Another Derby Defeat for the Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Thursday 05 Mar 2015 14:04:00
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West Ham United fans will have been delighted to have heard the news earlier that defender Winston Reid has committed his future to the club and have signed a contract that will keep him at Upton Park until the summer of 2021.

On the pitch however, their recent troubles were to continue as, despite a creditable performance, they have now slipped to 10th in the table off the back of a 1-0 defeat by Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

Sam Allardyce made one change to the side that were defeated by the Eagles at the weekend, as Alex Song was dropped to the bench and in came club captain Kevin Nolan.

Big Sam's best laid plans had to be changed just seven minutes in when Reid suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced by James Collins.

Chelsea were on the front foot in the early stages but on 18 minutes, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had to block a shot with you legs after a corner had been sent over by Mark Noble.

Four minutes later, after Diafra Sakho had missed the chance to head the Hammers in front, Jose Mourinho's side went straight at the other end and Eden Hazard was on the end of a great pass from Ramires and knocked the ball past Adrian.

Chelsea looked certain to double their lead on 35 minutes, when Diego Costa was on the charge but a superb tackle from Carl Jenkinson kept the scoreline down.

That was a let off for the Irons but just two minutes later, they should have levelled the game. Jenkinson was involved again as his cross was met by Sakho's head but the striker's attempt was too close to Courtois.

As the fourth official signalled that there would be four minutes of stoppage time at the end of the half, once again a tight call went against the home side, as the linesman had ruled that Enner Valencia had run the ball out of play, however, the striker managed to keep it on the playing surface terrifically.

When referee Andre Marriner blew for half-time the hosts were thankful that they had managed to keep their opponents' advantage down to just a single goal.

The second-half started with the Hammers still searching for that elusive equaliser. They nearly found it on 53 minutes, when Stewart Downing found space and crossed over for Sakho but his header was expertly blocked by Courtois. Nolan then tried to squeeze in the rebound but couldn't do so and the Blues survived.

Three minutes later however, Chelsea went within inches of doubling their advantage, as Ramires eased past Collins and ran into the box, only to see his effort come back off the post with Adrian gathering at the second attempt.

The game was going from end to end, as the visitors had another chance to further increase the lead when Hazard found Ramires but Adrian saved with his feet and up the other end, Sakho was put through by Downing, only for Courtois to dive to his left and Parry the Senegalese striker's effort to safety.

The hosts thought luck was on their side on 72 minutes, when Courtois pushed Valencia's shot back into the danger. Thankfully Gary Cahill was on hand to spare his blushes.

Four minutes later, there was another worrying site for the home side, as Cheikou Kouyate made a superb run down the pitch and his intention was to link up with Sakho. Then a clash of heads with Chelsea captain John Terry resulted in both men going to ground. Terry seemed to recover fairly quickly but Kouyate needed more attention and a lengthy stoppage followed.

The physio called for a stretcher but the midfielder was eventually fine to carry on.

With three minutes of normal time to play, Allardyce made his second change of the evening, deciding not to risk Kouyate any longer, so Nene came on as his replacement.

In the six minutes of injury time added at the end of the game due to the earlier scare for Kouyate, Chelsea had one final chance to extend their lead. Hazard cut the ball back for Willian, who had been introduced as a substitute for Costa earlier in the match, the striker got a foot on the ball and beat Adrian but, luckily for the East Londoners, James Tomkins produced a superb block.

That was the last action of a thrilling game in which both sides played their part in.

Next up for West Ham is a trip north London to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on 14 March.

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