Football Football

West Ham oust Chelsea to reach quarters

Shares
West Ham United's Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Chelsea in east London on October 26, 2016
West Ham United’s Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Chelsea in east London on October 26, 2016

LONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 26 – West Ham invigorated their stuttering season with a 2-1 home victory over fierce London rivals Chelsea to surge into the English League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

In the build-up to the clash there were fears of violence between West Ham and Chelsea fans, and a heavy police presence was in place outside the Hammers’ new London Stadium home.

There was no large-scale disorder prior to the game at the former Olympic stadium, where West Ham — players and fans — have struggled to settle since leaving Upton Park in the summer, but there were reports of seats torn out and thrown between opposing supporters afterwards.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte — looking uncharacteristically casual in sweatshirt and tracksuit bottoms — made several changes to the side that humiliated Jose Mourinho and Manchester United 4-0 on Sunday in the Premier League, with skipper John Terry returning after injury.

It was the veteran defender who had the first real chance of the game, his effort after a corner whizzing over the top of the home goal.

West Ham United's English midfielder Michail Antonio vies with Chelsea's Brazilian defender David Luiz (L) in east London on October 26, 2016
West Ham United’s English midfielder Michail Antonio vies with Chelsea’s Brazilian defender David Luiz (L) in east London on October 26, 2016

By contrast, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic played more or less his strongest team, with the Hammers needing victory to kick-start their season, particularly at their new home.

On 11 minutes West Ham went ahead when Cheikhou Kouyate met a cross by Mark Noble to score with a thumping header.

Nathaniel Chalobah and N’Golo Kante then had chances for Chelsea, while Manuel Lanzini poked wide for West Ham and Dimitri Payet saw his free-kick well saved by stand-in Blues goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Begovic was keeping Chelsea in the game, this time saving a fierce volley from Pedro Obiang, as West Ham went into the break a goal up.

Moments after the restart the Hammers went 2-0 up, Edimilson Fernandes firing in from outside the box.

Conte sent on the big guns in Pedro, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa as Chelsea ramped up the pressure.

Gary Cahill grabbed a 90th-minute consolation goal to ensure a nervy finale, but West Ham would not be denied their most satisfying victory to date at their new home.

Shares

Comments