West Ham recorded a thrilling 3-1 win over rivals Chelsea despite Nayef Aguerd’s red card to leave Mauricio Pochettino still waiting for his first victory in charge of the west London club.
Aguerd nodded West Ham into a seventh-minute lead, taking advantage of some non-existent Chelsea marking to head home debutant James Ward-Prowse’s inch-perfect corner kick, before Carney Chukwuemeka – later subbed with a knee injury – levelled with a delicious strike, the 19-year-old’s first in the Premier League.
In fact, the Blues – who resisted the temptation to hand Moises Caicedo his debut after his recent British-record transfer from Brighton – really should have gone in ahead at the break, only for Enzo Fernandez to see his poorly struck penalty saved by Alphonse Areola on the stroke of half-time.
That proved key as against the run of play, Michail Antonio slammed the hosts back in front eight minutes after half-time and despite Aguerd then seeing red midway through the second half after a second yellow, the Hammers held on for what David Moyes called “a big result”, sealed by Lucas Pacqeta’s stoppage-time penalty after a foul by Caicedo on Emerson.
Paqueta started for West Ham, with Manchester City’s move for the midfielder on hold because of concerns surrounding an FA and FIFA betting investigation.
West Ham, who handed a late debut to Edson Alvarez, move up to sixth in the table after their first win of the new campaign, while Chelsea are 15th and still looking for their first three points of the season.
West Ham: Areola (8), Coufal (6), Aguerd (6), Zouma (6), Emerson (6), Ward-Prowse (9), Soucek (6), Paqueta (8), Benrahma (6), Bowen (7), Antonio (7)
Subs: Fornals (6), Ogbonna (6), Alvarez (6)
Chelsea: Sanchez (6), Disasi (6), Colwill (6), Silva (6), Gusto (6), Chilwell (7), Fernandez (6), Gallagher (6), Sterling (8), Chukwuemeka (8),
Subs: Mudryk (5), Maduek (6), Caicedo (6), Burstow (6)
Man of the match: James Ward-Prowse
How West Ham beat Blues in rousing London derby
This was West Ham’s first game at the London Stadium since they were crowned Europa Conference League winners in May and they received a rousing reception from the home fans ahead of kick-off, with the stadium soon rocking when debutant Ward-Prowse set up a goal on a plate for Aguerd.
Ward-Prowse was brought to West Ham in part because of his impressive dead-ball deliveries and he lived up to his reputation when taking his first corner for his new club by landing the ball straight onto the head of their Morocco defender, who made no mistake with a towering header at the far post.
However, Pochettino would have been wondering just how the West Ham centre-back was afforded so much space in a crowded penalty area, although those concerns did not last long with the visitors soon back in the contest.
Chelsea had already seen strong claims for a penalty when Nicolas Jackson was wiped out in the box by Areola, only for the Video Assistant Referee to judge the Chelsea striker as inches offside in the build-up.
There was only a debut for James Ward-Prowse, with fellow new West Ham signing Edson Alvarez having to settle for a place on the bench as the Mexico international continued to build-up his match fitness after a long summer break.
However, manager David Moyes did stick with Lucas Paqueta, despite the collapse of the Brazil midfielder’s move to Man City in midweek due to a FA and FIFA betting investigation, as the hosts made one change from the team that drew 1-1 at Bournemouth on the opening Saturday of the new season with the aforementioned Ward-Prowse replacing the benched Pablo Fornals.
As for the visitors, Mauricio Pochettino resisted the temptation to hand new British-record transfer Moises Caicedo a debut at the London Stadium as the Ecuador holding midfielder had to settle for a place on the subs’ bench, which is more than can be said for fellow new midfield arrival Romeo Lavia.
Meanwhile, the Blues also made just one change as Malo Gusto came in for their injured skipper Reece James as a right wing-back.
A Blues equaliser was coming, though, and it duly arrived just before the half-hour mark from one of the 28 players to have been signed since Todd Boehly’s arrival, although one who commanded a slightly lower transfer fee than the British record that bought Caicedo to Stamford Bridge this week.
There appeared little danger when Chukwuemeka gained possession down the left side of West Ham’s area, but from an acute angle, the England U20 international – signed from Aston Villa last August for £20m – curled home his first Premier League goal.
The Blues should have gone in ahead at the break after Raheem Sterling went over the dangling leg offered by Tomas Soucek, but Enzo Fernandes saw his weakly-struck penalty saved by Areola, before being cleared by the Czech Republic midfielder, who appeared subsequently to have just been inside the area when the spot-kick was taken.
Pochettino suffered more injury woe when his young goalscorer was forced off at half-time with a knee injury and was later seen leaving the London Stadium on crutches.
The interval appeared to galvanise the hosts more than their opponents, with Antonio – supplied by Ward-Prowse – soon restoring their lead with a thumping finish.
That goal prompted Pochettino to bring on Caicedo for his Blues debut, only for Aguerd to set up a tense finale after chopping down Jackson to leave referee John Brooks with no alternative but to send him off with a quarter of the game still to play.
And when Caicedo brought down Emerson late on, the Brazil midfielder rolled home a 95th-minute penalty to seal the win.
FPL Stats: West Ham 3-1 Chelsea
|Goals||Aguerd, Antonio, Paqueta, Chukwuemeka|
|Assists||Ward-Prowse (2), Emerson|
|Bonus points||Antonio, (3), Areola (2), Ward-Prowse (1)|
What the managers said…
Moyes: We showed resilience
David Moyes speaking to Sky Sports:
“It was a big result when you have three away games and just one at home before the international break.
“Chelsea were really good. They were really good last week against Liverpool too. We were fortunate not to be down at half-time, we stuck at it and the goalkeeper makes a good save from the penalty that allowed us to get in level and see if we could become better in the second half.
“I’m hugely impressed by Chelsea and just because they lost today that shouldn’t change people’s opinion of that. But we defended the box well and they miscued a few, so it could have gone differently. But over the years we’ve had to be resilient and hard to beat and the players showed that today.”
Update on Paqueta’s future: “You don’t need to ask me that. I’m only interested in how he performed today.
“65,000 fans were cheering him as they know what he brings. He gives us some flair, a really hard-working boy.”
Poch: This is only beginning, we believe in the process
Mauricio Pochettino speaking to Sky Sports:
“Teams like us need to get the right balance, we didn’t manage a few actions well today and we conceded. But we did create many chances in the first half – that’s where we should’ve won the game. It’s difficult to explain as you have possession, create chances and are the better side, but you lose.
“We were frustrated [after the penalty] – we were playing well and didn’t get the reward. Maybe we started the second half with this belief. Also, the injury to Chukwuemeka changed the shape of the team. We conceded in one action – we need to be stronger there as we knew West Ham defend deep, play on the counter and can be dangerous from set-pieces.
“This is only the beginning. We need to believe in the process. With time to work, we will be strong and competitive.”
Gritty derby win just the tonic for Moyes
Analysis by Sky Sports’ Richard Morgan at the London Stadium:
“West Ham manager, David Moyes says his side had to dig in to give themselves a chance to beat Chelsea in the Premier League.
“It has been a tough start to the new campaign for West Ham manager David Moyes, despite the Scot having guided the Hammers to Europa Conference League glory back in May.
“That European triumph appeared to guarantee Moyes another season at the London Stadium, only for reports to then surface of a rift between him and the club’s new technical director Tim Steidten.
“Moyes has also had to deal with the consequences of West Ham selling their captain and best player to Arsenal this summer, while Lucas Paqueta recently appeared all set to join Premier League champions Man City, until an FA and FIFA betting investigation put that move on hold.
“And with the Hammers failing to hold on to a lead to only draw late on at Bournemouth on the opening Saturday of the new season, the pressure was really beginning to mount on Moyes heading into a tough-looking clash with big-spending Chelsea on Super Sunday.
“There is nothing better, though, than the tonic of a London derby win over fierce rivals to wipe away any doubts about the manager, who was also able to hand an eye-catching debut to James Ward-Prowse, while fellow new boy Edson Alvarez was also given a first Hammers start as a second-half substitute at a feel-good London Stadium.
“What a difference a victory, especially against old foes Chelsea, does then to boost a team’s spirits, with everything now rosy in the West Ham garden, in stark contrast to their beaten opponents today.”
Blues’ winless run continues – Opta stats
- Chelsea have won just one of their last 14 Premier League games (D5 L8) and are winless in six since a 3-1 win at Bournemouth in May (D3 L3). The Blues have also lost four consecutive Premier League London derbies for the first time.
- West Ham have alternated between winning (5) and then not winning (D2 L2) in their last nine Premier League home games against Chelsea.
- West Ham have lost just two of their last 11 home Premier League games (D6 D3), winning three on the bounce at the London Stadium for the first time since October 2022.
- Chelsea have fallen 1-0 down in six consecutive Premier League games, their joint-longest run in the competition (also 6 from October-November 1993).
West Ham’s next game is away to Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday, live on Sky Sports – kick-off 5.30pm.
Saturday 26th August 5:00pm
Kick off 5:30pm
The Hammers then travel to Luton on Friday September 1, live on Sky Sports – kick-off 8pm.
Chelsea are next in action on Friday when they host Luton in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports – kick-off 8pm.
Friday 25th August 7:00pm
Kick off 8:00pm
The Blues then take on AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday August 30 – kick-off 7.45pm.
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