Wednesday 11 December 2019

Aaron Cresswell fires West Ham to shock derby win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

West Ham United's Aaron Cresswell celebrates scoring against Chelsea during their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge, London
West Ham United's Aaron Cresswell celebrates scoring against Chelsea during their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge, London

Nick Purewal

Aaron Cresswell fired West Ham to their first Premier League win at Chelsea in 17 years to hand a big boost to under-fire boss Manuel Pellegrini.

Cresswell's third league goal of the campaign sealed the 1-0 Stamford Bridge triumph, ending West Ham's streak of eight matches without a win in all competitions.

The left-back turned Reece James inside out before whipping past Kepa Arrizabalaga to condemn Frank Lampard to defeat in his first match as Chelsea boss against old club West Ham.

The Hammers sealed their first win since the 2-0 home victory over Manchester United on September 22, as Chelsea struggled without injured England striker Tammy Abraham.

The 10-goal Premier League star suffered a hip injury in Wednesday's 2-2 Champions League draw at Valencia and the Blues could only claw at attacking fluidity with Frenchman Olivier Giroud up front.

Manager Lampard had admitted before facing West Ham that the club were yet to determine how long Abraham would be sidelined. And on this evidence the Stamford Bridge men will want the 22-year-old back in full flow as quickly as possible.

Chelsea paid the ultimate price for a string of squandered first-half chances, with Lampard's men surrendering an unbeaten home run of 13 league matches dating back to 2002 against the Hammers.

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For embattled West Ham boss Pellegrini a fourth league win of the term would undoubtedly ease the pressure, with clashes against Wolves and Arsenal up next.

Pellegrini pitched in 33-year-old former Millwall goalkeeper David Martin for his Premier League debut after Roberto had leaked nine goals in three matches.

And the switch certainly boosted the Hammers' defensive control, resulting in a deserved clean sheet.

Chelsea dominated possession and territory from the get-go, but were unable to convert a host of half-chances.

Christian Pulisic nodded over cheaply at the far post after Jorginho's cute ball had teed up Pedro for the cross.

Pedro himself saw two shots blocked and was then unable to reach an incisive reverse ball from Pulisic.

James saw his deflected cross strike the frame of the goal as Chelsea continued to press, and then the unmarked Kurt Zouma headed wide from five yards out.

West Ham created one of the best chances of the half however, handing Chelsea a sharp reminder on the break.

Antonio forced Kepa into a smart save from a powerful header when racing onto Snodgrass' inviting centre.

Martin failed to hold Kovacic's tame 20-yard shot as Chelsea resumed their attacking procession, but neither Giroud nor Pedro could turn in from rebounds.

Giroud then contrived entirely to miss James' dangerous cross when he should have scored with little issue. And when the ball span to the far post Pulisic could only drive high and wide.

Chelsea paid for their first-half profligacy almost immediately after the restart, as Cresswell stunned a sluggish James by turning the right back inside out before curling past Kepa.

The nonplussed Blues continued to creak when Fabian Balbuena saw Kepa palm away his fine header, before Michail Antonio failed to find a finish from point-blank range.

Willian and N'Golo Kante replaced Pedro and Jorginho on the hour as Lampard searched for a shift in mood and momentum.

West Ham thought they had doubled their lead when Antonio bundled home at the far post after Snodgrass' cross. But a VAR check chalked off the goal, leaving Chelsea 20 minutes to turn the tide.

Callum Hudson-Odoi replaced Giroud as Lampard went for broke in search of an equaliser, but the fit-again England forward could not alter the outcome.

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