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West Ham United
23 April 2011
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 41656
West Ham United
FULL TIME! And that is that! Chelsea keep the gap between themselves and United at six points, whilst West Ham remain bottom of the Premier League with it looking ominous for the Hammers. This match will undoubtedly be remembered for the goal by a certain Spaniard, but 3-0 is definitely a harsh score for West Ham who performed well.
90' + 2'
Assist Fernando Torres
90' + 2'
Goal Florent Malouda
90' + 2'
GOAL!!! Three for Chelsea! Florent Malouda latches onto a pass meant for Anelka, but the wideman blasts his shot into the top corner from twenty yards. Masterful finish.
90' + 2'
Chelsea are just keeping possession now. Piquionne has a long-range shot, but it is easily dealt with by Cech. Both sides just waiting for the whistle now.
Torres already looks like he is playing like a weight has been lifted from his shoulders.The goal was a bit of a sucker-punch for West Ham who have been good in this second half. But the hosts are dominating the ball again now.
Assist Nicolas Anelka
Goal Fernando Torres
GOAL!!!!!!! It has finally happened!! Fernando Torres has got his first for Chelsea! The Spaniard got on the end of an Anelka pass before charging into the penalty area, and although the surface water stopped the ball, he turned and shot left-footed, giving Green no chance. 2-0 to Chelsea, game over.
Yellow Card Demba Ba
Fantastic defending by Gabbidon! Lampard won possesion on the halfway line before passing it right to Torres who in turn squared it across the box to Anelka who was in acres of space. The Frenchman's shot was going in as it beat Green but Gabbidon managed to head to safety.
Off goes Drogba and on comes Torres! Will he finally be able to get that elusive goal? Well, earlier today Maxi Rodriguez scored a hat-trick and Di Santo scored, so anything is possible.
Chelsea are seriously riding their luck here as Keane goes close again, this time he really should have equalised. The Irishman was played through on goal by Spector but Keane - with no-one apart from the 'keeper in front of him - shoots high and wide.
West Ham really applying pressure of their own now! Another good chance, this time falling to Carlton Cole, but he can't even get a shot away as he attempts to turn two times in the area after great work down the right by Sears, but Cole is crowded out by the Chelsea defence. Was very poor play by the England International.
West Ham go straight down the other end and have two good opportunities. First Ba tries his luck from miles out that is parried by Cech, and moments later a richochet falls to Keane who cuts back onto his right foot but Cech saves again.
Luiz hits the bar!! What a goal that would've been! From thirty-odd yards, Luiz curls the ball goalwards but it crashes against the bar!
Extensive pressure from Chelsea here about a flurry of corners that come to nothing.
Chelsea go close again! This time Malouda attacks the penalty area, poking it through a group of players before getting on the end of his own pass, but his right-footed shot went into the side-netting.
How was that not a goal?! Again, a brilliant ball by Drogba from the right, this time with his left-foot. Lampard beat the offside trap and hit the ball first time, but the surface water in the goalmouth made it stop right in front of Green.
Teryy goes close! Tantalising free-kick curled in from the right by Drogba but Terry can't quite get a touch on it and it rolls out for a goal kick.
Mark Noble is the next player to have to come off. Bad news for the Hammers as the former England Under-21 international has played well today. He leaves the pitch on a stretcher with Robbie Keane set to replace him.
And that is end of Essien's night. The Ghanaian pulled up in the first half holding his left knee and has doneso again. Chelsea down to ten men for the minute as Essien heads straight for the tunnel.
Another very good move by Chelsea, but the finish wasn't there from Kalou. The Ivorian found Drogba down the right channel who in turn chipped to the other side of the box where Malouda cut the ball back to Kalou but side-footed his shot wide. He definitely should've hit the target.
A massive amount of surface water on the pitch now. Likely to effect the play during this second half.
And we're back underway at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea start us off, kicking left to right in this second half to a chorus of crashing thunder.
Halftime at Stamford Bridge as the hosts go in 1-0 up. Chelsea will be relieved to be going in at halftime in the lead as West Ham grew as the match went on and could quite conceivably taken the lead themselves, but it wasn't to be. The Hammers will do well get a win now, but as shown in that first half, they shouldn't be completely discounted.
45' + 2'
Chelsea almost get another as Malouda toys with West Ham down the right wing by cutting back on to his left foot, delivering a great ball, but Da Costa managed to clear despite the best efforts of Essien.
Assist Ashley Cole
Goal Frank Lampard
GOAL!!!!! Chelsea are one-up at long last! A brilliant move by the hosts as Drogba plays Cole in down the left channel who then cut the ball back into the area from the goal-line where that man Frank Lampard smahed home from eight yards.
After a chipped ball into the Chelsea box by Noble, Cech absolutely clatters Luiz, with the 'keeper's elbowing catching the former Benfica man in the face. He appeared to be out-cold for a moment, but he is up again now.
The Hammers are well in this. Carlton Cole's physicality causing problems as he holds off Luiz before crossing towards Ba, but Terry heads clear.
West Ham do well to get a corner on the counter-attack after Drogba went down under a challenge by Noble, however there appeared to be no contact. Ba ran at David Luiz before shooting left-footed, but the Brazilian got a deflection on it.
Should be 1-0 to Chelsea! Lampard brilliantly found the run of Ivanovic who smashed the ball low and hard across the goal, but Malouda couldn't get contact on it.
The visitors are certainly looking more confident now. A lot more movement from their front three.
Saved on the line by Cole!! Noble whipped a corner in from the left only for it to miss everyone and drop nicely for Sears who attempts a cheeky flick, but a combination of Cole and Cech keep it out. The Hammers have definitely come back into this.
Yellow Card Branislav Ivanovic
Dreadful defending by Da Costa as he slices a clearance that falls to Kalou, who plays in Drogba, but lashes over from a tight angle. Definitely should've flashed the ball across the box as Kalou and Malouda were both waiting.
So close for West Ham!! Unbelievable play by Sears who beats Cole for pace down the Hammers' left wing before crossing towards Spector at the back post who arrived with a diving header. Brilliantly saved by Cech.
Demba Ba moves in centrally with the ball and let's rip from 30 yards, with Cech tipping over. Resulting corner ends up going straight into the Czech's hands.
The first touch and finishing of Chelsea's front men are the only things stopping them from taking the lead. West Ham's threat is minimal with Demba Ba looking highly uncomfortable on the left wing.
Good move from the hosts. Nice one-two between Lampard and Kalou, but the latter can't quite control the ball properly under pressure from Wayne Bridge and it all comes to nothing. A better first touch then from Kalou and it would have been a certain goal.
Malouda with another good chance, this time cutting inside from the left flank, taking the ball past Da Costa and Spector before shooting with his right foot. Fairly poor strike as it didn't even need Green to make a stop.
West Ham, who have barely left their half have a free-kick in a decent position of the left wing, but Noble's ball floats all the way through to Cech.
TV replays show that the ball did actually strike Noble on the hand in that passage of play, however, it would've been harsh to award a penalty given the ferocity of the shot by Malouda.
Goalmouth scramble in the West Ham area as Malouda sells Da Costa a dummy before shooting towards goal, but the on-rushing Mark Noble launches himself at the shot and is eventually cleared.
Good inter-change between Drogba and Malouda with the Frenchman finding the Ivorian in a central position before turning brilliantly and shooting, only for Green to save easily once again.
West Ham can't really keep the ball at the moment. Every time they get possession, Chelsea are gifted it back within seconds.
Yellow Card Thomas Hitzlsperger
Cole nearly gets on the end of a ball from deep by Michael Essien, but the full-back couldn't quite reach it. Chelsea have started well here.
Ominous early signs here for the Hammers as Drogba looks in the mood. The Ivorian just audaciously tried his luck from 35 yards. Easy for Green.
Brilliant save by Green! Malouda was threaded through the middle after a masterful flick by Drogba, but Green came rushing out to deny the Frenchman.
And we are underway at Stamford Bridge as West Ham kick-off.
Both sides will be desperate for a win today for contrasting reasons. Chelsea need a win to get the gap between themselves and Manchester United back to six points, whilst West Ham need the point to get them out of the relegation zone. Surely an open game beckons?
Despite being away from home at a Chelsea side who haven't lost since the 6th of February, credit to West Ham as they appear to be setting up to attack with Demba Ba, Carlton Cole and Freddie Sears starting.
West Ham: Green; Jacobsen, Bridge, Da Costa, Gabbidon; Noble, Spector, Hitzlsperger Sears; Ba, Cole Subs: Boffin, Tomkins, Boa Morte, Kovac, Piquionne, Obinna, Keane
The teams are as follows: Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Essien, Lampard; Kalou, Drogba, Malouda Subs: Turnbull, Torres, Benayoun, Zhirkov, Fereira, Bertrand, Anelka
Good evening, and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of Chelsea versus West Ham United, a match that could have massive repercussions at both ends of the table.
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