Chelsea has opened up a three-point lead in the race for the top four. Before their game with West Ham, both teams were level on 55 points. But the Blues were ahead of the Hammers on goal difference in the Premier League table. Chelsea was fourth and West Ham was fifth. This was a chance for both teams to snatch away points from each other.
Thomas Tuchel took this chance as he continues to show that his Blues might not be very fancy but they are effective. Timo Werner’s first-half striker for Chelsea was enough to seal all three points. Now they are fourth in the table with 58 points.
The Hammers are still fourth with 55 points as Liverpool had earlier in the day dropped points against Newcastle. Their aspirations for European football next season will be tested to limits as other teams try to cut the gap. Tottenham, Liverpool, and Everton all will fight for the European spots.
Stats: West Ham vs Chelsea
David Moyse’s side has nine shots out of which only two were on target. On the other hand, Thomas Tuchel’s side had seventeen shots on targets which six were on target. The Hammers were expected to have less possession as they could only conjure 44% possession.
While the visitors had 56% possession and they scored the only goal of the game. With less possession, West Ham (448) also had fewer passes compared to Chelsea (565). However, the Hammers also failed to match up to their opponents when it came to passing accuracy. West Ham had a passing accuracy rate of 77% while Chelsea had a passing accuracy of 84 %.
What happened in the game: West Ham vs Chelsea
In the first half of the game, the Hammers were hesitant to play on the front foot. Perhaps they gave Chelsea too much respect. As for the Blues they did create a few chances in the first half. Timo Werner had a great chance but his shot was straight at Łukasz Fabiański. Pulisic and Mount also tried their luck but could not score.
The moment of the game came when Pulisic found Ben Chiwell on the left on a counter-attack. The Englishman swang in a low cross which was missed by two West Ham defenders. Werner made no mistake from close range and gave the Blues the lead. In the second half, the Hammers tried to express themselves more.
At times they did look dangerous but they never really managed to test Mendy. Late in the second half, it did look like David Moyse’s side might able to get something out of the game. However, everything changed when Balbuena was sent off for a challenge on Chilwell. After that West Ham did try to make an attempt but failed to score a goal.
The former Manchester United manager was very upset with Balbuena’s red card. This is the second red card in a row for the Hammer’s centre backs. Craig Dawson was sent off last week against Newcastle United. Perhaps it’s time for David Moyses to look into the disciplinary aspect of his players.
In his post-match interview, he said ” I think it’s a decision made by somebody who’s never played the game. I don’t know where Fabi Balbuena is supposed to plant his foot.If they do think that, you’ll look at the one a few minutes later, with Coufal and Rudiger, a similar challenge, but they never did anything about it.”
With this victory, the German has broken a record at the club. He is unbeaten away from home with Chelsea in the past ten games. This is a record for a new Premier League manager. Tuchel holds this record with Claudio Ranieri, another former Chelsea manager. After the game, he was very happy with the victory and he believes that his team deserved to win.
He said “The boys are very, very happy in the dressing room, it was a great performance, an amazing result and I think a well-deserved win for us. The first 10-15 minutes in the second half, we did not come out very well from the dressing room but the last half-hour was excellent and the first half was excellent“.
12th Man Opinion
The West Ham will now just be hopeful that their side is able to qualify for the Europa League. Barring Everton all their five games are against teams in the second half of the table. As for Chelsea fans, they could hardly care less as to how their teams win if they get the three points at the end of the day.