From the Terraces - Joe Difford

Fan blogger Joe Difford reflects on Saturday's 2-2 draw at Chelsea
Fan blogger Joe Difford reflects on Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea
It's a sign of how far we've come that a point away to reigning Premier League champions Chelsea is a disappointing result, but the manner in which we let a lead slip is more frustrating.
As has been the case every game since we beat Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening day, the travelling Hammers believed that we could take all three points, and we very nearly did on Saturday.
Manuel Lanzini opened the scoring with a spectacular goal from distance that swerved to evade Thibaut Courtois' outreached arm.
The Argentine jewel will surely sign a permanent deal, and could be a key member of the squad for years to come.
For the remainder of the first half, the likes of Lanzini, Dimitri Payet and Mark Noble ran the show, playing intricate passes and feeding Aaron Cresswell who almost doubled the lead if not for a Branslav Ivanovic block.
Cesc Fabregas levelled on the brink of half time with a wonderful free kick into the top corner, but it wasn't without some controversy. After the referee had drawn the appropriate lines with his magic spray, the Chelsea midfielder moved the ball back, allowing him sufficient space, 12 yards to be exact, to curl the ball over the wall.
The second half was more even, with Chelsea having a number of chances; Loic Remy firing straight at Adrian from the edge of the penalty area, before Fabregas headed over and narrowly missed the target with an overhead kick.
At the other end, Cresswell rattled the crossbar after Diafra Sakho ran the length of the pitch to counter and tee up the left back, but the introduction of Andy Carroll was the turning point yet again.
The big No9 scored the winner at the Boleyn Ground in October, and it looked as if he'd done it again as he was fed by a defence-splitting pass from Payet, and he finished well with his left foot.
Carroll could have had a hat trick, as he saw a header cleared off the line before Ivanovic stepped in to clear the ball, then the big striker poked at goal from four yards out following a good move from Emmanuel Emenike.
Hammers hearts were shattered just a minute from time though, as Ruben Loftus-Cheek went down in the penalty area, although replays showed that the contact was about a yard outside the box, and his own leg aided in his going down.
Fabregas dispatched the spot kick emphatically and although it is difficult to not think of Saturday's result as a loss, we did close the gap on Manchester City, leaving us just one point off a Champions League spot.
It could have been yet another fantastic away win against one of the traditional top four clubs, but being frustrated at just a point shows how far we've come. A few seasons ago, fans would've bitten your arm off if they'd been offered a point at Stamford Bridge before the game, but now we know we are good enough to beat anyone.
Next up is an international break, but more importantly Mark Noble's testimonial, which is set to be a wonderful day where fans young and old will be able to see their heroes on the same field. And at least for one week, some controversial refereeing decisions won't cost us any points.
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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United