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Koulibaly, Fofana, & Mendy: How Chelsea's African stars inspired West Ham United win

21:24 EAT 03/09/2022
Fofana, Chelsea
The African players were in action as the Blues saw off David Moyes’ Hammers at Stamford Bridge

Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy were on parade as Chelsea secured a 2-1 comeback win over West Ham United on Saturday evening.

Still pained by their midweek defeat to Southampton, Thomas Tuchel’s Blues welcomed David Moyes’ Hammers to Stamford Bridge – as they aim to return to winning ways.

After a goalless first half, it was the visitors who took the lead through Michail Antonio who profited from some poor defending from the Chelsea defenders.

Fourteen minutes to full-time, substitute Ben Chilwell levelled matters for the hosts before setting up Kai Havertz for the winner in the 88th minute.

Maxwel Cornet thought he had restored parity for West Ham in the dying minutes, however, his effort was chalked off after a VAR replay following a foul on Mendy in the build-up.

Saturday’s fixture was Fofana’s debut for the two-time European champions, and statistics reveal the Cote d’Ivoire prospect put up an inspiring showing.

The 21-year-old contributed three top tackles, zero interceptions, two clearances, and won two aerials.

Unlike Raheem Sterling who could not muster a single shot, the ex-Leicester City player registered one shot that went on target. Aside from that, he made 102 touches, 92 passes and a passing accuracy of 89.1 per cent.

Elsewhere, Koulibaly had a decent showing and combined well with Thiago Silva and Fofana to marshal a three-man backline.

Aside from scoring zero per number of tackles, interceptions and blocked shots, the Senegal captain made five clearances, committed a foul plus 92 touches, 81 passes and a passing accuracy of 85.2 per cent.

Mendy was reassuring in goal but that could not stop him from leaking a goal in the derby encounter.

In addition, he made one clearance, fouled once, contributed 25 touches, 18 passes and a passing accuracy of 77. 8 per cent.

Morocco international Hakim Ziyech as well as Sierra Leone prospect Trevoh Chalobah were unused substitutes by manager Tuchel.

On the other hand, Said Benrahma was introduced for Antonio in the 74th minute, while Cornet came on for Pablo Fornals with four minutes left on the clock.  

Next up for Chelsea is an away trip to Fulham at Craven Cottage. Before then, they will take on Dinamo Zagreb in the Uefa Champions League.