Chelsea ran out 2-1 winners over West Ham today after a controversial London derby clash at Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel’s side came into the game under pressure after losing against Southampton in midweek, and their first-half display did little to inspire confidence with neither team able to muster a shot on goal.
Just after the hour mark West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen finally produced a moment of quality when his volley from outside the area was well saved by Eduoard Mendy. The Hammers wouldn’t have to wait long to find the back of the net though with David Moyes side scoring from the resulting corner, with Michail Antonio bundling the ball home after a game of pinball in Chelsea’s six-yard box.
Blues boss Tuchel brought on England international Ben Chilwell for summer signing Marc Cucurella and it would turn out to be an inspired change. On 76 minutes Chilwell did brilliantly to spin 180 degrees after heading the ball in the area before clipping the ball past the onrushing West Ham goalkeeper.
Then with two minutes left on the clock under-fire attacker, Kai Havertz meet a Chilwell cross and hammered a volley into the Hammers net.
There was still time for more drama though when West Ham’s summer signing Maxwell Cornet fired into the roof of the Chelsea goal deep into injury time. However, VAR would controversially step in and adjudge that Bowen had fouled Mendy in the build, a decision that has been widely described by the football community as comical.
A goal and an assist. Don’t mind it! 👍 pic.twitter.com/NIsBOpp41H
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 3, 2022
Speaking afterwards Blues boss Tuchel admitted his side got lucky with the VAR decision that ruled out West Ham’s equaliser, but the German coach was also delighted that his side were able to come back from one down and secure the three points.
“We were lucky today to get the VAR decision in our favour, which was for me the correct decision. We want to turn the game around and keep the three points,” Tuchel told the BBC.
“They do this to every team, it is so hard to create spaces, to create chances. They defend deep and with bodies and physicality. It is hard to find a consistent rhythm, then you go 1-0 down it is almost impossible – to keep believing was very important.
“To get the opener from the bench from Chilly and then from Kai was important because we want spirit. If we have a strong bench we have a higher chance to win.
“You need be tough, I know they can do it. It is also down to the situation, the transfer window is closed, everyone knows he is in the group. We need to improve consistency and this is not over.”