Chelsea 2-1 West Ham United
Premier League, Stamford Bridge, 3 September 2022
Chelsea came from behind to defeat West Ham United 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Michail Antonio put the Hammers ahead just past the hour after Declan Rice kept a Jarrod Bowen corner alive at the back post.
But Chelsea pulled level through Ben Chilwell, before Kai Havertz netted a winner from close range in the 88th minute.
The Hammers would later feel aggrieved not to leave with a share of the spoils, as a Maxwel Cornet equaliser was ruled out by VAR.
On his full debut in Claret and Blue, Lucas Paquetá got us underway at Stamford Bridge, before West Ham frustrated Chelsea with a disciplined display throughout the first half. With the Hammers faithful providing the soundtrack in west London, Chelsea’s only real shot in anger before the break saw a Mateo Kovačić effort drift wide.
Chelsea managed to phase out some early attacks from West Ham, as neither Pablo Fornals or Emerson Palmieri could find a teammate from out wide, while Lucas Paquetá almost sent Antonio through on goal but saw his pass intercepted by Thiago Silva. Fornals, who did well to watch the ball out of the west London sun, also sent a volley past the post on the cusp of half-time.
After the interval, the match roared into life, as both sides searched to break the deadlock. First, Bowen darted forward at one end, before Raheem Sterling repeated the feat at the other - and although neither could find a shot at goal, you felt the tempo had been raised at Stamford Bridge, a London derby felt like it had begun.
Fornals later charged down the left and combined well with Lucas Paquetá to force a corner before Bowen sent a fierce volley at goal – only to be denied by a sprawling Édouard Mendy.
Yet, from the resulting corner came the opener. Bowen's delivery was flicked back into the area by Rice before Antonio accepted a welcome tap-in from inside the six-yard box – his 57th Premier League goal for West Ham United on his 201st appearance in the competition for the Irons. His second against Chelsea.
The Blues quickly pushed forward in search of an equaliser though. Łukasz Fabiański was quick to deny Armando Broja from close range, while Kurt Zouma was also alert to pinch the ball away from Havertz. That pressure saw West Ham’s resistance eventually broken in the 76th minute when Ben Chilwell challenged with Kehrer and Fabiański. Both were then helpless as Chilwell tapped past the Hammers No1 from close range.
Chelsea then moved in front as a fluent move down the left was finished clinically by Havertz with two minutes left on the clock.
Substitute Maxwel Cornet – who had earlier struck the post with his first touch - thought he had earned the Hammers a much-deserved point, but his fierce effort was ruled out by VAR. Bowen was harshly adjudged to have fouled Mendy, as Andy Madley overturned his original decision after being referred to his pitchside screen by Jarred Gillett - to the dismay of the men in Claret & Blue.
Despite the result, the Hammers will take confidence from the performance, with Chelsea perhaps fortunate to have sent their visitors away pointless.
Chelsea: Mendy, Fofana, Silva ©, Koulibaly, James, Kovačić (Havertz 72), Loftus-Cheek (Jorginho 83), Cucurella (Chilwell 72), Gallagher (Broja 60), Pulisic (Mount 60), Sterling
Unused subs: Arrizabalaga (GK), Chalobah, Azpilicueta, Ziyech,
Goals: Chilwell 76 Havertz 88
Booked: Loftus-Cheek, Cucurella, James, Havertz
West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Kehrer, Zouma, Emerson, Rice ©, Souček, Fornals (Cornet 86), Lucas Paquetá (Ogbonna 83), Bowen, Antonio (Benrahma 74)
Unused subs: Areola (GK), Randolph (GK), Coventry, Downes, Lanzini,
Goal: Antonio 62
Booked: Antonio, Kehrer
Referee: Andy Madley