Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chelsea 4 - 1 West Ham


Dominant Chelsea thrashed relegation-threatened West Ham to return to the Premier League summit.
Florent Malouda crossed for Alex to open the scoring for Chelsea with a powerful header from six yards.
The Hammers hit back through Scott Parker who scored with a vicious half-volley from outside the area.
But Didier Drogba headed home a Malouda cross to regain the lead, before Malouda coolly slotted a third and Drogba tapped in a late fourth.
From the start, West Ham defended deep against title-chasing Chelsea - perhaps unsurprisingly considering they started the day only three points outside of the bottom three, yet it was the Hammers who had the first chance to take the lead.
Jonathan Spector outmuscled Paulo Ferreira on the byeline and the loose ball fell to Mido who squared to Ilan, unmarked on the edge of the six yard box, but the Brazilian hammered his effort over the bar.
Chelsea might have seen their formidable Stamford Bridge record dented by a loss to Manchester City in their previous league match, but they were in no mood for a second setback and took the lead just two minutes after Ilan's miss.
Malouda, in space on the left, produced an inch-perfect cross which defender Alex powered past Robert Green to open the scoring.
Carlo Ancelotti's side almost made it 2-0 moments later courtesy of another cross from the lively Malouda, but the ball clipped the bar after taking a deflection off Matthew Upson's thigh.

Ancelotti praises 'improving' Chelsea

But if Chelsea thought the game would go all their way they were mistaken as Gianfranco Zola's well organised side harried and their tenacity was rewarded when Parker struck in spectacular style.
Kieron Dyer's throw in, which television replays suggested was a foul throw, was flicked on by Jon Mikel Obi and bounced kindly for Parker.
The former Chelsea man, who left Stamford Bridge for Newcastle in 2005, took one touch before launching a looping right-footed half-volley beyond Turnbull and into the top right corner - for the midfielder's first goal of the season.
That was to be as good as it got for West Ham who, despite no lack of effort, were overpowered by Chelsea.
The main source of danger for the home side was France winger Malouda, who continued to torment Spector, but Chelsea's second goal owed more to a piece of John Terry-inspired attacking play.

Second Chelsea goal was cruicial - Zola

The former England skipper dribbled the ball into West Ham's half before finding Drogba who slipped the ball out to Malouda, the winger returning the compliment with a perfect cross for Drogba to score.
As Chelsea threatened to add another, Green, playing his 116th successive league game, at least had the opportunity to impress watching England boss Fabio Capello.
And Green did exactly that when another Chelsea cross found Alex who saw the England goalkeeper palm the ball around the post at full stretch.
Malouda finally added the goal his endeavour deserved when Drogba controlled a long ball and laid it off to the winger, who coolly passed his finish beyond Green.
Frank Lampard hit the post from Malouda's cross as Chelsea threatened to give the score a slightly unfair edge but West Ham could not hold out for long.
After finding space Lampard struck another fierce effort, this time spilled by Green, and Drogba was perfectly placed to score his 27th goal of the season.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti:
"I think Malouda was the best player in this game.
"He was always giving us ideas on the left hand side, putting in crosses and when he scored that was a good moment.
"We maintained a good balance in the second half. We had a bit of a problem but we are improving and are confident for Tuesday [against Inter Milan]."
On goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, Ancelotti added:
"He did well, he played with confidence and good personality and he is a good goalkeeper.
"I think he will be in goal on Tuesday, we have confidence in Turnbull."
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola:
"It was very good for 65 minutes but as soon as we conceded the second goal it was too hard for us.
"I saw the boys go flat because they had used so much energy trying to contain them.
"It is vital that you keep it on the positive side. That doesn't mean you turn your back on the problems, we will be dealing with those in the week.
"The attitude that we put forward against team like Chelsea can make the difference when we play against teams around us.
"I am not going to give up anything. We have another tough game against Arsenal next week and I'm not going to go there already beaten."

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