Chelsea hosted West ham in a very crucial London derby for both the sides, in a game which was a must win for both the teams. Chelsea currently fighting for the top 4 spot and West Ham looking to finish in 7th in order to get Europa league football.

Chelsea fans were very happy about the lineup, Maurizio Sarri went for almost the same team that had played against Brighton. Gonzalo Higuain came back into the side instead of Olivier Giroud and Antonio Rudiger played instead of Andreas Christensen. Callum Hudson Odoi and Ruben Loftus Cheek had back to back Premier League starts, and credit has to be given to Maurizio Sarri for that.

The first half was all about that piece of magic that Eden Hazard produced to give Chelsea the lead. Hazard showed superb skill to get past three West Ham players before putting the ball inside the back of the net. The goal was simply outstanding and it will certainly be a contender for goal of the season.

Chelsea dominated possession in that first half but had nothing to show for it until Eden Hazard produced that moment of magic. Moments later in the game, Eden Hazard almost set up Gonzalo Higuain for the second but he was denied by the post and was also stopped by Ryan Fredricks who made a superb block to deny Higuain. It is fair to say that it was one of those nights for Higuain where the ball would just not go into the back of the net.

The second half was very entertaining as it was end to end stuff. West Ham had a couple of chances to equalise but failed to take them. Lanzini was denied after a brilliant save by Kepa. Aaron Cresswell almost scored a wonder goal on that half volley, but the ball was inches away from finding the back of the net. Barkley was subbed on for Loftus Cheek and he close to scoring after Hudson Odoi put a brilliant ball in the box. It was certainly not a comfortable night for Chelsea. West Ham gave it their all in the second half but it was not enough as Eden Hazard wrapped up the game after scoring another
brilliant goal to seal the three points for Chelsea.

This win against west ham was a massive boost for Chelsea, as this put them 3rd in the league table, 3 points ahead of Arsenal who have a game in hand. It is fair to say that Eden Hazard dragged Chelsea to get the 3 points and he was absolutely fantastic.

Managers

Manuel Pellegrini was full of praise about Eden Hazard and can you blame him?

“When a player has the quality of Eden Hazard, you know he can make different things. Going through four players is not easy. But we could have done better in the way we defended that goal and our play.

“We improved a lot in the second half. They scored that second goal finally and the difference was the first half.

Maurizio Sarri must be a happy man after his side have won 3 games out of 3 since the international break.

“When Hazard is able to play like this in matches, we’re very lucky as it’s easy to win the match. He’s able to make the difference.

“In the first half, we were in full control of the match and I was not happy with the result at the end of the half, we could have scored more.

“In the second half, we were in trouble for only 10 minutes but then in the last part of the match we were in control and we deserved to score the second goal.

Stats

  • West Ham have scored just one goal in their last seven away Premier League games (D1 L6), a Mark Noble penalty in a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.
  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 20 home Premier League matches (W12 D7 L1), a 0-1 defeat to Leicester City in December 2018.
  • Hazard has scored 19 goals in all competitions in 2018/19 – his joint-best tally in a season for Chelsea (level with 2014/15).

Player ratings

Kepa: 7
Azpilicueta: 7
Rudiger: 8
David Luiz: 8
Emerson: 8
Jorginho: 6
Kante: 9
Loftus-Cheek: 8
Hudson-Odoi: 7
Higuain: 5
Hazard: 10

Substitutes:
Giroud: N/A
Pedro: N/A
Barkley: 7

What’s next for Chelsea?

Chelsea have now won 3 games on the bounce and are currently in 3rd position. Their performances have certainly improved since Cardiff and were quite impressive against Brighton and West ham. The Blues are still in the race for top 4 and this week will be the week which defines their season. Chelsea are back in action on Thursday against Slavia Praha away from home. It is a must win game for them in order to reach the semi finals of the Europa league. Chelsea would want to win this competition if they fail to get top 4.

After Prague. Chelsea will be playing Liverpool away from home and it will be a crucial game for both the sides. This week will certainly make or break Chelsea’s season. If Sarri keeps on playing this lineup against Liverpool then Chelsea will stand a very good chance to get a result at Anfield.

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