First goal conceded from a corner by West Ham, Tale of two halves for Michail Antonio- Talking Points from Chelsea game

West Ham handed league leaders Chelsea a rare defeat as they stunned Thomas Tuchel’s men 3-2 at the London Stadium. The Hammers came into this game as underdogs on the back of disappointing results against Wolves and Brighton. Their defence was also weakened by the absence of both Aaron Cresswell and Angelo Ogbonna, which meant a first league start of the campaign for Issa Diop. However David Moyes’ men produced a fine second half performance to come from behind twice and edge this five goal thriller.

West Ham starting lineup vs Chelsea 2021 December

Here are our talking points from the game.

First goal conceded from a corner by West Ham in the 2021/22 Premier League season

Stunning as it might be to believe, Thiago Silva’s 29th minute opener was the first goal the Hammers had conceded from a corner in the league this season. The veteran Brazilian was given a free header, with Michail Antonio’s marking very suspect. It was also the forward who was robbed off the ball by Chelsea in the counter attacking move that lead to the corner.

Tale of two halves for Antonio

As mentioned above, Antonio was poor in the first half- he failed to hold on to the ball and gave away possession cheaply on several occasions as Chelsea bossed the game. [Read more…]

Everton 100% home record broken, Soucek vs Rondon & More- Talking points from Everton 0-1 West Ham

A second half set piece goal from Angelo Ogbonna saw West Ham leapfrog Everton in the league table as they came away with a fine 1-0 win from Goodison Park. Here are our talking points from today afternoon’s clash.

First Everton home league defeat of the 21/22 season:

Everton had won all three of their home league games in 2021/22 at Goodison Park prior to this game, which meant this was the first PL home defeat of the season for Rafa Benitez’s men.

It was an impressive scalp on the road given Everton’s general success against West Ham in the league (their record against the Hammers is their best against any Premier League team) [Read more…]

Two great chances for Fornals, Haller unimpressive & more- Talking Points from Liverpool 2-1 West Ham

West Ham very nearly extended their unbeaten league to five games but were undone by a late goal from substitute Diogo Jota as defending champions Liverpool won a hard fought clash at Anfield. Here are our talking points from this Game Week 7 fixture.

Pablo Fornals scores with the first shot of the game:

Pablo Fornals put the Hammers ahead in the 10th minute with a nicely placed shot- also the very first of the game for either side. Also lovely buildup play from the Hammers for the goal- they began the move from inside their own half, with Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna both playing key passes to initiate the move.

But messes up two key chances

Given the way West Ham were set up (5-4-1), they need to make the most of their limited opportunities if they had to beat the Reds. Fornals took the first one well, but they were two other equally decent opportunities in the second half that he made a mess of- first in the 50th minute when he attempted a weak sliding shot from a Cresswell cross that should’ve been ideally left for Jarrod Bowen, and another in the 65th minute when he could’ve squared to the unmarked Bowen, but chose to take the shot himself.

The Spaniard had a very decent game otherwise, but those were two glorious opportunities that had to be taken.

A disappointing mistake from Arthur Masuaku

West Ham’s plan had worked almost perfectly for 42 minutes- grab an early goal and soak up the pressure. Liverpool’s front three were reduced to feeding on scraps. At this point, Masuaku unfortunately chose to make contact with Salah in the box, and referee Kevin Friend awarded a penalty. It was a needless penalty to give away and allowed the Reds a crucial goal before half time.

Masuaku had a very good game offensively, but he can be a liability defensively at times, and this was a frustrating error.

Jota and Shaqiri extend Liverpool’s unbeaten run to 63 games

The pair of Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to combine for Liverpool’s winner, just as they had done in midweek against Mitdjylland. Jota had a goal disallowed a few minutes earlier, but there was no doubting this one, with Shaqiri’s nutmeg pass setting up the Portuguese star for an easy finish.

LIV WHU 2

Sebastien Haller unimpressive

With Liverpool missing Van Dijk, Matip and Fabinho, Sebastien Haller had a good opportunity to make a strong case for himself. However he came up second best in his duel against the 23 year old Nat Phillips, who was making his league debut for the Reds.

Apart from a flick on in the second half that could’ve lead to a goal (the one Fornals should’ve squared for Bowen but didn’t), Haller did precious little of note. It was another disappointing evening for the French star.

The game also saw a club debut for Said Benrahma, but he was introduced too late to have any kind of impact. David Moyes was initially planning to bring on Ryan Fredericks to keep things tight defensively, but Jota’s 85th minute goal changed matters, and he then sent on both Benrahma and Lanzini, but there was to be no repeat of the miraculous last minute equaliser against Spurs.

Liverpool 2 (Salah pen, Jota) West Ham 1 (Fornals)

Tomas Soucek 2nd in the list for distance covered in the 2019-20 Champions League season

Tomas Soucek has been quite a revelation since joining West Ham from Slavia and has forged a very nice partnership with Declan Rice in the centre of the park for the Hammers. The Czech star has been fantastic in his role as a box to box midfielder, and technical data has now revealed that he was second in the list for average distance covered in the 2019/20 Champions League season.

Soucek featured in all six of Slavia Prague’s Champions League games last season and played every minute of their CL campaign in 2019/20. In those games, he covered an average distance of 12.69 km, the second highest among the competition’s players, as shown in the stats below. The top performer was also a Slavia player (Petr Sevcik with 13.47), while Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic, the 2018/19 season winner, came third with 12.48. [Read more…]

Fornals lies on the ground behind the wall for KdB free kick, no Lanzini minutes & more- Talking Points from West Ham 1-1 Man City October 23 2020

West Ham continued their impressive recent run as they held Pep Guardiola’s Man City to a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium. Here are our talking points from this Game Week 6 fixture.

Pablo Fornals lying on the ground behind the wall for Kevin de Bruyne free kick:

This was an interesting tactic from West Ham, presumably to stop de Bruyne from going low when the wall jumped. The game was tied at 1-1 at that stage, with the Belgian maestro standing over the ball in a dangerous position. Will we see other teams adopting it in the future against KdB?

No minutes for Lanzini:

It was perhaps slightly surprising that Manuel Lanzini, the scorer of the stunning equaliser against Spurs last week, didn’t even make if off the bench for this clash.

Towards the end of the game, the Hammers had a very nice opportunity to make it 2-1, but a tired Pablo Fornals couldn’t quite execute a chip over City keeper Ederson in a 1v1 situation. Would a fresh Lanzini have been able to do that? Perhaps yes…

Speaking of substitutions, it was also worth noting that when Michail Antonio had to come off early in the second half, it was Andriy Yarmolenko who was his replacement and not Sebastien Haller. Yarmolenko stayed on the wing, with Jarrod Bowen occupying a more central position. When Haller did eventually come on, he had to wait for nearly TEN minutes for his first touch, and it was a defensive clearance at that! [Read more…]