Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finally Torres breakes the dead lockes.. Chelsea 3-0 West Ham


Fernando Torres' long awaited first goal sealed a 3-0 victory for Chelsea over West Ham United
and ensures the Blues' remain six points behind Manchester United at a rain soaked Stamford Bridge. The result keeps Carlo Ancelotti's side six points off the pace and keeps Avram Grant's side rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.

Both Chelsea and West Ham, managed by former Chelsea boss Avram Grant, fashioned plenty of chances in an open and flowing game but failed to hit the back of the net which leaves them deep in relegation strife.

Both sides had big name players unavailable for the clash with Alex and Ramires out for Chelsea, West Ham were without the services of newly-crowned Football Writer’s Player of the Year, Scott Parker. Chelsea however have the strength in depth to cope better with these injuries.

With the deluge omnipresent throughout the first half, chances were raining down on both goals but neither side could find the accuracy required to open the scoring. Both Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou both broke the West Ham defences open but in the case of Malouda, when one-on-one with Robert Green, he should have chipped the ball over the advancing ‘keeper instead of trying to place it low.

As was expected much of the action in the first period was played in the Hammers half and stout defending was the order of the day for the team from east London. They were always open to the chance of launching a counter attack and this ploy almost paid dividends when Demba Ba let fly a rasping drive from distance which required Petr Cech to act with urgency.

Moments later and West Ham had their best chance to open the scoring when a powerful and swift run from Freddie Sears down the West Ham left opened an avenue which allowed him to cross deep to the far post where a diving Jonathan Spector couldn’t direct his header beyond Cech. Carlo Ancelotti was looking disgruntled as he watched on from the sidelines, mind you Avram Grant, surprisingly didn’t look pleased either.

As the first half went on both teams continued to fashion chances but the breakthrough just wouldn’t come, more often due to poor decisions. Didier Drogba should have crossed instead of shooting on 28 minutes and Sears’s flick back heeled would have gone in had he attempted a more conventional shot.

As the thunderstorm over west London settled directly above Stamford Bridge causing various floodlights and advertising boards to go out, a horrible collision between David Luiz, Cech and Carlton Cole resulted in the young Portuguese defender losing consciousness. All three were attempting to play a long ball when Luiz took Cech’s elbow to the head. Happily he was treated with speed and continued to play.

Frank Lampard, who until this point had seen little action, grabbed the opening goal after on overlapping run from Ashley Cole allowed the full-back to Sears and deliver the cross which Lampard tucked away with ease and comfort. Robert Green could do little about it.

As the weather continued to soak Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were looking more and more comfortable and in control but Ancelotti’s hand was forced when Michael Essien, who pulled up in the first half, left the field injured to be replaced by Yossi Benayoun, who continued to make his own comeback from a long term injury.

The injuries continued as West Ham’s Mark Noble was stretchered from the field and replaced by Robbie Keane, who was welcomed with a round of boos from the Chelsea following.

Both sides continued to press for a goal and the chances were still not been taking, but in the case of Luiz, who hammered a long range effort off the crossbar, it wasn't for the want of trying.

West Ham's creativity was producing the goods but the final act was letting then down time and again. Demba Ba and sub Robbie Keane had opportunities, but squandered them and let Chelsea off the hook.

As time wore on hope waned for the Hammers and it looked increasingly unlikely that the levelling goal wasn’t coming.

All hopes were killed as Torres finally broke his duck for Chelsea and completed the result for the Blues.

Shortly after Florent Malouda sealed the victory with a hard earned goal to give Chelsea a three goal victory.

The result has made little difference to the table as Chelsea are still second and with one less game to play the chances of Manchester United not claiming their 19th league title are looking increasingly likely. West Ham on the other hand are slipping closer to relegation with little sign of arresting that trend