Chelsea travelled across town to play West Ham in a London Derby at the London Stadium for MW 15 of the Premier League season. West Ham and Moyes decided to switch to a back three for this game with Fabianski starting in goal and Dawson, Zouma, and Diop forming the defence. Coufal, and Johnson started as the wing backs with Soucek and Rice in midfield. Bowen, Lanzini, and Antonio made up the front three. Chelsea started with Mendy in goal and a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. James returned at right wing back with Alonso on the left and Jorginho along with Loftus-Cheek forming the midfield. Mount, Ziyech and Havertz started up front for Chelsea. A good starting XI for both sides and it was setup to be a good game.
Chelsea began the game on the front foot as we pinned West Ham in their own half. The first chance fell for Havertz who just managed to hit the side netting after some good play from Ziyech. The first goal came in the 28th minute as Mount swinged a corner in which found Thiago Silva who gave Chelsea the lead. West Ham had an instant chance to equalise but Silva this time cleared off the line to keep Chelsea’s lead. Chelsea had another chance as well which was deflected and saved by Fabianski. Jorginho then played a sloppy pass once again to Mendy who also tried to shield the ball rather than boot it. Bowen got in-between the ball and Mendy and Mendy brought him down to concede a needless penalty. Lanzini stepped up and equalised for West Ham in the 40th minute. Another goal of our own making. Chelsea restored their lead before half time though with a brilliant long ball from Ziyech which Mount volleyed first time past Fabianski. A top half of football for the neutral but nervy for both teams.
Lukaku had to come on at half time for Havertz who was injured right as the first half ended while Masuaku also came on for West Ham in place of Johnson. Rudiger had an early chance to give Chelsea another goal but the shot was off target. West Ham then equalised via Bowen who curled in a good shot past Mendy in the 56th minute. Hudson-Odoi, and Pulisic came on to swing the game in Chelsea’s favour as we searched for the winner. West Ham had the more clear cut chances though and finally they gained the lead in the 87th minute via what was probably a fluke goal. Masuaku saw Mendy off his line and shot or crossed the ball from a tight angle at his near post to get all three points for the Hammers.
Chelsea Team Review
No clean sheet for Mendy in this game and a couple of errors once again. The penalty was a poor pass from Jorginho but the decision making to hold onto the ball was poor from Mendy. The final goal was also a bit of a fluke as well. Tuchel said post game that he doesn’t know why but Mendy seems to be suffering with some confidence issues at the moment. Ups and downs come and go and Mendy has been exceptional for more than a season now. He is a top class goalkeeper and his confidence will return.
Another goal for a defender with it coming from Silva this time. No clean sheet though and some sloppy passes at the back which did cause danger a couple of times. Reece James found lots of joy in the 1st half but failed to impact the game in the 2nd half while Alonso was also left fairly isolated for much of the game. With Chilwell missing the dynamic is not there on both sides and the fluidity and chemistry seems to have taken a hit. Work to do for sure to find the balance once again.
Jorginho controlled the game well in the 1st half until that silly mistake which helped cause the penalty. That’s two goals in the last few games that have come via sloppy play from the Italian. Loftus-Cheek had a good game this time and bounce back from his poor performance against Watford. It is clear that he thrives when there is someone calm and composed next to him. Mount was man of the match from a Chelsea perspective with a brilliant goal and assist.
Ziyech did well in this game and his good form carries on with another assist. Havertz played well and had a couple of chances but to see him go off with an injury won’t feel like good news for Tuchel. Lukaku came on at half time and honestly had little to no impact on the game. We actually looked a bit slower in our buildup and this is another are which Tuchel has to resolve. Lukaku has to play because he is so lethal in front of goal but at the moment he is not as involved and while he does make runs we fail to pick him out. Hudson-Odoi came on and looked dangerous but again his finishing was lacking while Pulisic also didn’t have any real chance to make an impact.
Tuchel will know that the individual mistakes were not good enough but the performance in general was decent enough to see us get the win. That is now four points we have dropped due to our own errors which is not good if we want to be title contenders. Tuchel needs to get Lukaku firing and fix whatever confidence issues these players have for some reason.
West Ham did well and have now beaten Liverpool, Chelsea, City, Manchester United amongst others this season. They do look like genuinely challenging for that top four race and they will remain in the top four for another gameweek. Chelsea went into the day as league leaders but ended the day two points behind Man City as we dropped to 3rd. Much work to do and no time to sulk around, next up is a trip to Zenit in the Champions League. COME ON CHELSEA!!!