Monday, September 20, 2010

West Ham Utd 1-3 Chelsea


Two headers from Michael Essien and a Salomon Kalou goal, gifted by a Rob Green mistake, maintained the only 100 per cent record in English League football.
West Ham did become the first team to score past the Blues defence since mid-April when Scott Parker chipped the rearguard but by then it was already 3-0 to the visitors in this top v bottom encounter.

Chelsea have played better this season and had it not been for a bad miss by the home side there could have been trouble towards the end, but Carlo Ancelotti was able to make changes to his side on the back of the international matches without losing momentum, and give a full debut to Ramires who showed good running and promising touches as Frank Lampard's stand-in.
Ivanovic replaced Alex in central defence and Malouda was rested with Kalou given a start in the front three.
Despite their recent plight, the West Ham fans did their best to create a mood of optimism at kick-off with a rendition of 'Bubbles' but their dreams began to fade and die before two minutes of the game had even passed.
Chelsea won a corner from the first attack of the game and with Lampard watching from the stands, it fell to Drogba to take it. Any thoughts that it was strange to move the aerial colossus out of the area at that moment were soon forgotten as the ball was powered in to where Essien rose above them all, heading home with Rob Green grasping at air as Carlton Cole failed to head off the line. It the Ghanaian's first of the sesaon. It was a huge psychological blow struck.

There was no such problem for Cech soon after as he plucked an Obinna shot out of the air and Chelsea were able to consolidate.
On nine minutes, Ilunga, a problem for Chelsea in this fixture previously, cut inside and looked dangerous, but blazed horribly off target.
Upton Park was pretty quiet and it was soon plunged into despair after a howler from Robert Green of World Cup proportions.
Drogba was ambitious 35 yards out when he shot a free-kick towards goal and it looked straight forward for the former England keeper as he clasped it. He barely had to move, that was until he spilled the shot and as Upson tried to rescue it and hack clear, he smashed the ball into Kalou's ankle and the Chelsea man was an inadvertent scorer.
Chelsea fans in the stadium were enjoying themselves immensely, as strains of ' England's Number One' and 'Gianfranco Zola' filled the stadium.
Kalou could have made it three but shot wide having burst through a challenge.
It wasn't all plain sailing. A ball over the top of Ivanovic found the hefty Obinna in front of goal but with just Cech to beat, he shot wide to groans around the ground. The Nigerian went a lot closer on 30 minutes, powering into space and cracking a shot that swerved just past Cech' s post.
Two minutes later, Mikel, who had only just fired over in familiar fashion, came within inches of his first Premier League goal. A corner was played back his way and from the edge of the area he cracked a half-volley against the angle of bar and post. He wheeled away in frustration.
Ashley Cole was booked for a foul on Behrami as half-time approached. Parker soon followed him for a late challenge on Anelka.
A third goal before the break would surely have finished the game and Drogba was looking like powering his way through at any minute, but it was the home side who did put the ball in the net moments before the whistle when Carlton Cole was placed through by Boa Morte. The former Chelsea man was offside, and celebrations quickly ended.
Avram Grant made a half-time substitution. Dyer came on for Boa Morte.
Five minutes after the restart, Ramires showed shooting ability when he drifted into the middle and put plenty of oomph into an effort over the bar.
At the other end West Ham gave it a good go at getting back into the game for a 20 minute spell but Cech and Terry were exemplary in keeping them at bay, aided by West Ham's reluctance to send players up in support of Carlton Cole.

Kalou went close to his second goal with a curling shot after excellent Drogba play in the centre of the park had created a chance. Drogba then drew a save from Green with a powerful shot and Cech fielded a free-kick from Obinna, Ivanovic booked for the foul.
Drogba continued to cause problems with his set-piece delivery. On 70 minutes, Mikel challenged for a free kick and it fell to Ivanovic but Green snuffed out the danger.
There was a chance for Gael Kakuta with just over 15 minutes remaining. The young Frenchman replaced an older one with Anelka making way and the sub did slip one well-weighted pass forward that Drogba couldn't finish.
The game looked to be drifting to a 2-0 conclusion but then came a goal at each end in the space of two minutes.
First Essien headed his second of the game after Ferreira swung over an excellent first-time cross after Mikel had spread the play. That made it 3-0 on 82 minutes. Parker finally broke down the Chelsea barrier with a finish of quality - lobbing into the net after a decent Cech punch had cleared the penalty area.
It could have been pressure on Chelsea in closing minutes had substitute Piquionne not repeated his feat of missing an open goal in the Cup Final last May for Portsmouth. This time he hit the bar from a yard out after Chelsea had allowed a whipped-in ball to find a way through. Cole had come close to finishing it too.

Instead the two-goal margin was maintained. The Blues head into Europe with spirits sky high.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry (c) (Alex 81), Cole; Essien, Mikel, Ramires; Kalou (Malouda 83), Drogba,
Anelka (Kakuta 75),
Unused subs Turnbull, Zhirkov, Benayoun, Sturridge.
Scorers Essien 2, 83, Kalou 18.
Booked Cole 40, Ivanovic 64.
West Ham (4-diamond-2): Green; Jacobsen, Ben-Haim, Upson (c), Ilunga; Parker; Behrami (Piquionne 72), Boa Morte (Dyer h-t); Noble; Cole, Obinna.
Unused subs Stech, Tomkins, Barrera, Kovac, Faubert.
Scorer Parker 85.
Booked Parker 44, Noble 90.
Referee Chris Foy.
Crowd 33,014.

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