Defeating West Ham, Chelsea consolidates position in the Champions League group
3-1 win of Arsenal prior to Man Utd helped “Gunners” blow the heat on the nape of the neck Chelsea in the race to qualify for the Champions League. Chelsea also entered the confrontation with West Ham in the context of low confidence when having just lost 3 consecutive matches at Stamford Bridge.
West Ham chose a safe approach when backing down the squad to the home field to play defensively. Chelsea had only one dangerous opportunity during the first half of the first half with N’Golo Kante’s long shot widening the post.
The home team held the ball 84%, but the attack speed was too low for Chelsea to create a breakthrough in front of the West Ham defense. During the first 45 minutes, Chelsea launched 6 shots, but the efficiency was zero.
Chelsea persisted in pressuring in the second half and the hosts’ chances were clearer. In the 61st minute, Trevor Chalobah shot a long shot, causing goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to save.
In the 70th minute, Ruben Loftus-Cheek put the ball inside for Mason Mount to finish with one touch. The ball bounced off to the correct position of Timo Werner, but the German striker, after 2 dribbles past the defender and West Ham goalkeeper, could not finish the goal.
5 minutes later, it was Werner who missed the opportunity in the close-range phase, even though only goalkeeper Fabianski was left in front of him.
In the 86th minute, midfielder Craig Dawson received a red card when he pulled down Romelu Lukaku in the penalty area. Chelsea were awarded 11m, but Jorginho missed again.
However, Chelsea’s efforts to find a goal paid off at the last minute. Marcos Alonso escaped to the left and then returned to the second line for Christian Pulisic to finish with a precise touch, sealing a 1-0 victory for Chelsea.
3 points ahead of West Ham helps Chelsea get 65 points after 32 matches, maintaining a 5-point gap with the 4th team, Arsenal (Chelsea kicks less than 1 match). Coach Thomas Tuchel’s teachers and students are still taking a big advantage in the race to win tickets Champions League next season.
Final results: Chelsea 1-0 West Ham (Pulisic 90′)
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