action once again.


On the 69th minute another block from Craig Dawson led to more Chelsea frustration, with Mason Mount’s attempt the next to be courageously denied by the 31-year-old.


One of the best chances of the second half fell to the inform Timo Werner, who even at full stretch struggled to make contact with the ball which led to a weak effort at goal.


On the 84th minute, Dawson went from hero the villain as he brought down substitute Romelu Lukaku inside the penalty area with Michael Oliver immediately pointing to the spot. VAR intervened, with the defender later receiving a red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.


Jorginho stepped up to the spot, but passed the ball straight into the hands of a static Fabiański.

The Italian had his blushes sparred as substitute Christian Pulisic netted the winner of the Blues in the dying minutes of the game. The Hammers thought that they had been let off the hook, but the American emerged to pick up three valuable points for Tuchel and Chelsea.

After the Whistle:

Albeit another unconvincing performance at Stamford Bridge, the European Champions will be glad to return to winning ways and pick up three important points simultaneously.


After failing to qualify in the Champions League against Real Madrid, it seems that the wind has been taken out of Chelsea’s sail. With their place in the top four all but confirmed, fatigue may be beginning to kick in for the Blues – especially given just how long their season has been.

The remaining games of the season will be important for Chelsea to solidify their position in the league table, whilst also gathering momentum ahead of their FA Cup final on May 14th.


For West Ham, all attention will be diverted to their Europa League semi-final against Frankfurt, with the first of the two legs scheduled to take place on Thursday at the London Stadium.


Final Score:

Chelsea 1-0 West Ham United.

- Pulisic (90’).


BBC Sports Player of the Match:

Christian Pulisic (Chelsea).


Line-ups:

Chelsea (3-4-1-2): Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Azpilicueta ©; Loftus-Cheek (76’), Kanté, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount; Havertz (76’), Werner (76’).

- Subs: Ziyech (76’), Lukaku (76’), Pulisic (76’).


West Ham United (3-4-2-1): Fabiański; Johnson, Dawson, Cresswell; Coufal, Souček, Noble © (62’), Masuaku; Yarmolenko (73’), Fornals; Benrahma (78’).

- Subs: Rice (62’), Bowen (73’), Lanzini (78’).


Referee:

Michael Oliver.


Attendance:

32,231.


Possession:

Chelsea (67%) vs West Ham United (33%).


Shots:

Chelsea (26) vs West Ham United (6).


Shots on Target:

Chelsea (5) vs West Ham United (2).


Corners:

Chelsea (3) vs West Ham United (1).


Fouls:

Chelsea (11) vs West Ham United (9).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match Highlights:

- (credit | Chelsea Football Club).

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