Rice: We all knew our jobs and we all gave 100 per cent


Declan Rice said West Ham United should be proud of the way they stuck to their gameplan to secure a deserved 0-0 Premier League draw with Chelsea.

The Hammers retained the shape and tactical discipline to keep the Blues at bay at London Stadium, remaining compact in the face of the considerable threat posed by the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, Olivier Giroud, Alvaro Morata, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

Despite enjoying more than 70 per cent of the ball on Sunday, Chelsea had just six shots on target, all of which were expertly saved by Lukasz Fabianski, as Rice and his colleagues in Claret and Blue kept them at arm’s length for long periods.

And that defensive solidity almost provided the foundation for an unexpected victory as Michail Antonio and Andriy Yarmolenko passed up decent opportunities to score at the end of incisive counter attacks.

We all knew our jobs and we all gave 100 per cent

Declan Rice

“Without a doubt we could have had three points, with the chances we missed in the first half and obviously Yarmolenko’s header at the end was a crucial turning point in the game but, other than that, I thought we were excellent,” said Rice, who excelled in a deep-lying midfield role. “We all knew our jobs and we all gave 100 per cent.

“It was so much hard work because they play with so many different midfielders. It’s not just Jorginho, Kovacic and Kante, because you’ve also got Hazard and Willian coming into pockets and you’ve always got to be aware of your men and talk and communicate to stop them from scoring and playing their quick one-twos.

“You’re always thinking and concentrating and, as you saw, I cramped up a bit at the end and the lads were hammering me for rolling off the pitch, but it was a tough game and I’m proud of the team!”


Declan Rice keeps tabs on Chelsea's Eden Hazard


The teenager was quick to praise the home supporters for sticking with their team from first whistle until last, particularly seeing as West Ham had lost their opening two home matches of the season to AFC Bournemouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With already morale on the rise after a win at Everton, Rice says a first clean sheet of the campaign against a potent Chelsea attack has further boosted the Hammers as they prepare to host Macclesfield Town in the Carabao Cup and Manchester United in the Premier League.

“We took so much confidence from last week [at Everton]. Once you get three points everyone is happy and we were so close to getting that again today. Everyone was still buzzing.

“It feels a bit like two points dropped, but a draw is better than a loss. We lost our last game here against Wolves, which was tough to take, but you could hear the fans were behind us and they were like the 12th man.

“We’ve got Manchester United next week here and that’s a crucial game, so hopefully we can take the three points there."