CHELSEA v WEST HAM UNITED
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SUNDAY 17 MARCH 2013
REFEREE: MICHAEL OLIVER
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Final score - Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United
93 mins - Into the final minute and Chelsea are playing out time. Just a second or two past 93 minutes and the final whistle is blown. West Ham drop to 14th in the table. And to rub it in, Wigan have gone 2-1 up at home to Newcastle in the 91st minute courtesy of the scrappiest goal you will see all season. We will have post-match reaction from Stamford Bridge on whufc.com and West Ham TV soon.
91 mins - We're going to have three added minutes. At least West Ham's goal difference is not going to take too much of a pounding. Is that what is called taking the positives? To be fair, they have made some opportunities to score, but they have not been absolutely clean-cut chances. Jaaskelainen has been very good and could do nothing about either goal.
89 mins - Hazard races clear into space inside the left edge of the penalty area. His rasping shot might take a slight deflection but Jaaskelainen makes another fine save. O'Brien completes the clearance. Jarvis then counters and wins a corner. Jarvis takes the corner himself and Carrolll gets the run on his man, but he powers the header over.
85 mins - NIgeria man John Obi Mikel is on for Mata. The attendance today is 41,369, and none of them can believe Lampard just skied Oscar's square pass over the bar.
84 mins - Decent chance! Jarvis and O'Brien combine well down the left after play is switched into space on this side. Jarvis crosses and Cole gets a boot to the ball but his shot does have the power to beat Cech. The goalkeeper dives right and holds on. Good move.
82 mins - Another dangerous period of Chelsea possession in and around the box ends with Mata screwing a low first-time shot wide with his right foot.
81 mins - Cahill wins the corner but Jaaskelainen is there and holds on.
80 mins - Former Chelsea man Carlton Cole gets a decent reception as he replaces Vaz Te. West Ham have a corner but Cech clears with his fist and Chelsea break at pace. Cole's cross is headed behind by Demel. Ashley Cole, that is. Carlton knows he doesn't play for Chelsea any longer.
79 mins - A home fan bangs his hands on the front of the Press Box in frustration as Ba launches his shot into the stand after being sent clear by Mata. He believes Ba should have shot earlier. He's probably right, but there is no need for the physical abuse of the facilities.
78 mins - Luiz himself belts the ball out and Terry is stripped down to his kit - just like he was for the UEFA Champions League final photographs. The Chelsea No26 gets a loud cheer as he jogs on to the pitch.
76 mins - Hazard is denied a goal following a superb run by Mata. O'Brien blocks the goalbound shot with his knees. John Terry will be on shortly for the hosts, I believe. Luiz is injured.
75 mins - Demel needs to be careful as he barges into the back of Luiz. Free-kick, but nothing more. Big Sam has finally taken his seat in the dugout. He looks thoroughly cheesed-off.
73 mins - The Chelsea fans have a new song now about how poor their opponents are. Demel is booked for fouling Hazard. Luiz has a go this time and gets this one all wrong as the ball flies into the stand.
72 mins - Lampard tries a Bale from 30-odd yards. The ball wobbles through the air and Jaaskelainen pats it down before collecting.
71 mins - Carroll rises high and heads O'Neil's diagonal cross goalwards. It would have to be some header to beat Cech from there. The goalkeeper dives to his right and holds on. Chelsea counter and Mata streaks past Reid. The skipper hauls back the No10 and is booked. No arguments.
70 mins - Oscar is on for Moses.
69 mins - O'Neil plays a give and go with Taylor on the edge of the box and prods a shot towards the near top corner. Cech is there again. He catches.
68 mins - A decent spell of pressure sees one cross headed clear by Luiz before Tomkins collects wide on the right. His cross is high and hanging and Cech catches above the head of Carroll.
64 mins - Taylor has another chance to cross from Vaz Te's pass, but his right foot isn't his left. Goal kick.
62 mins - The home fans are going through their full repertoire of Frank Lampard songs. Meanwhile, West Ham win a corner through Vaz Te. Taylor takes and Cole heads back to him. He crosses a second time and Ramires heads behind. The second corner is low and thumped out for a throw by Lampard.
61 mins - Tomkins is on for James Collins. Collins walks off. Is he injured? I didn't see anything to suggest so.
59 mins - Jarvis gets the better of Azpilicueta again. He crosses right-footed and Carroll challenges Luiz. Both miss the ball completely and the ball spins out for a goal kick. Decent chance, that. Tomkins will be on soon.
58 mins - Caroll involved again. The ball is swept out left to Jarvis, who runs Azpilicueta before standing the cross up to the far post. Carroll is there and wins the header, but it goes behind. He wants a corner, but Mr Oliver decides it's a goal kick.
55 mins - Carroll collects a pass on halfway and spins away from his man. He has Vaz Te galloping along to his left but ignores the No12 and shoots himself from 25 yards. The shot is on target and well-struck, but too close to Cech. The goalkeeper goes down to his left to save and holds on too.
53 mins - Neat feet from Collison, who collects Vaz Te's pass and beats Lampard. He tries to curl one into the top right-hand corner, but Cech reaches up to claim. Moments later, Chelsea break and Ba finds Mata. He opens up his body to shoot, but Jaaskelainen makes another save with his left foot before poking the ball away from Lampard with his right hand. West Ham clear.
52 mins - Lampard fires high and into the upper tier of the stand from Azpilicueta's low cross. Again, Mata and Hazard were involved in the build-up.
50 mins - GOAL! As I said, Hazard is a talented player. He plays a give and go with Mata before cutting inside Reid and Collins and shooting low into the corner from 16 yards. Good play, but the defending was not the best there. Hazard didn't really need to use a trick to open up the space to shoot, while nobody checked his run. Is that game over?
48 mins - Not much noise inside the stadium at present. It comes to life when Hazard nutmegs one man and then takes on about four more. In the end his cross is cleared, but the Belgian certainly has some talent.
46 mins - Taylor has half a chance within seconds of his introduction after latching on to a flick from O'Neil, but his right-foot shot bounces into the arms of Cech.
46 mins - Diame doesn't start the second half. He is replaced by Matt Taylor. West Ham kick-off shooting towards their own fans.
Half-time score - Chelsea 1-0 West Ham United
48 mins - Collins launches a free-kick miles across the pitch and out of play. That's half-time. West Ham looked in danger of losing that game inside the opening 45 minutes, but they are still well and truly in it. Lampard's goal was a sickener because it came from a bit of broken play. West Ham's defenders were caught ball-watching and Lampard took full advantage, doing what he does best by ghosting into the box and finishing clinically. Ba could have wrapped the game up against his old club, but he didn't, so there remains hope that the Hammers can turn things round after the break.
46 mins - Into two minutes of added time and West Ham have probably their best bit of possession so far. It ends with Vaz Te coming short about 30 yards out. He turns and shoots low and hard. Cech goes down to his right and clings on. Good handling in the conditions, and a good hit from Vaz Te.
44 mins - Collins slides in to clear from Ba after the striker had prodded the ball past Demel. It's not long until the striker is sent clear again! This time Reid is there and close enough to force the early shot. It's on target, but Jaaskelainen is in a good position and makes another good save.
42 mins - O'Neil is caught in possession and Hazard threads the ball through to Ba. He is in on goal again. He hits the target this time, but Jaaskelainen's big left boot is there to block. Great save. Does that keep West Ham in the game?
41 mins - Good stuff from Diame as he plays a one-two with O'Neil, then beats two men with a surging run. He finds Carroll, who tries to pick out a claret and blue shirt inside the box. A defender makes the interception and the ball drops back to Diame, whose shot is blocked.
39 mins - Demel shoves Hazard and the No17 needs no invitation to go down. It's near the left corner flag, is Chelsea's free-kick. Collins heads out the free-kick as far as Luiz, who smashes a left-foot volley into the stanchion holding up the net. Some fans think it is in. If it had been, it would have been a Goal of the Season contender.
38 mins - Chelsea are purring again. Luiz and Cole combine to beat Vaz Te and Demel. The ball is cut back by Luiz to Hazard. He finds Mata and the Spaniard curls first-time shot a couple of yards wide.
37 mins - I nearly typed too soon. Jarvis is robbed as he tries to run the ball clear. Lampard fizzes a superb pass to Azpilicueta before it's worked inside to Moses inside the box. He turns and shoots low, but the ball just beats the far post. Jaaskelainen wouldn't have stopped that, I'd venture.
35 mins - The ball drops back to Hazard after the Belgian's low through ball had been blocked by Collins. Hazard shoots low, but Jaaskelainen sees it early enough and makes the save low to his left. West Ham have re-grouped, to their credit. A single goal down at half-time would be acceptable. We normally beat Chelsea from that position, anyway.
33 mins - That was Lampard's 200th goal for Chelsea. Not bad going.
30 mins - I'm not quite sure how Diame escaped punishment for that but he does. Diame catches Ramires with a slightly late tackle but no free-kick is given by Mr Oliver. Replays suggets he could well have got a yellow card for that. Anyway, he didn't, so we'll play on with a throw and the ball being played back to Chelsea. Ashley Cole had put it out for Ramires to receive attention.
29 mins - Luiz sidefoots low around the wall and the goalkeeper gets a touch to divert the ball around the post. The Finn then does well to catch the resulting corner.
28 mins - Lampard gets goalside of Diame this time. The Senegal man might get a foot to the ball, but Lampard goes to ground and Chelsea have a free-kick 25 yards out. Luiz and Lampard himself fancy this one. The skiddy turf won't help Jaaskelainen.
26 mins - Better. Reid's headed finds O'Neil in space. He brings the ball forward before pinging it wide left for Jarvis. The No7 checks and crosses right-footed. Carroll wins the header about 12 yards out, but his glancing effort flies well wide. Cech spreads his arms wide as if to say 'No danger here' and he's right. Goal kick.
22 mins - Controversy?! Jarvis races to keep a long ball forward from Diame in. His first-time cross loops into the middle of the penalty area. Luiz goes to ground and Carroll controls before finishing past Cech. It's a foul. The referee blows his whistle before the ball goes in the net, but the Hammers fans haven't heard it and celebrate wildly. Carroll doesn't like the decision, but replays clearly show a shove in the back on Chelsea's No4.
20 mins - To be honest, that goal was coming. Chelsea have been in control for the opening 20 minutes. They now have a corner as Collins clears behind. It is cleared. West Ham need to re-group. A second goal could well put this game to bed before half-time.
19 mins - GOAL! Lampard scores against his old club. Jaaskelainen does well to push aside a shot from Hazard, but when Moses' cross is stabbed back to the Belgian by Collins, O'Neil lets Lampard get goalside of him. Hazard clips in the cross and Lampard heads high into the net from ten yards.
18 mins - Some fun and games between Terry and the West Ham fans. It's good-natured banter. The Chelsea fans get involved too.
17 mins - John Terry is warming up as Cahill receives some treatment. It looks like Cahill will be OK,
15 mins - Was that a foul? I'm not so sure. O'Neil challenges Hazard and he goes to ground. No matter as Collins rises highest to head clear.
13 mins - Another Chelsea break down the left and another low cross. Ba is there, but Reid slides in to concede the corner. Good defending. Collins and Demel then combine to head clear Mata's corner. Ramires retrieves and crosses and Collins glances the ball goalwards with his head! Thankfully his aim is not as good as it was against Manchester United and the ball thuds into the arms of Jaaskelainen.
11 mins - Brilliant from Carroll. He goes to ground as he tries to control Jaaskelainen's clearance, then hops up and clips a ball over Luiz for Collison to chase. The Brazilian is forced to concede a corner. Good work. The corner is cleared and Chelsea again break when Diame's cross is blocked, but West Ham swarm back and O'Brien makes a vital interception. Jarvis then breaks and is fouled, but the free-kick doesn't come to anything.
10 mins - Diame loses the ball deep inside the Chelsea half and the home side break at pace. Ba is in space wide right and crosses low, but Collins is there to clear.
8 mins - Collins! O'Neil's free-kick from halfway is headed across goal by Reid and then out by a defender as far as Collins on the edge of the D. He sends a rasping first-time volley a yard over the top. That is the sort of effort that gets fans shouting 'Oooooh', and they did just that.
7 mins - What a miss. Lampard's first-time ball sends Ba clear of Collins. He is clean through down the middle. As he gets into the D, Ba steadies himself, then sidefoots the ball at least five yards wide of the right-hand post. He didn't miss them like that for West Ham!
5 mins - Chelsea controlling possession. Their movement is interesting to watch as first one player, then another shows for the ball short before spinning into space. Reid stands firm on the edge of the box, then O'Neil gives the ball away as the Hammers counter. A cross from Hazard towards Ba is again just too strong and Jaaskelainen can collect unchallenged.
3 mins - Lovely play from Demel, if a little risky, as he beats Moses by knocking the ball one side of the Nigerian before running around the other and collecting. He then wins a throw off Lampard, but it comes to nothing on halfway.
2 mins - Hmmm. Vaz Te takes a long run-up a la fellow Portuguese Ronaldo, but his effort is not a classic. The shot is well-struck but it's rising all the way and flies high and wide. Ironic cheers from the away fans behind the goal.
1 min - The Finn hoofs the ball upfield and Luiz cynically blocks off Carroll. Free-kick for the Hammers just more than 30 yards out.
30 secs - A low cross from ther right from Hazard just eludes Ba and Jaaskelainen dives low to his right to claim the ball as it skids across the turf.
4pm - We're off! The rain has largely abated just in time for the match to start.
3.59pm - After the coin toss and mascot photos, Chelsea will kick-off through Mata and Ba... The home side will shoot towards the Shed End in the opening 45 minutes.
3.56pm - The two teams emerge from the tunnel led by captains Winston Reid and Frank Lampard. The PA man is still reading out the Chelsea line-up, so there is silence as the players walk onto the playing surface. All rather strange! After a short time, however, the Chelsea version of Bubbles, called 'The Liquidator' starts to play over the PA system. We're nearly ready to go.
3.55pm - If you want to get interactive, why not tweet us on our official twitter feed @whufc_official using the hashtag #COYI. I must confess, the atmosphere here is slightly different to the one we experienced at Stoke 15 days ago! For some reason, the Blues fans particularly don't like fourth official Howard Webb and Andy Carroll, booing both names when they are read out by the PA announcer.
3.50pm - It's chucking it down here at Stamford Bridge. The floodlights are on as the players jog back to their respective dressing rooms. To my left, the West Ham fans are singing away. Bobby Moore's name - not his middle name, Chelsea, mind you - is being sung as I type.
3.40pm - The two teams are out in the rain warming-up on the sodden turf here at Stamford Bridge. If you recall, it was also rather damp on our most-recent visit to this part of west London in April 2011. That afternoon, Chelsea won 3-0, with Fernando Torres scoring his first goal for the Blues. Let's hope things pan out a little differently in the rain this afternoon.
3.25pm - Norwich City's 1-1 draw at Sunderland has knocked West Ham down one place to 13th in the table. The Canaries had been reduced to ten men after going 1-0 up through Wes Hoolahan's goal. Craig Gardner equalised from the penalty spot before half-time, but Norwich held on for a valuable point. They are up to 34, while Sunderland are up to 15th above Southampton on 31 points.
3.15pm - Former Hammers defender Tony Gale was in the West Ham starting XI when they won 4-0 in Division One here in March 1986. He remembers that fantastic win, and you can too by looking back at six famous away victories at Chelsea. Gale said: "Alvin Martin and I had played every game together at centre-back up until then, but he'd been suspended for picking up too many yellow cards, so Paul Hilton came in at Stamford Bridge. We won 4-0 at Chelsea on the Saturday, then we beat Spurs 2-1 at home on the Monday, so he was the real hero! Everybody said the heroes were McAvennie and Cottee, but Paul had two really good games. Considering we were playing on a mudheap of a pitch at Chelsea, we scored some fantastic goals and played some great football. We moved the ball so quickly. I remember I set Alan Devonshire up for our best goal too! I touched it to him and he ran about 20 yards before smashing it in!"
3.05pm - The team news is confirmed. West Ham do make two changes from the starting XI at Stoke, with Collison and Vaz Te starting in place of Cole and Taylor. George McCartney returns to the matchday squad after three months out with a knee injury, while James Tomkins is back after missing the previous two matches with a virus. Chelsea have two former Hammers in their starting XI and one more on the bench. Frank Lampard captains the Blues, while Demba Ba starts up front. John Terry is on the bench.
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, A.Cole, Luiz, Cahill, Ramires, Lampard (c), Mata, Moses, Hazard, Ba
Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Bertrand, Terry, Mikel, Oscar, Torres
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid (c), Collins, O'Brien, O'Neil, Diame, Collison, Jarvis, Vaz Te, Carroll
Subs: Spiegel, McCartney, Pogatetz, Tomkins, Taylor, C.Cole, Chamakh
2.55pm - So, what will Big Sam do? Will he keep faith with the eleven players who clinched the 1-0 win at Stoke City? If so, that means starts for Ricardo Vaz Te and Jack Collison, with the injured Joe Cole and Matt Taylor missing out. Taylor is fit, though, so will he keep his starting place? We'll know in about five minutes!
2.45pm - The team news will be confirmed here at Stamford Bridge in about 15 minutes. If you want to win a matchday programme signed by former Hammers winger Marc Keller, simply guess our starting XI on twitter using the hashtag #WHULINEUP. We'll have some more signed memorabilia for you to win this week on our official twitter page.
Good afternoon and welcome to Stamford Bridge for today's Barclays Premier League London derby between Chelsea and West Ham United. May I start by wishing a happy St Patrick's Day to all of our Irish supporters, wherever you may be!
If you have not made it to Stamford Bridge today, then why not join us at the Boleyn Ground for the upcoming Barclays Premier League visits of West Bromich Albion and Manchester United? Tickets are selling fast for both fixtures.
The Hammers are seeking to complete their first league 'double' of the season at the other end of the London Underground District line, having beaten the Blues 3-1 at the Boleyn Ground back on 1 December. Sam Allardyce's side will also win back-to-back league games for the first time this season if they are triumphant at Stamford Bridge. Recent history does not bode too well, however, as West Ham have not won at Stamford Bridge since a 3-2 victory on 28 September 2002. Since then, it has been seven games without a victory at Chelsea.
CHELSEA v WEST HAM UNITED FACEBOOK GALLERY
West Ham should kick-off the game 12th in the table - the same position they started the weekend in - unless Fulham are roundly thrashed at Tottenham Hotspur by five goals or more. Should they win, they could rise as high as tenth. Defeat could see Big Sam's men drop to 14th.
Chelsea will also have an eye on proceedings at White Hart Lane. Should Spurs lose or draw, a victory would take Chelsea above their north London rivals into third and give them the edge in the race for a place in next season's UEFA Champions League - a competition the Blues won last term.
Team news-wise, Big Sam has a few headaches, with skipper Kevin Nolan (toe) and Hammer of the Year Mark Noble (arm) both likely to be missing from his midfield. Their absences could hand Gary O'Neil another chance to shine in his new holding midfield role. Further forward, former Chelsea star Joe Cole is definitely out with a hamstring injury suffered in the 1-0 win at Stoke City last time out on 2 March.
Defensively, James Tomkins is available again after a virus ruled him out of the previous two matches, while left-back George McCartney made his comeback after three months out with a knee injury in Friday's 1-1 Development Squad draw with Arsenal.
For Chelsea, things are less difficult for manager Rafa Benitez. Spanish midfielder Oriel Romeu is out for the season with a serious knee injury but, otherwise, Benitez has a fully-fit squad at his disposal.
One issue that may affect the hosts is fatigue. While West Ham have not played for 15 days, Chelsea have beaten Romanian side Steaua Bucharest over two legs in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 and drawn 2-2 at Manchester United in the FA Cup with Budweiser sixth round in the past eleven days.
We will have the confirmed team news for you at just after 3pm, with the line-ups being published first on the club's twitter feed @whufc_official.