Post Match Report & Analysis West Ham vs Chelsea- Moyes gets first win as WHUFC manager

On paper, this fixture between the East half of London and the West half was a mismatch- Chelsea had taken 19 points from their last seven games, while West Ham, with two different managers in charge, had mustered just TWO.

However the Hammers had put in a resolute defensive performance against Man City at the Etihad and many fans reckoned they could pick up points against Chelsea if they produced an encore. However West Ham in recent times have always struggled to string two good performances together, which was the primary reason for the fans’ pessimism.

David Moyes made a few changes, with Winston Reid returning in place of youngster Declan Rice to take his spot in a three man defence along with Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell. Skipper Mark Noble returned to take his place in midfield ahead of youngster Edimilson Fernandes, while Marko Arnautovic took the place of the injured Cheikhou Kouyate. Adrian was rewarded for his fine performance against City with a spot ahead of Joe Hart.

Masuaku Chelsea

For Chelsea, Gary Cahill replaced Antonio Rudiger in the Blues’ back three, and Davide Zappacosta and Tiemoue Bakayoko coming in for Victor Moses and Danny Drinkwater respectively.

The Hammers bossed the first ten minutes and took in the lead in the sixth minute. Some poor marking and covering of space from Bakyoko allowed Lanzini to set up Arnautovic and the Austrian evaded Andreas Christensen’s attentions before producing a fine low finish to beat Thibault Courtois. Arnautovic has been one of West Ham’s most improved players since the arrival of Moyes, and this game was perhaps his best in WHUFC colours since his multi million pound transfer from Stoke.

The home side employed a high press system which restricted Chelsea’s ability to play from the back. Once the early goal was scored, the Hammers effectively sat back and defended tightly as a 5-4-1. While the Blues did enjoy more of the possession after the goal, chances in the first half were limited, with Morata’s off target header and Kante’s effort, parried by Adrian, the only real major ones that came their way.

However after absorbing a solid spell of pressure, West Ham finished strongly, with the home side effectively having ALL of the ball in the last minute of the game as they wound the clock down and frustrated the Blues. If you can, check out some of Masuaku’s plays during this period- he had a stormer of a game, and created a Premier League 17/18 season record for most dribbles in this fixture.

At the interval, Antonio Conte sent on Pedro for Bakayoko in an attempt to shake things up. However the first major chance went to West Ham, with Cahill giving the ball away cheaply in midfield, and Michail Antonio’s slight indecision before passing to Arnautovic the only reason the Blues remained only one goal behind, and not two as it should have been.

Off came Marcos Alonso and in arrived Victor Moses, with Zappacosta switching flanks to facilitate the switch. Seven minutes later, the Italian was also subbed, with Conte throwing on Willian, as Chelsea effectively switched to a fluid five upfront in a desperate search for goals.

Goal scorer Arnautovic was replaced by Diafra Sakho in West Ham’s first sub on 69 minutes, and ten minutes later, the exhausted Michail Antonio made way for Andre Ayew.

For all their possession (more than 2/3 thirds) and making nearly two and a half times as many passes as West Ham, Chelsea did not land a single shot on target in the second half. Morata’s 83rd minute effort was as close as they got, with the Spaniard pulling his shot wide of the upright.

West Ham collected six yellow cards to Chelsea’s one, but this was a solid defensive masterclass that earned them three massive points. Masuaku was man of the Match, but the back three (Cresswell in particular) and Obiang had great games too.

West Ham had beaten Spurs at the London Stadium last season to effectively hand the title to Chelsea- here they effectively took away the same title from the Blues, with their trophy defence as good as over following this defeat. Man City have now established a fourteen point lead at the top over Antonio Conte’s side- probably too much of a gap to make up, and the Italian gaffer admitted as much in the post match interview.

West Ham 1-0 Chelsea (Arnautovic 6′)

Adrian, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Obiang, Noble, Lanzini, Masuaku, Arnautovic (Sakho), Antonio (Ayew)

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