Hammers Perform Stamford Bridge Raid
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 01 Dec 2019 12:26:00
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West Ham United earnt their first win since 22 September and what a three points it was. They achieved an unbelievable 1-0 derby victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

Due to the recent form of goalkeeper Roberto Jiménez Gago, David Martin came in to Manuel Pellegrini's starting line-up as he made four changes with the Spaniard dropping to the bench. Fabián Balbuena filled in for the suspended Issa Diop in defence, while Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals replaced Sébastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko who were also named amongst the substitutes.

Both teams are known for employing an expansive style of play this season and the first half of this game was no different. Frank Lampard's side went close to opening the scoring with just three minutes gone through Pedro after he was well set up by Emerson. Fortunately for the visitors though, Angelo Ogbonna crucially blocked his effort.

The Irons then went up the other end and despite Aaron Cresswell finding Antonio with a measured cross, he was unable to provide the perfect finish past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The travelling support were definitely pleased to see the name of former Millwall stopper Martin on the team sheet and they were cheering virtually every time he touched the ball. Although he spilled Mason Mount's initial effort following Olivier Giroud's lay-off, he was able to readjust and hold on at the second attempt.

Chelsea missed a golden chance to go ahead 15 minutes later when a pass from youngster Reece James deflected off Cresswell's foot, the looped cross then hit the post and from the resulting corner, Kurt Zouma rose highest but couldn't direct his header on target.

Felipe Anderson then linked up with Robert Snodgrass three minutes later and the Scotsman's great ball found the head of Antonio but Arrizabalaga made an outstanding save.

The home side were piling on the pressure as the first-half drew to a close but West Ham stood firm. Martin showed good reflex's to thwart Mateo Kovačić before Christian Pulisic made a hash of controlling James' powerful cross.

The break arrived and the visitors were undoubtedly pleased with the effort they had shown up to this point to keep the game goalless.

Lampard clearly expected more from his side when the action restarted but just three minutes after the break, the visitors found a way through and those in the away end exploded with joy. Cresswell combined well with Fornals and the defender notched his third goal of the season when he sent a curling finish past Arrizabalaga, giving him no chance.

Ten minutes later, two corners from Snodgrass nearly resulted in the Hammers grabbing another goal. The first saw Balbuena connect with a strong header but Arrizabalaga managed to get a hand to the effort and push it wide, while the second almost fell invitingly for Antonio but the Spaniard got there first.

There were more celebrations from the away end on sixty seven minutes when they thought Antonio had increased the advantage after some determined play from Snodgrass but there was to be an all too familiar occurrence, as VAR ruled the goal out for a handball decision.

Pellegrini then made a substitution four minutes later with Anderson making way for Yarmolenko.
The manager then waited another four minutes before bringing on Haller for Antonio.

The game was swinging from end to end and the noise from both ends had really been turned up a notch. West Ham were trying to catch Chelsea on the break, while the home side were trying to equalise but they were being prevented from doing so on every occasion.

With seven minutes of normal time to play, Pellegrini introduced his final change as Arthur Masuaku took the place of Fornals.

Chelsea were running out of time but were in no mood to give up as they almost secured a point in the five minutes of stoppage time that were added. Pulisic did well to work some space for a shot from 20-yards but in fairness, he didn't make the best of the effort.

When referee Jonathan Moss blew the final whistle, all connected with West Ham were able to celebrate ending November with a victory. They start December on their travels when they are back in action on Wednesday night with the trip to Molineux to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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