Chelsea‘s winning run of five consecutive victories came to an end at the London Stadium on Wednesday as West Ham United boosted their chances of survival with a dramatic late winner from Andriy Yarmolenko to earn a 3-2 result. Chelsea subsequently stay in fourth place after failing to take advantage of Leicester City‘s earlier defeat to Everton.
The Blues had started the better of the two sides and their attacking triumvirate of Tammy Abraham, Willian and Christian Pulisic looked dangerous. Pulisic in particular was the standout player, and it was the American’s movement that earned a penalty, which Willian converted to gift Frank Lampard‘s side the lead.
Tomas Soucek, who had seen an earlier effort chalked off for offside, levelled deep into first-half stoppage time and West Ham were the better side in the second half. David Moyes’ men took the lead when Michail Antonio converted from close range following Jarrod Bowen‘s cross. Chelsea piled on the pressure in response and the impressive Willian was rewarded when his free kick caromed in off the post, but substitute Yarmolenko won it late on when he scored his fourth goal of the season.
Chelsea started well and came back into the game when West Ham dominated, and Lampard will be particularly enthused by the way his side responded after going a goal down. Willian and Pulisic were particularly impressive.
Defending. Chelsea looked at sea every time West Ham were awarded a corner or a free kick in an attacking area. There was a period in the second half when the Blues looked vulnerable every time the Hammers attacked, and so it proved when Antonio Rudiger failed to keep Yarmolenko at bay.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — The West Ham legend made a big call pre-match by opting for Abraham over Olivier Giroud, and though Abraham started brightly, Giroud may well have been better suited to the way West Ham packed the edge of the area. Lampard will have been frustrated by his side’s defending, or lack of it, but his substitutions helped get his side back in the game after going behind.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Kepa Arrizabalaga, 6 — The first thing the Spaniard had to do in the game was pick the ball out of his net, although Soucek’s first goal was disallowed. However, when Soucek did eventually find the net, deep into first-half stoppage time, Kepa dived too early. He could do little about the winner.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 5 — The Spaniard had a torrid time in the first half when it came to set pieces. He couldn’t prevent Soucek from bundling home for the goal that was disallowed and was outjumped by his Czech counterpart when West Ham levelled.
DF Andreas Christensen, 6 — The Danish defender enjoyed a solid showing. He showed good pace in a race with Antonio down the right-hand side in the first half, but was also a positive outlet going forward.
DF Antonio Rudiger, 5 — The giant defender always looks assured with the ball coming out of defence, but he was unable to calm nerves when on the back foot. He could have done better when Yarmolenko scored the winner, the Germany international allowing the West Ham No. 7 to come inside.
DF Marcos Alonso, 5 — The Spaniard was lively early on and enjoyed a lot of space on the left-hand side. He got forward well, but his final ball was often lacking. He was also slow to react when West Ham countered for the winner.
MF Ross Barkley, 6 — The England international sprayed the ball around nicely in the first half, but he was dispossessed for West Ham’s first chance of the game. He then attempted a whipped shot on 20 minutes but it was comfortably saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
MF N’Golo Kante, 5 — A quiet game by his own high standards, the Frenchman couldn’t stamp his authority on the match. A tame shot at the death summed up a rare off evening in the office.
MF Mateo Kovacic, 6 — In the centre of everything in the opening exchanges, the Croatia international was at fault to miss his header at the front post from a corner when the ball was subsequently bundled home by Soucek.
FW Willian, 8 — The Brazilian looked dangerous early on down both flanks, switching from side to side, and he was involved in most of Chelsea’s attacking play. He put the Blues ahead when he converted from the spot following Issa Diop‘s foul on Pulisic, his fourth goal in his past six games. He then scored the equaliser with an impressive free kick.
FW Tammy Abraham, 6 — This was Abraham’s first start since the beginning of February. Picked ahead of Giroud, he looked lively in and around what was a busy box, but he struggled to make any meaningful impact.
FW Christian Pulisic, 8 — Pulisic was a bright spark throughout the game. He had the first chance of the match when he curled an effort just over the bar. He then headed wide from an Alonso cross. His movement and fleet of foot earned the penalty that saw Chelsea break the deadlock, and he was a key driver as they chased the points late on.
MF Mason Mount, 7 — Mount looked lively after coming on, wriggling his way through a series of challenges. He also delivered a good free kick that Giroud almost headed home.
MF Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 6 — On for Barkley, Loftus-Cheek almost got on the end of a cross from Willian from the left to steal a winner in the last 10 minutes.
FW Olivier Giroud, 6 — The Frenchman didn’t have much of a chance to get into the game, but he came close to getting on the end of a Pulisic cross before then warming the hands of Fabianski with a header from Mount’s free kick.