In a repeat of their EFL Cup draw against West Ham United, Chelsea travelled just a little over 10 miles for a traditional London derby at the London Stadium. The hosts have usually come off the worse for wear in this particular fixture and Monday night was no different as Antonio Conte’s men put up an efficient performance to secure all three points.
Eden Hazard slotted the first goal on the back of a swift counter-attack and Diego Costa followed it up with a second soon after the second half kicked off taking advantage of a poorly defended set piece. The night was on cue to end on that pristine note for the aspiring champions till Manuel Lanzini found the space to net past Thibaut Courtois.
In what was an unusually well-disciplined game for a west London derby (except for one pitch invader) here are the five major talking points:
#1 Hammers make a good start
Slaven Bilic’ s men looked like they were keen on a repeat victory against Chelsea from the League Cup and made a promising start to the game. Their intent to put up a fight early in the game seemed to unsettle Chelsea as they struggled to maintain possession and lost out to the Hammers in the opening minutes. Robert Snodgrass looked in particularly good form as he worked the left wing and crossed in some promising deliveries.
Teaming up well with Aaron Creswell, the pair provided the Hammers with attacking options but were also constantly inaccurate. Their rhythm was eventually interrupted when Victor Moses inadvertently knocked his head back into Andy Carroll as he cleared a cross. A bleeding mess, Carroll had to go off twice for medical assistance.
West Ham, however, kept up the pressure as they were awarded a quick succession of free-kicks and corners, but again failed to make the most of their opportunities. Pedro Obiang put up a good fight against N’Golo Kante while Mark Noble looked reliable but added no depth to the game. While they dominated in the early stages of the game, they failed to bother Thibaut Courtois with no shots on target.