Chelsea 2-0 West Ham: Lamps & Hazard Score As Blues Cruise To 3 Points
Frank Lampard netted his 200th goal in a Chelsea shirt as the Blues ran out 2-0 winners in a comfortable victory over West Ham United. Here’s a match report.
Frank Lampard netted his 200th goal in a Chelsea shirt as the Blues ran out 2-0 winners in a comfortable victory over West Ham United.
On an afternoon where Rafa Benitez’s side barely had to break stride to overcome an inept West Ham, Lampard will make the headlines for reaching a remarkable milestone for the club, whilst hot on the heels of Bobby Trambling’s club goal-scoring record. The midfielder opened the scoring for Chelsea from a cute Eden Hazard cross while the Belgian added the second shortly after half time, cutting across goal before unleashing a wicked shot.
The Blues were full-value for their win and in truth the result was never in doubt. West Ham may have fancied their chances against a team that has made hard work of home games against teams lower down in the league. At least some sections of the home support may well have felt anxious going into the game for this same reason. But the Blues- confident after their stunning second half FA Cup comeback at Old Trafford and progress into the last-8 of the Europa League- carried on as they left off.
Gary Cahill was preferred to John Terry in the only change to the back-four that faced Steaua Bucharest on Thursday, while Lampard,Victor Moses and Demba Ba replaced John Obi Mikel, Oscar and Fernando Torres respectively. Despite the changes, Chelsea continued their recent good form with a bright start.
Ba should have opened the scoring on six minutes when he ran clear of the West Ham defence from Lampard’s through ball. With just Jussi Jaaskelainen to beat the Senagalese forward mis-cued his finish, shooting miserably wide. But the lead wouldn’t evade the Blues for long and the goal owed much to the endeavour and invention of Hazard. The Belgian winger’s fine effort form distance was punched away by Jaaskelainen but when Moses returned the rebound to him on the edge of the box, the winger’s delicate cross was met by Lampard who rose un-marked to head the Blues in front.
West Ham were offering very little to the tie in an attacking sense, however they did have the ball in the net only to have it ruled out for infringement. Andy Carroll bundled it home but the ex-Newcastle man was adjudged to have fouled David Luiz in doing so. Chelsea were firmly in control of the this game, with the likes of Juan Mata, Hazard and Moses causing trouble on more than one occasion.
Moses almost doubled Chelsea’s lead mid-way through the half but his shot was dragged wide, and David Luiz- as well as looking solid at the back- threatened with a speculative volley that wasn’t far over the bar. Ba also went close before the break but Jaaskelainen was at hand to deny the striker on two occasions.
West Ham fans may have thought their club’s performance could only improve after the break but Chelsea continued to impress and it was not long before the game was put to bed. Hazard combined with Mata on the right, coming inside of the Spaniard before his cheeky lob over one West Ham defender found the Belgian. Feigning to shoot before cutting inside, Hazard let fly with a precise strike that Jaaskelainen was helpless to keep out as it crept inside his left-hand post.
Hazard had been influential in all that Chelsea did well and in Mata the Belgian wizz had the perfect accomplice. With the surety and protection of Ramires and Lampard, the duo complimented by Moses often acted in unison, performing telepathically at times to tee each other up. With Chelsea purring, it seemed only a matter of time before they added to the scoreline.
The Belgian looked to add to his tally but Joey O’Brien did well to block and Ba wasted another chance in front of goal, shooting wide when it looked easier to score. Lampard also wasted a good chance, one that the England midfielder so often tucks away when he struck high over the bar.
West Ham left it late in their bid to take something from West London, with substitute Carlton Cole having the away side’s best chance of the game. Cole did well to beat Cahill to a cross but his poked effort was well saved by Petr Cech who had one of his quieter days at the office. Carroll headed over the bar late on, but their was a sense of too-little-too-late from Sam Allardyce’s side who may yet be sucked into a late relegation scrap should they continue with such limp performances.
For Chelsea though, it was all smiles, not least for Lampard who is now just two goals shy of Trambling’s all-time scoring record. The Stamford Bridge faithful have too often of late had to endure a panic-attack of late-goals and heartless showings from their side, but today’s was an accomplished performance. And with Mata and Hazard combining as they were today, the Blues can be confident of salvaging something from a so far in-different season. With Man City slipping up, Chelsea may just sense second place is within their grasp, while two cups are firmly within range.
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