Snodgrass - It could have been different
- Robert Snodgrass says West Ham United played well in defeat by leaders Chelsea
- Scotland midfielder pointed to missed chances and clinical finishing from the Blues
- No11 admitted Antonio Conte's side were a tough nut to crack after they went in front
Robert Snodgrass says the Hammers can hold their heads high, despite going down to a 2-1 Premier League defeat by Chelsea on Monday evening.
West Ham United more than held their own against the runaway league leaders, only for goals either side of half-time from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa to leave them with a mountain to climb.
To their credit, the hosts stuck to their task at London Stadium and were rewarded by Manuel Lanzini’s added-time goal, but it was too little, too late to prevent a well-drilled Chelsea side from recording yet another top-flight victory.
“They are a horrible team to go behind against because, when they score first, it’s programmed into their strategy that they will be very hard to break down,” the impressive Snodgrass observed.
“In the first half we started well, passed the ball and created some decent chances and if we’d taken them it would have been a different game, but that’s why they are flying high at the top. They’ve got a very good defensive record and at times, it was difficult to break them down.
“I thought we played quite well at times in the game, but they punished us when they got the chance.”
Chelsea’s opener came when Lanzini’s free-kick hit the wall and bounced to Mark Noble. The captain shaped to cross, but was robbed of possession deep inside the Chelsea half, only for the visitors to break 70 yards at speed before Hazard rounded Darren Randolph to score.
West Ham out-passed and out-shot their opponents, but found it difficult to break down Antonio Conte’s well-organised side after falling behind.
The mountain got even steeper when Costa bundled in Cesc Fabregas’s corner, which was inadvertently flicked on by Pedro Obiang, and the Scotland international paid a grudging respect to the way the Blues played out the final 40-odd minutes.
I thought we played quite well at times in the game, but they punished us when they got the chance
“They are obviously very good at counter-attacking and sometimes when it’s like that we could have maybe taken a foul on the halfway line,” Snodgrass conceded. “That said, they did really well to get it forward so quickly. I thought we were the better team in the first half, so to go in a goal behind was difficult to get back from.
“When you see Chelsea play week-in, week-out, they don’t really concede and there is a method behind that. You can see that when you play against them too, because they put five behind the ball and defensively Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso tuck in. We knew they’d do that.
“It’s frustrating because if we’d taken those chances we created in the first half, it would have been a different game.”