joao felix for chelsea against west ham

Potter says there were ‘positives’ as Chelsea held to yet another draw at West Ham

Chelsea’s disappointing season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw in their London derby with West Ham.

Much has been written about Chelsea’s spending spree since Todd Boehly’s £4.5 billion takeover last year, though it was two of Chelsea’s January signings that combined to open the scoring in the 16th minute. Britain’s most expensive footballer of all time, Enzo Fernandez, played a sumptuous curling ball in behind the West Ham defence to pick out Joao Felix who steered it past Lukasz Fabianski for his first Premier League goal.


West Ham did only trail for 12 minutes though, pulling themselves level through former Chelsea left-back, Emerson Palmieri. Vladimir Coufal put in a delivery from the right that was flicked on by Jarrod Bowen, with Palmieri meeting the ball at the back post and poking home from inside the six yard box.

Chelsea were by far the better side in the first half, and looked threatening going forward, with Joao Felix an influential figure following his three-match suspension.

Despite their dominance, and not for the first time this season, Graham Potter’s side struggled to find a way past the Hammers’ organised defence.

West Ham thought they had won it with eight minutes to play, Tomas Soucek tucking the ball home from close range after Kepa had saved Declan Rice’s header, only for VAR to eventually rule that the England midfielder was offside from Emerson Palmieri’s free-kick.

The Blues did have a big penalty shout waved away late on following an apparent handball by Soucek, with both sides being forced to take a share of the points.

The draw was Chelsea’s third on the spin, and means they have now just won one game in their last eight in all competitions, though speaking after the game, Graham Potter said there were plenty of ‘positives’ to take from the game, and that it was a ‘step forward’ from their 0-0 draw with Fulham last time out.

“I think you could see positives in the performances for us, especially in the first half,” he told BT Sport. “It was a step forward for us in terms of the previous game and lots to go forward with.

“We are in a process where we are getting guys up to speed, guys match minutes so the ability to sustain what we want to do is the challenge for us so there were positives in the game.”

Asked about the penalty decision that went against his side, Potter somewhat surprisingly didn’t criticise the decision.

“It looks it but these are the little things you need to go in your favour and at the moment they are not so that’s life there is nothing to complain about. We have to keep working. There were positives today and some good attacking moment from players adapting to the Premier League.

“We had real control of the game and it was a cheap goal from our perspective. That lifts the crowd and makes it more difficult but that is something we have to manage better. We will get better from the experience.”

The result keeps Chelsea in ninth, nine points off the top four places but having played a game more than a number of the sides around them.

Read – Five who played for both – West Ham and Chelsea

Read Also – Ranking the 8 best right-backs in Premier League history

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