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West Ham United 1-1 Chelsea
Premier League, London Stadium, Saturday 11 February 2023, 12.30pm GMT


Emerson’s first career Premier League goal brought West Ham United back from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at London Stadium on Saturday.

The former Blues defender’s adventurous run to the back post was rewarded with a close-range finish in the 28th minute as the Hammers responded with heart to a punishing start from the visitors.

João Félix opened the scoring with 16 minutes on the clock, while he had another disallowed for offside and fellow forward Kai Havertz was also denied by the assistant referee’s flag before the hosts could lay a glove on the visitors.

But for the second week in succession, David Moyes’ men did not wilt and were rewarded with a hard-fought point in the end – which was so almost all three as Tomáš Souček’s late finish was ruled out by a VAR call for offside on Declan Rice.

West Ham may have been able to name an unchanged side for the first time in the Premier League this season, but they were forced into an early reshuffle when Paquetá was forced off with a shoulder injury following an awkward landing. Tomáš Souček came on in his place.

Chelsea were already on top by that stage though, and did not have to wait long to make the breakthrough.

Having already seen a goal ruled out for offside, Félix ghosted into space inside the box with 16 minutes played to meet Enzo Fernández’s cross with an expertly timed run and equally adept side-footed finish.

Six minutes later Mykhailo Mudryk slipped Kai Havertz through to round Łukasz Fabiański and slot home, but again the offside flag came to West Ham’s rescue.

The Hammers were in danger of sleepwalking towards an impossible situation in the early kick-off, but they rebounded after a tricky start at Newcastle the previous week, and around the 25-minute mark they began to show signs a repeat could be on the cards.

The hosts’ high press was drawing errors from Chelsea around their box, and after Kepa Arrizibalaga instinctively saved from Michail Antonio, the hosts forced a 28th minute leveller.

Vladimír Coufal hassled Marc Cucurella into an error at left-back, allowing Thilo Kehrer to pass back to the No5 in acres of space to cross. His delivery was flicked on by Jarrod Bowen, allowing Emerson to sneak in around the back and tuck past a helpless Arrizibalaga.

The London Stadium crowd were roused by their side’s stirring response, although Fabiański needed to be sharp to dive to his left and push Noni Madueke’s fiercely-struck left-footed effort to safety with 34 minutes played.

The interval came with the scores level, Chelsea bossing the possession stats with 72 per cent of the ball, but West Ham much closer in terms of shots on goal – six to the visitors’ eight.

The Hammers did not want a repeat of their slow start to the opening period, and they forced the first half-opening after the restart, Benrahma teeing Declan Rice up for a shot 25 yards from goal. The skipper’s effort fizzed wide of the near post.

At the other end, a foul by Coufal on Mudryk gave Reece James the opportunity to deliver a testing free-kick into the box. Michail Antonio got a vital touch, flicking the ball just away from Fabiański’s goal.

It was a far more even contest by now, with West Ham resolutely denying their visitors clear opportunities on goal.

Indeed, it was the Irons who thought they had won it eight minutes from time when Declan Rice got up to head an Emerson free-kick at goal. Arrizibalaga got down to save, but Souček was there to gobble up the rebound.

Home joy was cut short, however, by a lengthy VAR check, which showed Rice in an offside position.

Chelsea had an even later shout for handball, when Souček blocked Conor Gallagher’s strike, but neither referee Craig Pawson or VAR Neil Swarbrick saw an offence and 1-1 was how it ended in east London.


West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Aguerd (Johnson 80), Emerson, Paquetá (Souček 14), Rice ©, Bowen, Benrahma (Downes 67), Antonio (Ings 67)
Subs: Hegyi (GK), Anang (GK), Fornals, Lanzini

Goal: Emerson 28

Booked: Coufal


Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, James, Badiashile, Thiago Silva ©, Cucurella (Chilwell 67), Loftus-Cheek (Gallagher 79), Enzo, Madueke (Mount 67), Félix, Mudryk (Ziyech 67), Havertz
Subs: Bettinelli (GK), Chalobah, Azpilicueta, Chukwuemeka, D. Fofana

Goal: Félix 16

Booked: Badiashile


Referee: Craig Pawson


Attendance: 62,471




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