Hammers Get Big Win

West Ham United didn’t have the best of records in London derbies last season but they certainly made up for it at the start of this season by beating Chelsea 3-1 in Stratford on Sunday afternoon.

The signing of James Ward-Prowse from Southampton was finally confirmed last week and he was the only change that David Moyes made to the side that drew with AFC Bournemouth on the opening weekend. The midfielder replaced Pablo Fornals, who dropped to the bench. Also amongst the substitutes were fellow new recruit Edson Álvarez and youngster Divin Mubama.

Moyes has had some very decent results against Chelsea over his two spells in East London but, there was a feeling that with Mauricio Pochettino in charge, that winning streak may be about to end.

As you can imagine, the majority inside the stadium were in full voice and they had an early chance to go ahead. Ward-Prowse is renowned for his set-piece deliveries and one nearly paid off for him but unfortunately, it went just wide.

An almost identical move brought the first goal soon after. Vladimír Coufal won a corner and the midfielder sent it into the box and it was then met by Nayef Aguerd who headed past visiting goalkeeper Robert Sánchez.

Although the Hammers had gone in front, Pochettino’s men were going forward at pace trying to find a quick response but fortunately, the home defence weren’t letting them through.

There was then a scare for the home faithful when Nicolas Jackson, one of Chelsea’s many summer acquisitions was brought down by Alphonse Areola.

Referee John Brooks awarded the penalty but then spotted that his assistant had raised the offside flag, meaning the hosts were given a reprieve.

West Ham looked as if they would increase their advantage but, just as Saïd Benrahma shaped to shoot, his attempt was blocked. Areola then made a great save from Conor Gallagher, before Jackson sent the ball over the top.

Chelsea did eventually break the home side’s resilience just before the half-hour mark when the Irons failed to get the ball away on two separate occasions and, as a consequence, Carney Chukwuemeka made them pay. The former Aston Villa youngster went on to level the scores.

The end-to-end nature of the game continued as Tomáš Souček set up Lucas Paquetá. The Brazilian tried his luck, only to see his shot hit the post.

Souček was at fault soon after however, as he fouled Raheem Sterling. Brooks had indicated that the offence occurred inside the box and this time, the visitors did have a penalty. Remarkably, Areola had never previously saved a spot-kick during his time in the Premier League and he was facing up to Enzo Fernández. Well, there is always a first time for everything and the Frenchman came out on top to more loud cheers from the crowd.

After six minutes of stoppage time had been signalled to end a chaotic first-half, Brooks blew his whistle and it was still anyone’s game.

Just like in the opening forty five minutes, West Ham were quick out of the blocks and were back in front on fifty three minutes. A mistake from Axel Disasi allowed Ward-Prowse to set Michail Antonio away and he evaded the attentions of Levi Colwill to beat Sánchez.

The game was entering its final twenty minutes when the home side were dealt a major blow. Aguerd, who had been booked earlier in the encounter, was given a yellow card for a bad challenge on Jackson.

Moyes immediately responded by making his first change, as Benrahma left the action and was replaced by Angelo Ogbonna.

The former Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur boss made a change with fifteen minutes of normal time still to play when he brought on Noni Madueke for Gallagher, before Moyes followed suit and introduced Fornals to take the place of Antonio.

Five minutes later, Moyes then made a third change as he swapped the two debutants around when Álvarez came on for Ward-Prowse.

Fornals almost made the desired impact but he was denied by a great save from Sánchez, before Areola did brilliantly to prevent Madueke from beating him.

Another six minutes were added on at the end of the game and with just two minutes of those six to go, Emmerson Palmieri and Paquetá combined to good effect, before the Brazilian midfielder was halted in the box by another Blues’ substitute Moisés Caicedo. Now, West Ham had a penalty!!!

Palmieri stepped up to the spot and smashed the ball past Sánchez to cement the three points for the East Londoners.

Moyes will want his side to take the momentum gained from this encounter into their next game which is at a place where they have never won in the Premier League. Can they finally break tradition and win at Brighton and Hove Albion? Find out in Saturday’s late kick-off.

One player who won’t feature at The American Express Stadium is midfielder Flynn Downes, as he has completed a season-long loan move to Sky Bet Championship side Southampton. It appears that more deals could be on the cards for the club. As always, as soon as anything is confirmed, this site will have all the latest.