Declan Rice applauds the West Ham support

Rice: The lads are gutted with the result

Declan Rice was left a frustrated figure as West Ham United fell to a harsh 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Hammers took the lead through Michail Antonio, before Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz led the Chelsea response.

But West Ham were left aggrieved as Maxwel Cornet – who had earlier struck the post – saw his late equaliser ruled out by VAR.

The skipper praised the performance of his teammates but was ultimately disappointed with the final result.

“It’s gutting,” said Rice. “The main talking point is the disallowed goal. We have looked back at it as a team and the lads and the manager are gutted. We felt as though we could have come away with something.”

Declan Rice in action against Chelsea

David Moyes’ plan looked to have worked to a tee in west London, with Chelsea struggling to break down a resilient West Ham United side until late on.

Rice was quick to look at the positives ahead of a busy schedule that sees West Ham United start their UEFA Conference League Group B campaign against Romanian side FCSB on Thursday, before Newcastle United travel to London Stadium the following Sunday.

“We had a great game plan today,” reiterated Rice. “It was quiet out there for them. They scored two good goals but two we could do better on. The least we could have come away with was a point – if not three points. We are gutted but that is football.

“It is not the start of the season we would have wanted considering where we are in the table, but things are starting to turn; you can feel it.

“There is a confidence within the place. The lads are ready to go again, and we will be ready for Europe on Thursday and for Newcastle on Sunday.”

Rice was also impressed by Lucas Paquetá, who made his first start in Claret and Blue at Stamford Bridge.

“He is a top player,” Rice stated. “We would have liked to have got him on [the ball] more.

"But I thought for his second game, the way he integrated with the team and showed his confidence, he is going to be a real special player for us.”