Hammers Earn Precious Point
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 09 Apr 2018 15:09:00
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David Moyes's record without a win at Stamford Bridge may have been extended on Sunday afternoon, but his West Ham United side drew 1-1 in their London derby against Chelsea but the point means that they remain fourteenth in the Premier League table.

With Michail Antonio having been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury, one change was made to the team that comprehensively beat Southampton in Stratford last time out with Edimilson Fernandes taking his place.

The day was full of emotion for the home side, as tributes were paid to former Chelsea player and coach Ray Wilkins before kick-off and the Blues clearly wanted to put on a performance that he would have been proud of. They started the game on the front foot and could have gone ahead as early as the third minute when Eden Hazard ran into the box but fortunately for the visitors, his effort went inches wide.

West Ham struggled to get hold of the ball in the opening stages but had a golden chance to open the scoring on 14 minutes when Arthur Masuaku's ball found Marko Arnautovic but the winger couldn't take advantage, as the shot was blocked.

Kevin Friend hasn't been the kindest of referees to West Ham over the years but he certainly found himself in their good books here as he ruled Alvaro Morata's 24th minute effort out for offside.

Chelsea then had chance after chance to go ahead but some wayward shooting coupled with a great save from Joe Hart prevented them from doing so.

However, the resulting corner did produce the opening goal. Former Hammer Victor Moses was responsible for taking the set-piece and a knock-down from Morata allowed César Azpilicueta to set himself before his flick dribbled over the line and Chelsea were able to benefit from some terrible defending from the visitors.

Antonio Conte's side went into the break with the advantage and they were determined not to lose it as they had done in last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, while the Hammers were keen to not let another away game elude them.

The home side again orchestrated matters when the second-half began and went close to making the scoreline more comfortable but the travelling contingent were able to breathe a sigh of relief when Willian missed the target with his effort.

Celebrations from the home end were cut short once more as Friend made another correct decision when he once again spotted that Morata was offside after he had beaten Hart for a second time, following a good cross from Willian.

Aaron Cresswell picked up an injury towards the end of the first-half but he was sent out for the start of the second 45 minutes. However, time wore on and it was clearly visible that he was unable to continue, so on 64 minutes Moyes was forced to bring on Patrice Evra in his place.

Chelsea should have gone further in front a minute later but Willian missed the target with a left-footed effort.

Having brought on Evra six minutes earlier, Moyes decided to make a second change as the hosts were beginning to find their rhythm again. To try and combat their threat, he changed system and brought on Javier Hernández in place of Fernandes.

The Mexican has a good record of scoring against the Blues and that proved to be the case again. Just three minutes after entering the fray, Arnautovic played him in and he unleashed a venomous shot which flew past Thibaut Courtois, leaving the home end stunned whilst the travelling contingent were hoping for more than just a point.

Conte's men were soon turning on the style again and not to be outdone by West Ham's spectacular effort, Marcos Alonso went for glory but thankfully Hart made an equally brilliant save.

The Manchester City loanee was in inspired form from that point on, as he got a hand on substitute Olivier Giroud's effort to divert it onto the post.

With five minutes of normal time still to play, the Irons made their final change, replacing the ineffective João Mário with Josh Cullen.

Even though five minutes of stoppage time were added, it was the travelling support who left the happier of the two, having seen their team pick up another big result.

West Ham now have to wait for news on Cresswell's injury and if it looks like he will not be able to be involved in their next match against Stoke City, they could give Evra his first home start and have James Collins back in contention when the Potters arrive in East London next Monday.

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