West Ham 1-3 Chelsea: Sunday Mirror match report
Published 22:26 11/09/10 By Paul Smith
West Ham's defeat by Chelsea ensured their worst ever start to a top-flight campaign.
Had Chelsea shown any real interest in the game, instead of treating it like a training ground exercise, it could have been worse for the hosts.
The Hammers are already four points from safety and without a single point, and in contrast Chelsea opened up a similar gap at the top of the Premier League.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti said: “We were fortunate to make a very good start, but West Ham put us under a lot of pressure during certain points of the game.
“There were a few nervous moments towards the end but overall I was pleased. There’ll be times when we ride our luck and don’t get the breaks.”
Captain John Terry was substituted in the second half after suffering a rib injury, so Chelsea’s medical staff will assess him along with Frank Lampard — who didn’t play.
“Terry came off with rib bruising and is in considerable pain. Frank hasn’t trained for a few days,” Ancelotti added.
“However, it is my intention to probably rest key players ahead of midweek Champions League games.”
West Ham boss Avram Grant admitted: “We played very well, apart from the early mistake. We had three good chances to score in the first half and dominated in the second half, but I’m pleased with the commitment.
“I’m not worried, because we are not playing like a team who will be fighting relegation. We need to improve, but we’ll win games if we play like this.
“There are things we need to work on, but the players are working hard on the training ground. The spirit of the players is also good here.”
The West Ham fans had barely finished singing I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles before Chelsea burst them inside two minutes of the contest.
Michael Essien headed Didier Drogba’s deep corner home as four West Ham players watched and stopped short of applauding the finish.
Chelsea, who won their opening three games and scored 14 goals without reply prior to their visit to Upton Park, were in an unforgiving and ruthless mood even with the absence of Lampard — who observed from the stands.
But the last thing they needed was charity from a club that is fast becoming something short of a comedy.
Never one to disappoint, step forward Robert ‘calamitous’ Green. Drogba fired in a weak 30-yard free-kick and the deposed England shotstopper made a total hash of it.
His initial embarrassment was spared by the equally inept Matthew Upson, whose clearance was fired straight at Salomon Kalou’s heel with the rebound resulting in a goal.
The Hammers, who had only scored a penalty this season, occasionally threatened.
Long-range efforts from Victor Obinna, Mark Noble and Scott Parker failed to really trouble keeper Petr Cech.
Chelsea took a 3-0 lead with seven minutes left, when Paulo Ferreira’s cross from the right was headed home by Essien.
But Chelsea conceded their first goal this term on 85 minutes when Parker lobbed Cech from 20 yards after the keeper punched away Noble’s corner.
And in injury time West Ham sub Frederic Piquionne headed his effort against the bar despite being gifted an open goal from just three yards.