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Hammers Impenetrable

By Gary Watton
September 23 2018

It had to happen eventually, and so it came to pass. Chelsea failed to score for the first time in the league this season, and in the process could not maintain their perfect start. West Ham United were always a likely banana skin, as our record away to them in recent years is a bit ropey. In the event, the Hammers imitated the Magpies by largely shutting up shop, and only occasionally offering an attacking threat. That said, Yarmolenko contrived to miss a gift-wrapped opportunity when he headed narrowly wide, with Kepa the keeper rooted to the spot.

Chelsea had a handful of chances, but rarely troubled the solid Fabianski. Giroud maintained our lone striker record of failing to score, although his replacement Morata was unlucky not to convert from close range when his goal bound effort hit the goalkeeper's head. Not long afterwards the goalkeeper used his hands this time to turn away a teasing attempt from Barkley that nearly broke the deadlock. Willian, who was our main goal threat, should have done an awful lot better when he blazed wide from an angle when put clean through. Oh well. Hazard was kept relatively quiet, Jorginho controlled the proceedings, Kovacic should have been replaced earlier by Barkley, and Kante and Willian operated well in tandem down the right flank. Still, sixteen points from six league outings is a highly impressive return. In any other season, that would be the start of potential champions. However, the consensus of opinion is that there are two teams in a league of their own - and we ain't one of them.

On Wednesday night we have the opportunity to grant game time to the likes of Ampadu and Loftus-Cheek. Hopefully an under-strength Chelsea will still be too strong for an under-strength Liverfools in the Carabao Cup.

 

West Ham United 0 CHELSEA 0; half time: 0-0

CHELSEA: Arrizabalaga; Luiz; Rudiger; Azpilicueta; Kante; Alonso; Hazard; Jorginho; Willian; Giroud; Kovacic. Used substitutes: Morata; Barkley

 

LEADING SCORERS:

Hazard five

Pedro three

Willian two

Alonso one

Jorginho one

Kante one

Morata one

 

 

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23/09/2018 13:41
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