The Blues were held back at Stamford Bridge by a dreadful refereeing and West Ham’s resilient defense. Chelsea have now fallen back three points behind Manchester City, who had a rather difficult looking fixture away at Tottenham. But, instead, it’s the Blues of London who struggled to break the dead lock in a total of 38 shots on goal. Let’s analyze the statics that make all Chelsea fans shiver in disgust and see how it unfolded…
Chelsea FC (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry(c), Azpilicueta (Matic 62); Ramires, Mikel (Lampard 62); Hazard, Oscar (Ba 78), Willian; Eto’o
West Ham United (4-4-1-1): Adrian; Demel, Tomkins, Collins, O’Brien; Noble, Taylor, Nolan (c) (Nocerino 79), Downing; Diame (Jarvis 29); Carroll (C Cole 63).
The match started by Chelsea controlling possession and looking to score early on. West ham midfielders and attackers were trying to press the home side’s players high up the pitch when the ball is in our half. When, we manage to advance into their half, The hammers settle back and defend trying to keep us from scoring.
Early chances were to many as Oscar nearly opened the scoring with an incredible shot which hit the cross bar following a little touch from Adrian. Then, Eden Hazard had many shots blocked which could have opened the score for us. While the Blues were enjoying plenty of possession, West Ham were posing a threat, particularly in the air, and Cech produced a smart stop to deny Carroll as he headed a Downing free-kick towards the bottom corner.
As we approached the climax of a frustrating first half in which we had many opportunities failed to convert, John Terry nearly scored from a header if not for a brilliant save off the line by Adrian. The Goal keeper was instrumental through out Chelsea’s spectacular efforts but, there is no denying we should have done better.
The first half concluded after lots of close shots from the Blues that could have given us the lead.
Second half restarted with the Blues back in possession and continuing right from where they left off earlier in the first half. It was a positive start to the second half by the Blues, and after Hazard had fired over the bar from an acute angle, a teasing Oscar delivery from wide on the right narrowly evaded Eto’o and Willian.
After similar opportunities and missed chances, Jose Mourinho decided to make a change right after the hour mark in the 62 minute. Frank Lampard and Nemanja Matic came on for Azpilicueta and John Obi Mikel to give the side more impetus going forward. Ivanovic shifted to left back and Ramires filled in the right back position as the Blues started to throw everything in the way of the unbreakable visitors on the night.
Frank Lampard made one of his trade mark runs into the box and Hazard laid off a beautiful pass but the back line blocked a powerful shot from Super Frank that was destined to go into the back of the net.
Frustrations were every where around the stadium as Gary Cahill and Terry were in a battle on aerial duels and the physical game against Andy Carroll. the English target man was dreadful in his challenges and Chelsea’s center backs were not too happy about it since they protested more than a couple of times to the referee.
It was the Blues in the ascendancy as the game entered its final 15 minutes, and the home supporters felt Eto’o had a legitimate penalty claim when he went down under the challenge of Guy Demel as he looked to get on the end of a Ramires cross. Mourinho, meanwhile, made his third and final substitution, replacing Oscar with Demba Ba as we went in search of a winner.
The final ten minutes were so intense and the fans were up from their seats almost the entire duration of the closing stages. Lampard had couple of shots blocked as Ramires wasted a beautiful build up when he sent in a dreadful cross all the way for a West ham throw in. Demba Ba got too close to winning it against his former side as he flicked a low cross into the path of the goal. But, denied by Adrian once again.
After lots of corners which would have allowed the Blues a chance for a winner, Lampard got a late late opportunity to seal victory against his former bitter side west ham, a low pass from Hazard came in in the penalty box for the Englishman, who sent the ball straight into the goal keeper instead of looking for the corners. That sealed the end of a goalless draw at Stamford bridge.
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