Chelsea v West Ham United

Hammers were left with the blues after Geremi's first goal of the season gave Chelsea a narrow victory at fortress Stamford Bridge.

And the Cameroon international's perfectly executed 22nd-minute free-kick means that Alan Pardew's troops are still searching for their first away win of the season.

Coming into this game, the statistics had made daunting reading for any east-ender making the trek across the capital to Stamford Bridge, where the Blues were unbeaten in 50 Premiership matches.

Indeed, Jose Mourinho's second-placed side had netted 20 goals and conceded just three in nine home league and cup games this season, while Alan Pardew's men - in 16th spot -had leaked 14 goals and bagged only three, on their eight away-days.

Having been frantically brought in as emergency cover 24 hours earlier, on-loan Crystal Palace goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly was named on the bench as Pards made four changes from the side that had lost at Middlesbrough last weekend.

Anton Ferdinand and Lee Bowyer came in for the injured duo of James Collins and Yossi Benayoun, while last week's strike-pairing - Teddy Sheringham and Marlon Harewood - were named as substitutes as Carlos Tevez and Bobby Zamora returned to the starting line-up.

With back-to-back 4-0 victories under his belt, Mourinho made just one switch following last Saturday's Watford whipping, as Arjen Robben replaced Michael Ballack.

And the flying Dutchman soon found himself standing toe-to-toe with Tevez as the Argentinian was asked to take a right-wing role in a five-man midfield that left the lonely Zamora going it alone up front.

Making the most of a rare start, Tevez certainly wasted no time probing and prodding towards goal and, in the early exchanges, Hammers certainly gave as good as they got as Lee Bowyer hooked high and wide before Carlo Cudicini bravely stole the ball off Zamora's studs and Jonathan Spector headed inches over from 18 yards.

And on the quarter-hour mark, ex-Hammer Frank Lampard was booked after colliding with Spector as the American tried to initiate another right-flank raid with Tevez.

At the other end, John Terry, Lampard and Robben each threatened Robert Green and midway through the half Danny Gabbidon hauled down Didier Drogba as he looked set to burst through the centre of the Hammers defence.

The Welshman's consequent booking looked a small price to pay but within seconds that foul proved even costlier when Geremi cleverly sent the resulting 20-yard free-kick over the defensive wall, beyond the outstretched palm of the flying Green and under the 'keeper's left-hand angle.

Having broken the deadlock, the Blues should have doubled their advantage within seconds but the fleeing Andriy Shevchenko carelessly scuffed the ball to the relieved Green and, shortly afterwards, Robben then slashed across goal from six yards.

West Ham might have been down but they definitely were not out and Ashley Cole almost gifted Hammers a late, first-half leveller when he headed the ball inches wide of his own goal.

The busy England left-back was then forced to deny Nigel Reo-Coker with a last-gasp block and, as referee Mike Dean checked his watch, there was still time for Matthew Etherington to send a dipping 18-yarder just past the stranded Cudicini's left-hand upright as Hammers came within a whisker of walking off level.

Khalid Boulahrouz replaced the injured Ricardo Carvalho for the start of a second half that quickly saw Lampard scoop over before Michael Essien had an angled shot into the danger zone hacked clear.

In reply, both Zamora and Bowyer sent speculative, rising shots soaring into the West Ham fans - more than making themselves heard amongst the 41,916 crowd.

Midway through the half, Reo-Coker was booked for an attempted scythe on Shevchenko, who was soon replaced by ex-Hammer Joe Cole and that was the cue for Harewood to replace Zamora.

Further yellow cards followed for the workaholic Hayden Mullins and Tevez, who was now pushed into attack, while Essien's low 20-yarder then thudded back off the relived Green's left-hand post.

With 10 minutes remaining, Pards upped the ante yet further with the introductions of Sheringham and George McCartney in place of Bowyer and Etherington but it was all too late to prevent that Geremi strike from giving Chelsea all three points.