Chelsea got here away with a late 2-1 victory against West Ham after a grandstand finish at Stamford Bridge with Maxwel Cornet’s last-minute strike controversially chalked off by VAR.
After a colorless opening half of football that failed to supply a shot heading in the right direction, the London derby livened up as tension threatened to boil over between each sets of players. And the atmosphere modified inside Stamford Bridge after Michail Antonio pounced on a poor piece of defensive work from Chelsea on 61 minutes.
Ben Chilwell scored the equaliser before organising Kai Havertz for the winner, before Cornet struck home late on. However the referee after some deliberation made a U-turn to rule out the goal, leaving West Ham boss David Moyes fuming. Express Sport looks at five things learned from the encounter on Saturday afternoon.
VAR drama denies Hammers
David Moyes was absolutely fuming on the touchline as Thomas Tuchel had VAR to thank for giving his side the three points. In other circumstances and on one other day, it could have been a special story.
Jarrod Bowen collided with Edouard Mendy however the contact looked minimal at best. Still, it grounded the Senegalese and Cornet finished home into an empty net on 89 minutes. West Ham celebrated, however the referee cut short their joy by ruling out the goal.
How big a moment might that prove to be in each teams’ season is yet to be determined. But Chelsea and Tuchel, after finding themselves on the top of some questionable VAR calls this season, will probably be glad one tilted of their favour today.
Thomas Tuchel jumped up and down in anger when Conor Gallagher did not play a forward pass after driving with the ball early in the primary half. The Chelsea boss was spotted fuming on the midfielder, who turned back and played a protected pass as an alternative.
£270m spent and no improvement
For all of Tuchel’s recent signings and Todd Boehly’s backing this summer, it was very much the usual Chelsea so far as the fans were concerned. A toothless attack and more problems on the back, despite an enormous investment of their backline.
Tuchel had blasted his side after losing 2-1 to Southampton, saying his side were “easy to play against”. That was purported to be a rallying call, reasonably than an announcement they internalised. He was equally offended again at his side, fuming at Conor Gallagher at one point before hooking the midfielder on the hour-mar.
West Ham had barely posed a threat to the goal until their second set piece of the sport. And as Edouard Mendy did not cope with the initial delivery, flapping it to Declan Rice’s feet, the defenders flailed around embarrassingly on the ground, allowing Michail Antonio to poke home on the goal-line.
It’s the fourth goal Chelsea have conceded from set pieces this season already and it’s a growing problem the German is yet to resolve. Even with the experience of Kaildou Koulibaly and the £70m signing of Wesley Fofana, there appears to be no improvement, although Mendy’s poor form was also a key factor.
Tuchel was not afraid to throw Fofana in on the deep end despite the actual fact the £70m signing had only trained once together with his recent team-mates. “We gave a number of thought into whether we should always do it [start Wesley Fofana] straightaway,” he said before the match.
“There have been reasons for not doing it and ultimately he gave the impression to be a cool guy and tremendous with it and fit, and we are able to use his wildness I hope within the back three and his spirit and first contact within the box for defending crosses and set pieces.”
He demanded the ball at will and looked comfortable in possession and galloped with the ball into midfield, showing good pace and a willingness to get the ball forward quickly. On this display, there’s actually enough to suggest their money has been well spent.
Playing next to a world-class defender like Thiago Silva is barely going to make him higher too, because the Brazilian produced one other composed display on the back in an intriguing battle with Michail Antonio.
Broja and Chilwell show up toothless attack
A penny for the thoughts of Armando Broja, who was benched only a day after signing a recent six-year cope with the club. With Havertz dropped and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out inured, the Albania international may very well be forgiven for wondering when he’ll get his likelihood to impress from the beginning.
The 20-year-old could only watch on as his team-mates managed a paltry three goal attempts, all off track, in the primary half as the group grew frustrated with the Blues’ profligacy. Against a stubborn West Ham backline, Reece James’ inviting deliveries from the suitable were easily hoofed clear with not a blue shirt anywhere near the six-yard box — a spot where Broja is all the time lurking.
He was eventually brought on within the second half and made an instantaneous impact as he caused problems for the West Ham backline. Tuchel then threw on Ben Chilwell after conceding the goal and just six minutes later, the left-back coolly brought down the long ball excessive and prodded it past Fabianski.
He then arrange Havertz, who looked like a person with a degree to prove, for the winning goal within the 87th minute. Their hunger to impress won’t go unnoticed by Tuchel, with their desire make a difference proving vital ultimately for the Blues.