Another Famous Victory Claimed
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 25 Oct 2015 14:52:00
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West Ham United have made their best start to a season since the 1983/84 campaign. They are also unbeaten in seven games for the first time in fifteen years after winning 2-1 against London rivals Chelsea at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon.

Slaven Bilic made one change to the side that beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Victor Moses was ineligible to play against his parent club, meaning Mauro Zarate was able to earn a rare start after impressing off the bench against the Eagles.

Although Chelsea made the better start to the game, the Hammers were patient and started to take control. They went close to opening the scoring on 16 minutes, when Dimitri Payet's curling freekick was tipped over by Blues' goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

It didn't take long for the home side to go in front however, as Zarate staked his claim for a possible starting place against Watford next weekend, when he slamed a powerful shot into the corner of the net. Cue delirium from the majority inside the ground.

Adrian didn't have much to trouble him in the opening stages but on the half-hour mark he made a superb one-handed save from Cesc Fabregas's in-swinging corner.

Five minutes later, the Irons survived a scare, as Manuel Lanzini made an incredible goal-line clearance to prevent Kurt Zouma from levelling matters but the technology came into play and proved that the ball just missed the line.

The home side were really pushing for more goals and could have extended their advantage when James Collins found himself with time and space to place his header but instead, he directed it straight at Begovic.

On 39 minutes, the hosts wasted another chance when Payet laid the ball off to Lanzini, who made a driving run into the box and instead of lifting the ball over Begovic, he fired wide.

Chelsea again felt aggrieved on 42 minutes, when Fabregas thought he had equalised but the effort was ruled out, as he was quite clearly offside.

On the stroke of half-time their frustrations boiled over, as Nemanja Matic, who had been booked earlier, received a second yellow card for a foul on Diafra Sakho. That was the third consecutive week that West Ham had seen their opponents go down to ten men. In the early weeks of the season it was so often them who had a player dismissed.

It then all kicked off, as both Diego Costa and Fabregas were booked for their reaction and then to add to that, a member of the visiting coaching staff was sent to the stands for his protestations on the touchline.

Nevertheless, when the half-time whistle blew, it was met by loud cheers from the home support.

When the two teams emerged from the tunnel for the second-half, it had become clear that Chelsea were still rattled by that decision and because of this, Blues' boss José Mourinho was also sent to the stands during the break.

The visitors were desperate to level matters but the hosts were holding firm in the opening minutes of the second period.

That was until 56 minutes, as the hosts failed to clear a corner and stand-in captain Gary Cahill picked up the loose ball and beat Adrian from close range.

Zarate nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon as he was played in by Payet just three minutes later but, unfortunately this time he fired straight at Begovic.

That was to be Zarate's last contribution as on 68 minutes, Bilic made his first change, as he replaced the Argentine with Andy Carroll.

After Chelsea found themselves in a defensive mixup on 79 minutes, the Hammers took advantage as Carroll claimed his first goal of the season when he met Aaron Cresswell's ball and diverted his header past Begovic. If there was delirium amongst the home fans when the first went in, now there was pandemonium!

Three minutes later, the home side made another change as Pedro Obiang was introduced in place of Lanzini.

Obiang could have made an immediate impact as he found himself with time and space to size up a shot but instead he fired over the bar.

In an attempt to preserve the three points, Bilic substituted a midfielder for a defender, as captain Mark Noble was replaced by Angelo Ogbonna.

The home fans were made to hold their collective breath as four minutes of stoppage time were added and although the visitors were trying for a point, the final whistle blew and a second home win was confirmed.

The Hammers will hope to build on this win by claiming another away win at Vicarage Road next weekend.

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