English Premiership

Chelsea frustrated by Hammers

2014-01-30 07:10
Jose Mourinho (AFP)

London - Jose Mourinho was left frustrated as Chelsea missed out on the chance to go second in the Premier League after being held to a goalless draw by struggling West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Arsenal's failure to beat Southampton on Tuesday had opened the door for Mourinho's team to move above their title rivals.

But they were unable to find a way through against a determined West Ham and remain third, three points behind new leaders Manchester City and two points adrift of Arsenal.

West Ham, meanwhile, remain in the bottom three, one point off the foot of the table.

Chelsea's disappointment in this all-London clash was summed up in added time when Demba Ba diverted Eden Hazard's cross against the post moments before West Ham goalkeeper Adrian saved well from Frank Lampard.

And the outcome appeared to justify Chelsea manager Mourinho's pre-match claim that the Blues will have to wait until next season before making a sustained bid to be champions.

The Portuguese boss had insisted before kick-off he would not allow his focus to drift towards Chelsea's next fixture, a daunting trip to Manchester City.

Certainly, a strong Chelsea line-up confirmed he was taking no chances, despite facing a West Ham side that had lost seven of their last nine games, shipping goals alarmingly along the way.

The opening stages suggested this game would deliver the routine home victory the form book suggested.

An early West Ham corner proved a momentary threat as Chelsea camped out in the visitors' half and laid siege to the Hammers' goal.

Oscar threatened to continue where he had left off against Stoke, when he settled the weekend FA Cup fourth round tie with an outstanding free-kick.

This time the Brazilian threatened in open play, collecting a crossfield ball from Willian before sending a curling, dipping shot beyond Adrian, only to be denied by the crossbar.

The visitors struggled to piece together an attacking move of note although James Tomkins did force a reaction save from Petr Cech when he rose to connect with Stewart Downing's free-kick.

But Chelsea otherwise assumed complete control and West Ham's cause wasn't helped when midfielder Mohamed Diame went off in the 29th minute after injuring himself falling over the pitchside barrier and into the crowd.

Yet, as dominant as Chelsea were, they found it increasingly difficult to find a way to test Adrian.

Ramires struck a powerful rising drive from the edge of the area that only just cleared the bar but the hosts' failure to produce more attempts on goal allowed West Ham to settle, with Chelsea's performance reminiscent of their more frustrating displays earlier this season.

With the playmaking trio of Oscar, Willian and Eden Hazard failing to click as effectively as they have done, Chelsea's attacking efforts grew more frantic.

Chelsea picked up the tempo after the restart but Ramires' sliced volley from just eight yards out summed up their efforts on goal.

And they were given a reminder of how precarious their position was when Andy Carroll missed an excellent chance to give the Hammers a shock lead on the hour.

Downing broke free on the left, keeping his feet as he brushed aside a challenge from Gary Cahill before clipping a cross towards Carroll who completely mishit an attempted volley when a clean strike would almost certainly have beaten Cech.

Mourinho's annoyance was apparent and the Chelsea manager immediately introduced Hammers 'old boy' Frank Lampard and Nemanja Matic.

But West Ham's determined resistance was summed up by the way three defenders charged out to block a Lampard shot shortly after the England midfielder had come on.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
23 August 2014
Aston Villa v Newcastle United, Villa Park 13:45
Swansea City v Burnley, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Crystal Palace v West Ham United, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v West Bromwich Albion, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Leicester City, Stamford Bridge 16:00
Everton v Arsenal, Goodison Park 18:30
24 August 2014
Hull City v Stoke City, The KC Stadium 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Queens Park Rangers, White Hart Lane 14:30
Sunderland v Manchester United, Stadium of Light 17:00
25 August 2014
Manchester City v Liverpool, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How will Manchester United fare in next season's English Premiership under Louis van Gaal?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.