Jump to content

Premiership - West Ham Home 14th December 2008 - 1-1


Recommended Posts

Old Boys Return to Hamper Chelsea’s Title Ambitions

By Alan McGuinness

Chelsea missed out on the chance to go top of the Barclay’s Premier League this afternoon after drawing 1-1 with Gianfranco Zola’s West Ham.

The Blues knew that a win would send them top by a point after Liverpool drew 2-2 with Hull City yesterday.

Unfortunately for those massed inside Stamford Bridge, the home side produced another disappointing home performance.

Craig Bellamy volleyed the visitors ahead before half time, but Chelsea levelled things up when Anelka finished off a slick passing move.

Chelsea pushed for a winner but were frustrated by some resolute defending and heroics from Robert Green.

After the pre match round of applause for both Zola and Clarke was finished, hostilities began and Chelsea initially found it hard to stamp their mark on the game.

Michael Ballack had the Blues’ first effort on target, but fired well over the bar.

Alex was presented with a good chance to open the scoring, however he only managed to head the ball wide.

Then, against the run of play, West Ham scored a shock goal that was mired in controversy.

A quick throw in left Chelsea flat footed, allowing Mark Noble to gather before setting up Bellamy who took a touch and rifled the ball past Petr Cech.

Chelsea were incensed that Mike Riley didn’t spot what they thought was a handball by Noble in the build up to the goal, and Ballack was booked for his protests.

Ashley Cole soon joined Ballack in the referee’s notebook following a lunge on Noble.

Anelka had a shot in first half stoppage time, but it was deflected and easy for Green to gather.

Throughout the first half, Chelsea looked toothless up front and second to every 50-50 challenge. West Ham it seemed, wanted it more.

At half time Scolari introduced Didier Drogba, and his introduction paid dividends within minutes of the restart.

He played a role in the equaliser just past the 50th minute mark, laying the ball of to Frank Lampard who played in Nicolas Anelka. The Frenchman volleyed the ball past the onrushing Green for his 100th Premier League goal.

The goal seemed to revitalise both the players and the crowd, and the momentum seemed to be with the home team.

However, Carlton Cole fired a drive just wide after turning Alex to remind Chelsea that he still posed a danger. The ex-Chelsea man put in an accomplished performance, showing plenty of strength and energy.

Chelsea’s best chance came from a corner just with an hour gone. The ball was whipped in and Drogba met the delivery crisply, but found his effort repelled excellently by Green.

Green almost undid all of his hard work when he punched the ball towards his own goal from a corner in the 77th minute. Luckily for him, a combination of Scott Parker and the cross bar prevented the ball from going in.

Controversy reared its head again as the game wound towards its conclusion. Lampard was felled by Neill inside the box but no penalty was given.

Cole could have produced a shock winner for the Hammers, but he couldn’t get past Cech who managed to save the Englishman’s drive.

The result was greeted with delight by the West Ham fans who had made the short trip across London, while an audible chorus of jeers came from the home fans, no doubt perplexed at seeing their side drop yet more points at Stamford Bridge.

This point ends a run of 6 defeats for West Ham, and serves to show that Chelsea will have to show a marked improvement in their home form if they want to stand any chance of claiming their fourth league title.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up