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5 things we learned as West Ham edge Chelsea out in Premier League thriller

5 things we learned as West Ham edge Chelsea out in Premier League thriller

 

It was Chelsea who took the lead, thanks to another goal from a defender.

Thiago Silva wriggled free of the attentions of Michail Antonio to meet a Mason Mount corner, glancing a deft header past the despairing dive of Fabianski.

West Ham were handed a lifeline when Edouard Mendy lost the ball, fouling Jarrod Bowen and seeing Manuel Lanzini convert the resulting spot-kick with ten minutes left of the first half. However, a glorious finish by Mason Mount ensured that Chelsea went into the break with the lead that, on the balance of play, they probably deserved.

The Hammers, however, refused to let it die, and produced an equaliser courtesy of Bowen, five minutes into the second half.

And, with ten minutes to go, a freak goal from Arthur Masuaku handed West Ham all three points, and send the home fans into euphoria.

Here are 5 things 101 picked out from the encounter.

Thiago Silva remains top class

One five minute spell in the first half demonstrated exactly why Chelsea and Blues fans love Thiago Silva, who made his 50th appearance for the club at the London stadium.

After a couple of uncharacteristic errors early in the piece, he handed Chelsea the lead with a beautifully placed header.

Sixty seconds later, he made a vital block on his own goal line to ensure that his goal wasn’t immediately cancelled out by the Hammers.

At 37 years old, he continues to excel week in, week out, and will surely be looking to extend his current deal in west London, which is due to expire come the summer.

Declan Rice passes audition with flying colours

It is safe to say that Chelsea’s admiration for Declan Rice, and his love for the club, is an open secret.

Currently one of the hottest properties in the Premier League, Rice has been incredibly impressive so far this season.

And with both N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic sidelined through injury in the Chelsea engine room, Rice gave a glowing account of himself.

Consistently in the right place at the right time, Rice was a thorn in the side of Chelsea, regularly thwarting any attacking intent that Tuchel’s side offered. Comfortable on the ball and with a wide range of passing, it is clear to see why West Ham value their prized asset so highly, and just why he would be the perfect fit for Chelsea.

Jarrod Bowen justifies Liverpool interest

Deployed on the right hand side, Jarrod Bowen demonstrated exactly why Liverpool have registered an interest in the Englishman.

It was his closing down that forced Edouard Mendy into a rare mistake, winning West Ham a penalty in the process, before his brilliant curling effort gave the Hammers a second equaliser.

He could even have earned all three points by himself too, failing to make proper contact in front of an open goal while at full stretch.

With Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both heading to the Africa Cup of Nations in January, could the Reds even afford the hefty pricetag that West Ham will undoubtedly slap on their wide player?

West Ham down to bare bones in defence

The Hammers had already lost Angelo Ogbonna in their victory over Liverpool, courtesy of an ACL injury, coming into the game. And now, they are in full-blown crisis.

Former Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma went down unchallenged with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, and needed to be replaced 20 minutes from time, leaving Issa Diop and Craig Dawson as the only two central defenders that are currently fit.

Worse still, Ben Johnson, who had impressed at full-back so far this season, was forced off in the first half, meaning that two defenders now join Ogbonna on the treatment table.

With eight more games to play before the January window opens, David Moyes may have to get creative, while a January addition at the heart of defence will surely be top of his wishlist.

Is Romelu Lukaku’s form a concern?

On at half time, Romelu Lukaku continued his return from injury as he managed half of the encounter between the sides.

However, as is becoming of increasing concern, he offered little.

Well marshalled by the West Ham defence, his failure to find the back of the net at the London means that he has scored just 3 times in ten Premier League appearances since his high profile return to Stamford Bridge.

While forwards around him continue to struggle too, and Timo Werner was left on the bench, is it beginning to become a concern for Thomas Tuchel and co?

Read more:

Key West Ham star dealt injury blow during Chelsea clash

Chelsea star labelled ‘GOAT’ following starring first-half vs West Ham

Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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