Hammers robbed in penalty drama
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 21 Dec 2009 11:32:00
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A re-taken penalty by Frank Lampard meant that West Ham United had victory snatched away from them on Sunday afternoon.

Chelsea started the brighter of the two sides, with a fizzing effort from 20 yards by Lampard being pushed round the post by Robert Green.

For the second week in a row, West Ham had Scott Parker to thank for a goalline clearance as he chested and eventually cleared Branislav Ivanovic's headed effort from a corner.

It was then that the Hammers started to exert some pressure on the visitors with Guillermo Franco having time and space in the box to unleash a shot that Petr Cech eventually saved.

The home side were awarded a penalty a minute before the break when Jack Collison was upended by Ashley Cole after he had latched on to Franco's through-ball. Cole recieved a yellow card for the challenge and Alessandro Diamanti stepped up to blast the spot kick past Cech.

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 The second half started with Chelsea introducing Jon Obi Mikel and Daniel Sturridge for Florent Malouda and Solaman Kalou.

Soon after Didier Drogba came within inches of scoring one of the goals of the season, as he hit a half-volley on the turn from an acute angle. Fortunately for Hammers' fans, the shot bounced wide of the post.

Carlo Ancelotti's men were controversially awarded a penalty when the returning Matthew Upson appeared to have made a superb tackle, but was judged to have fouled Sturridge by the Linesman. The referee initially appeared to wave play on, but after consulting with his linesman the penalty was awarded.

Frank Lampard stepped up to level the match after two re-takes for encroachment.

A few chances then went either way, Mark Noble Fired over the bar for the home side before former Hammer, Joe Cole, did the same for the the visitors. This was to be Cole's final action before being replaced by Yuri Zirkhov.

In a thrilling end to the match, both teams went searching for a winner but several counter attacks from the home side failed to produce any openings. Franco did force a point blank save from Cech, but was flagged offside.

Up the other end of the pitch, the Hammers had Green to thank for keeping the scores level.

All of which means the Hammers head into the Boxing day clash with Portsmouth one point ahead of their fellow strugglers.

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