Abraham’s late goals help Chelsea defeat West Ham

Chelsea defeated West Ham in a London derby to return back to winning ways and keep up with their competitors after two successive defeats. The Blues took an early lead, but had to wait until the final 15 minutes to ensure their victory after their forwards couldn’t create much chances for most parts of the game. The Hammers put up a spirited performance, but couldn’t keep up with Chelsea’s quality at the end after dominating possession in the second half.

As expected, Chelsea dominated the early proceedings with a high tempo and quick passing around the West Ham half. The Blues were enforced into an early substitution after Ben Chilwell twisted his ankle and had to be replaced by Emerson on his 24th birthday. Chelsea took the lead in the 10th minute after an unmarked Thiago Silva was allowed to thump a header from Mason Mount’s corner. Chelsea continued to pile forward and Werner was inches away from doubling the lead after failing to connect with Mount’s dangerous shot across the face of the goal.

West Ham slowly started to get back into the game and went close with Cresswell, who got behind Azpilicueta and shot across the goal to see his effort go wide of the far post. Werner’s struggles in front of the goal continued as the German missed a great opportunity to double Chelsea’s lead by shooting a tame effort straight at Fabianski after Pulisic played him through.

West Ham were the better team in the second half as they had Chelsea pinned back to defend and clear crosses. Chelsea couldn’t get a foothold as time passed on and an equaliser for the Hammers looked more likely with every attacking opportunity. However, Chelsea’s Tammy Abaraham scored twice in two minutes to put the game completely beyond West Ham’s reach.

The England international took advantage of Werner’s weak shot to divert it past Fabianski from eight yards out to score his first goal in the 78th minute. The Chelsea forward was on target again after sidefooting a clearance into an empty net after Pulisic’s header was saved well by Fabianski. Chelsea could have added a fourth after Kante played Werner though on the right, but the forward thumped his effort onto the crossbar.

Frank Lampard admitted Chelsea didn’t play well in the second half, but was happy with the team’s performance to return back to winning ways. Speaking after the game, Lampard said “We stopped playing a little bit in the second half. I thought Kovacic coming on got us on the ball a lot better. West Ham can hurt you at any moment with a ball in the box or a set piece. It wasn’t vintage tonight, the best part was the character off the back of two defeats.

This season’s looking different to every other season, for lots of reasons. It’s hard for a club with expectations like we have. When you’re unbeaten a lot of things move swimmingly well, then all of a sudden you get a few challenges when you lose a few games. I have to be the one that drives it. When you come off it slightly, there’s no easy way back apart from a bit of graft.

The Chelsea manager praised Thiago Silva for his performance and said the defender has done exceptionally well to adjust to the challenges of Premier League. Lampard added “I remember playing in the Premier League at 36 and I couldn’t play like he’s playing. I knew he was a top player, but the pressures of the Premier League when you’ve never played it. He probably has exceeded my expectations slightly, but really I shouldn’t have been surprised. He’s really studious about the game as well, he clearly going to be a great manager or whoever he wants to be afterwards.”

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