West Ham recover from VAR controversy to stun Chelsea with a late winner

Posted by

There were mixed feelings going into the game tonight for Chelsea as Leicester’s slip up meant that they had a chance to go into third, but the pressure was also on after some impressive form from Man United and Wolves behind them.

In some ways it was a free hit for West Ham, as they knew that a positive result could take them out of the relegation zone, but a defeat would leave them level on points with the relegation places.

Line Ups:

West Ham: 4-2-3-1 – Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Fornals, Lanzini, Bowen, Antonio

Subs: 68′ Wilshere for Lanzini, 78′ Yarmolenko for Bowen, 93′ Balbuena for Fornals

Chelsea: 4-3-3 – Kepa, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso, Barkley, Kante, Kovacic, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic

Subs: 53′ Mount for Kovacic, 63′ Loftus-Cheek for Barkley, 63′ Giroud for Abraham

First Half:

The first half was dominated by some controversy from VAR, as West Ham initially thought they had taken the lead when Soucek scrambled the ball home from a corner.

We were then subjected to a long VAR delay as they tried to decide if the man on the floor was offside and interfering with play, and eventually the goal was ruled out:

Things got worse for West Ham shortly afterwards when Pulisic was upended in the box, and Willian made no mistake from the spot as he sent the keeper the wrong way.

Just when it looked like West Ham would be angry going into the break, Soucek found the net again, and this time it stood.

Kepa tried to come but got blocked off by his own defender, and it meant the tame header was able to bobble into the net and it leveled the game up.

Second Half:

West Ham managed to take the lead shortly after the restart when Chelsea’s defence completely switched off after a penalty appeal.

The ball was recycled to Bowen who did well to put the ball into the box, and Antonio was able to stride into the six yard box and tap it home unmarked:

Chelsea did get a vital equaliser on 72 minutes when Willian fired home a free kick that went just past the outstretched arm of Fabianski, and it crashed in off the post.

The game was perfectly set up for the final few minutes, as both sides looked to find a winner.

Unfortunately for Chelsea there was a late twist, but it was Yarmolenko who found the late winner.

Chelsea were caught forward and Rudiger was the only man back when West Ham countered, and the Ukrainian cut back inside onto his favoured left foot and powered the ball past Kepa for the win.



Courtesy of Sky Sports

Post Match Thoughts:

While it’s not a total disaster for Chelsea, this loss will come as a blow. Instead of moving up the table and consolidating their place in the Champions League race, they’ve allowed themselves to be dragged into the scrap with Man United and Wolves.

From a West Ham point of view this win could be priceless, and it’s possible that it could be the difference between survival and relegation at the end of the season.