Premier League debut for David Martin, Pablo Fornals & Declan Rice Very Good, 16 Fouls to 0 & More- Talking Points from Chelsea vs West Ham

West Ham secured their first ever win at Stamford Bridge since 2002 as they upset Frank Lampard’s men 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Hammers, winless in their last eight games across all competitions, were rank outsiders for this clash, with questions marks also being raised over the future of Manuel Pellegrini. They however put in a fine defensive shift to come away with all three points.

Chelsea were all over the Hammers for the first 25 minutes, but the visitors recovered and slowly worked their way back into the game. They took the lead against the run of play through Aaron Cresswell, and also had a second denied by VAR.

Chelsea had 66% of the ball and made 666 passes. They didn’t even commit a single foul (the first time it’s happened for the Blues since Opta began recording stats)- the Hammers won that department 16-0!

Here are our talking points from this GW14 clash:

David Martin makes his Premier League debut: When Martin signed for West Ham, playing Premier League football would’ve probably been the last thing he would’ve expected. However Lukasz Fabianski’s injury and Roberto’s horror run in goal saw Pellegrini turn to his third choice keeper, and he did his job at the Bridge as the Hammers secured a much needed clean sheet.

There were several nervous moments for Martin- twice he spilt first time shots, but fortunately they didn’t cost the Hammers. He however looked way more assured than Roberto, and it seemed to rub off on his back four, with Cresswell, Balbuena, Ogbonna and Fredericks all putting in decent performances.

Martin’s tears at the end of the game told just how much this meant to him. While probably not in the same league as Fabianski, he’s probably done enough to earn himself another start against Wolves in midweek.

Declan Rice and Pablo Fornals good: Pablo Fornals has been a bit of a disappointment this season but today was probably his best game for the Hammers since his summer switch from Villarreal. We didn’t see too much of him on attack, but he was very good defensively, with his work rate and determination to thwart Chelsea attacks very encouraging.

Fornals started on the left wing with Anderson playing behind Antonio, but most of West Ham’s attacking moves went through the opposite wing- more than 50% of their attacks in the first half were through the right flank.

Declan Rice would probably admit that he hasn’t been at his best over the last few weeks, but today was a much improved performance- more like the Rice of old. Even made several marauding runs down the left wing!

Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna together in defence: Last week against Spurs, Pellegrini chose to move Rice to CB when he replaced Issa Diop in the second half despite Fabian Balbuena being available on the bench, leading to rumours that he might have lost faith in the Paraguayan.

Today Balbuena and Ogbonna started together and perhaps encouraged by a more stable goalkeeper, played quite well as a pair! Whether the duo can sustain this for more games remains to be seen, but they were excellent today and it allowed the Hammers to keep their first clean sheet since September.

Animated Pellegrini on the sidelines: We don’t normally see Pellegrini too animated on the sidelines, but the Chilean gaffer was an ever-present today, shouting out instructions to players and having talks during breaks to the likes of Fornals and Rice. He probably knew his job was on the line, and it appeared that his players played for him today!

A wake up call for Sebastien Haller?: He had an encouraging start to his West Ham career, but Sebastien Haller’s performances have shown a gradual decline this season. Against Spurs, he had a great chance to put West Ham 1-0 up from a counter attack initiated by Mark Noble, but seemed as if he couldn’t be bothered.

Whether he was frustrated playing as a sole striker or disappointed at the performances of some of his other team mates is unclear, but Pellegrini took a tough call and dropped his £45m forward to the bench today.

Antonio may not have Haller’s technical abilities, but he is a willing worker, and constantly caused Fikayo Tomori and Reece James problems. Appeared more of a threat in this game than Haller had been in previous weeks.

Chelsea 0-1 West Ham (Cresswell 47)

Attendance: 40,595

Comments

  1. Interesting that most of our best players today were Martin, Antonio, Rice, Noble, Fredericks
    And Snoddy.
    They are all British, played with heart and effort, they aren’t just there to pick up big money before moving on for more money. Admittedly Ogbonna was also top class and Fornals played well, but there is a lesson here, good players aren’t always Brazilian and Argentinian because they can do a rabonna!!

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