Back on 1 July 2020, West Ham United won a London derby 3-2 at home to Chelsea and in Saturday’s early kick-off, they repeated that feat, only this time, they had to come from behind twice.
David Moyes made two changes from the team that suffered late disappointment against Brighton and Hove Albion three days earlier, as Manuel Lanzini and Issa Diop replaced Pablo Fornals and Saïd Benrahma who both dropped to the bench. Harrison Ashby was also included in the matchday squad but was amongst the substitutes
The Irons were desperate to get back to winning ways having not tasted victory since the 3-2 success over Liverpool here back on 7 November but they were under no illusions that this was going to be another tough game.
After the 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road in midweek, Chelsea Head-Coach Thomas Tuchel stated that they weren’t at their best but they certainly made up for that here by dominating the early stages.
Hakim Ziyech went close as early as the sixth minute when he got on the end of a cross from Reece James but his shot lacked power and Craig Dawson managed to help the ball to Łukasz Fabiański in the home side’s goal.
Chelsea had obviously been watching some of West Ham’s set pieces, as on twenty eight minutes, the Hammers were undone from one as the Blues went in front when Thiago Silva sent a powerful header past the Pole who couldn’t keep it out.
The Brazilian defender was involved at the other end too just minutes later. He managed to clear Vladimír Coufal’s goalbound effort off the line.
Tuchel’s side were piling on the pressure as they looked to go further in front. Mason Mount tried his luck but his long-range shot was well held by Fabiański.
Five minutes before the break, Jarrod Bowen pounced on a terrible mistake from Jorginho and was through on goal, only for visiting goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to bring the former Hull City man down and referee Andre Marriner had little hesitation in awarding the hosts a penalty.
The Hammers had missed on several occasions from spot kicks this season but Lanzini made no mistake as he sent the ball past the French stopper to the delight of the home faithful.
Unfortunately for the majority inside the stadium though, the scores were only level for four minutes, as Mount beat Fabiański at his near post with a volleyed finish. In trying to prevent the goal, Ben Johnson went down injured which forced Moyes into a change, as Arthur Masuaku replaced Him.
Chelsea took that advantage into half-time but the Irons had memories of some recent victories against the Blues and were hoping to get back to winning ways by pulling another one off.
The home team reemerged from the dressing room reinvigorated and started the second-half well. Their efforts were rewarded when the found another equaliser through Bowen on fifty six minutes. He received possession from Michail Antonio and sent an effort through the legs of Andreas Christiansen and it flew past Mendy, which meant that the scores were level once again.
The same combination went close to putting the East Londoners ahead for the first time in the match just minutes later. Antonio used his pace to evade the attentions of Christiansen and pick out the winger’s run. Bowen made contact as he slid in but couldn’t produce the killer touch to beat Mendy and instead the ball was diverted wide.
Kurt Zouma appeared to have picked up an injury which meant Moyes had to make a second change on seventy one minutes with the defender being replaced by Fornals and fourteen minutes later, Benrahma entered the fray for Lanzini.
Two minutes after the final substitution had been made, the home side won the contest in bizarre fashion. Antonio took a throw which was picked up by Masuaku and he attempted to cross the ball into the box but his effort took a wicked deflection and went straight into the net and past Mendy for the defender to remarkably claim his first ever Premier League goal for the club. By now, the majority inside the stadium were sent into delirium.
Four minutes of injury time were added and West Ham were going for more goals but when Marriner blew the final whistle, they were just glad to have picked up a well needed three points. The result also means that they have inflicted Chelsea’s first defeat on the road this season.
With Fornals and Benrahma both rested for this game, it may suggest that they will be included in the starting line-up for Thursday night’s UEFA Europa League match against GNK Dinamo Zargreb in Stratford.