Monday, 26 October 2015

Game of two dramas - one on pitch the other not - West Ham 2-1 Chelsea

This was a game of two dramas, one on the pitch, the other a sideshow in the stands involving Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

The drama on the pitch concerned a pulsating match that took many twists and turns, including the sending off of Nemanja Matic in the 44th minute and a disallowed offside goal two minutes earlier.

These decisions caused the bench to erupt, first assistant coach, Silvino Loro  was  sent to the stands, then Mourinho was also sent off after making comments to referee Jonathan Moss at half time.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic stressed that it was the sending off of Matic that had the biggest impact, he was afterall involved on the field of play. “I feel for Mourinho, a lot of the decisions have gone against his team this season,” said Bilic, who nonetheless was delighted with the performance of his own team. “It is brilliant to win against the Champions, unbelievable. There is nothing wrong with admitting we’re doing good, playing well and deserved to win,” said Bilic.

West Ham began the game brightly with Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lazini a constant threat. Payet signalled his intent in the 16th minute with a dipping free kick that Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic did well to tip over the bar. But it was only to be temporary respite, as a minute later Payet sent a corner over that fell to Mauro Zarate on the edge of the penalty area to drive home.

Chelsea came back with Willian seeing his free kick pushed aside by West Ham keeper Adrian. Another exsquisite piece of skill from Payet saw a back flick send Lanzini clear but he clipped his shot over the bar.

There then came the controversy with Matic first booked for a foul on Cheikhou Kouyate, then sent off when he scythed down Diafra Sakho.

The disallowed Cesc Fabregas goal and a ball scrambled off the line by West Ham when some thought it over helped fuel the off field drama.

In the second half, Chelsea came back strongly, controlling the game, despite being a man down. This dominance was rewarded 10 minutes into the half when a cross reached Gary Cahill who powered home.

West Ham though were not to be denied, getting back control that finally saw them regain the lead. This time it was a cross from full back Aaron Creswell that was met by substitute Andy Carroll rising at the near post to head home.

Bilic was full of praise for the big striker, explaining how the club are managing his fitness over the long term, so as hopefully to avoid injury. If he stays fit, Bilic believes Carroll with be a big benefit for West Ham and England.

Mourinho, meantime, disappeared without addressing the press.  

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