Big Big Win!
Chelsea travelled to London Stadium which is just a stone’s throw away to face local rivals for the top four West Ham. West Ham sat 5th before the game started just behind Chelsea on goal difference. Chelsea have massive games ahead and so picking up 3 points in this game was big. Tuchel selected a strong but slightly defensive lineup as Mendy started in goal with Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger as the 3 defenders. Jorginho, Kante started in midfield with Azpilicueta, and Chilwell as the wing backs. Mount, Pulisic, and Werner started up front. West Ham stuck with their 3 at the back, some key players were back like Ogbonna, while Lanzini, Yarmolenko, and Benrahma were also available on the bench.
Chelsea started the better team and Werner had a good chance in the opening minutes as he did well to combine with Mount who’s ball found Werner in the box but his shot was off target. Werner was then involved again when he made space for Pulisic in the box but the American’s shot was saved. The first 25-30 minutes saw Chelsea dominate as West Ham were pinned back and formed a back 5. From the 30 minute mark West Ham grew into the game and began to open space at the back. Werner got a yellow while Christensen was also booked for what were lazy tackles. It looked like the half would end in a stalemate but a pass found Werner who shielded the ball well from Ogbonna. Werner then passed to Pulisic, who found Chilwell and his ball found Werner in the box who finished first time past Fabianski. 0-1 at half time and Chelsea had got what would turn out to be the winner.
The 2nd half began with Chelsea getting a great chance as Mount’s great shot was saved by Fabianski and the rebound found Werner who just had to finish in an open net but his shot went wide. Chelsea faded in the half and West Ham some decent chances but Chelsea held firm and grew back into the game. Chelsea had some great chances to finish the game but the shot’s were saved by Fabianski. Ziyech, Tammy, and Reece James came on later in the half and Ziyech did well to show energy and create chances. Tammy went close with a header but it was always a tough finish and Ziyech should have got the pass because he was wide open. Reece James managed the right hand side well. Chelsea saw out any threat ended the game well and Chelsea got the 3 points. Balbuena was sent off in the 81st minute for West Ham which slightly blunt any West Ham attack. Balbuena cleared the ball but on the follow through he caught Chilwell. It was never a red and was probably a yellow or something in the middle but it was unfair to send the player off. Coufal did the same thing on Rudiger a couple minutes later but he wasn’t booked at all. It was just another game that highlights that the level of refereeing in the country isn’t great.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy didn’t have much to do in this game but his passing was a little poor in the 1st half. Another clean sheet for the goalkeeper and that’s all he can ask for.
The defence stayed strong for 90 minutes overall, but they did seem shaky at times during the 1st half especially for those final 15 minutes. The passing was sloppy and there were some silly tackles. Still we handled any threat well and Silva was key in stopping any passes. Azpilicueta as wing back was defensively solid but offensively he lacked the vision or pace. Chilwell put in another top notch performance and got an assist as his debut season for Chelsea continues to deliver good performances. Reece James came on in the 2nd half but was there to manage the game. A clean sheet that makes Chelsea the best defensive team in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
Jorginho, and Kante were solid once again. Jorginho had made some comments pre game on Lampard that brought out the fanatics but he put in another solid performance on the pitch. Kante just continues to be a human wonder and everytime I just wish that he had better passing skills. There was a great moment late in the game when he dribbled past West Ham players but then failed to make the key pass when he reached the penalty box. Mount was outstanding once again, continued to press, and charge forward and create chances. He got off some good shots from distance that drew some solid saves. A solid performance.
Pulisic had a decent game but and was able to use his dribbling a couple of times but apart from that he was quiet. Werner had a game that highlighted his whole season. Werner started the game brilliantly as he got some shots off and created a couple of chances. The German also showed strength to hold off Ogbonna a couple of times. Werner then faded and he got a yellow for a lazy tackle. Then Werner rebounded with creating and finishing the goal he scored. Werner in the 2nd half then missed an open chance. Werner post match jokingly said that maybe one was enough for today and two would have been too much. Werner now has 20+ goals and assist this season and the key is that if he has this output when he is bad then imagine when he finds his form. Ziyech came on in the 2nd half and created a couple of chances and looked lively. Tammy also showed up after a long time and gave it his all in for 10 minutes. Tammy showed good strength and missed a header but it was tough to finish the Mount pass.
Tuchel get’s a crucial win in the race for top four as the games ahead don’t get any easier. We weren’t at our best but we got the job done and Tuchel will know there are places to improve especially offensively. More good things to come.
Chelsea go 3 points clear of 5th with the win and a point behind Leicester. Next up is a big trip to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final! COME ON CHELSEA!!!