Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United: Lampard scores 200 for the club as Hazard has a field day
Chelsea had a great chance of getting an edge over their rivals and they took it with a thumping victory over local rivals West Ham United. A 2-0 scoreline might say I am exaggerating a bit, but the match provided a completely different proposition. Sam Allardyce mocked the Chelsea fans coming into this game and thought he could get away with it. But his team were miles away from the quality Chelsea displayed on the pitch. Chelsea edge closer to Manchester City, who are currently 2nd in the league table and a Spurs loss only sweetens things at Stamford Bridge.
Early in the day, the blue fans paid a visit to the Nextgen Series match at Griffin Park where the Chelsea U19?s were playing Juventus U19?s in the Quarterfinals of the NextGen Cup. The blue boys cruised to a resounding 4-1 victory, and the good spirits of the day continued to grace Stamford Bridge too as West Ham fans received a good show of John Terry’s back after abusing him during his warm-ups.
Coming to the match, it was a straightforward victory for the blues as they outclassed West Ham in all departments. Frank Lampard reached 200 Chelsea goals after heading in from close range. He is now 2 goals short of becoming Chelsea top scorer ever. He put in a solid performance as he found his teammates with some sublime passing in all directions. Eden Hazard and Juan Mata were mesmerizing with their seamless skills, drifting around into spaces and harassing the opponent defenders. The dominance of Chelsea came down to a few well contested duels.
David Luiz and Cahill v Andy Carroll
Andy Carroll tends to play well and score against Chelsea, and he was the only concern for Benitez as West Ham were missing some crucial players due to injuries. Luiz was handed the job of containing the 35 million pound man, and the Brazilian didn’t disappoint. Though Carroll was good in the air, he didn’t provide enough threat to Cech’s goal as Luiz stuck tight to him denying him a clear cut chance of a good pass or shot on goal. Gary Cahill took over the responsibility of containing the West Ham striker when Luiz went for some fun time near the opposition penalty box. Both defenders worked in turns to nullify the threat posed by Carroll and also the lack of runners from opposition midfield made the job much easier.
Azpilicueta v Matt Jarvis
Azpilicueta: Passing, 40 out of 44 successful (91%)
Azpilicueta: Action Areas
The Spaniard has had some brilliant games in the blue shirt this season and this one adds to that lot. Matt Jarvis is always a threat from the wings as he has good crossing ability. And when you add aerial ability Carroll to that, you know what is on plate for dinner. Containing the winger was a top priority and Azpilicueta executed it to perfection. Jarvis made 19 passes in the whole game out of which 13 were successful. Though he did occasionally manage to put in a cross or two, those were dealt with, well before reaching the danger areas. Azpilicueta also had a good chunk of time playing in the attacking third as he made overlapping runs behind the West Ham defense and put in some decent crosses.
Dominance in the mid
Ramires: Passing, 51 successful out of 53 ( 96% )
The Midfield duo of Lampard and Ramires weren’t given much of a test in their region and they made the most of it by passing the ball around with ease. Ramires was the games best passer with 51 successful passes out of 53(96%). Both Ramires and Lampard took turns going forward, as one always stayed back to contain any counterattacks. Lampard was subtle with his passing as he released players into space very frequently in the first half. There were only two instances when both of them were caught high up the pitch and allowed West Ham to break.
Ramires: Action Areas
Frank Lampard: Action Areas
Eden Hazard started on the right wing initially and Victor Moses on the left. Moses stayed wide and occasionally came into central positions, but the whole show show was elsewhere. Hazard and Mata tamed the West Ham players with their positioning. The Hammers midfield got overloaded as Hazard moved inside into the center. A 4 v 3 in the center with Mata and Hazard in the mix, you have a tomahawk missile ready to be fired upon. This number dominance was the recipe for the first goal as Hazard’s cross found Lampard unmarked in the box and he headed in from 3 yards, perfectly timed run from Chelsea’s second top scorer.
Generally, West Ham has Diame, Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble in the midfield, but today they had O’Neill and Collison with Diame. O’Neill had a decent outing in his deep role, but the other two were very poor, in every aspect. The difference in the quality of the players was clearly evident here. Noble and Nolan might have done a better job if they were matchfit.
No Proper Striker Yet
Demba Ba had a forgettable evening. As the club celebrates Lampard’s 200 goals, the Senegalese striker must be wondering what has actually gotten into him. Maybe he has been taking some tips from Torres for a change. Ba had 3 dead on chances to make the scoreline sweeter, but he failed to convert those chances to goals. On any other day, he surely might have finished those, and no tips from Torres please. Though he did hold the ball pretty well, his finishing was a low point of the match. Chelsea would have buried the match in the first half itself , had Ba taken those chances. We didn’t have a chance to see the masked Fernando Torres, as David Luiz forced a defensive substitution late in the game.
I tried my best to put in some tactical analysis, but the one sided match didn’t offer much in that sense. But here are some statistics.
Eden Hazard: Man of the Match
Chelsea seem to have found their purple patch again. Eden Hazard and Juan Mata have been immense in the past two matches. The man of the match is undoubtedly Eden Hazard. A win going into the international break comes with its positives and negatives. Let’s see how the season pans out, now that Man City have started to lose matches for fun.